When I last checked in I had received a pallet of Okoume plywood and was ready to start laying out the planks. I had no idea how tough that was going to be…
The plans call for you to make the planks in small sections and use butt blocks to join them, I want to use scarf joints to make full size planks. This makes it a little more complicated but to me it looks better. To get the long planks cut out I am going to need a template to draw the shape on the sheets of plywood. My plan was to use a 1/8″ luan template and my router to cut out the planks.
I started by draping the sides with heavy masking paper and then cutting out the shape of the plank.
This gave me a rough shape I could transfer to the luan.
Before too long I had templates made for the upper three planks. The lower plank was a little trickier. Because of the curves of the bottom board and the build stand I wasn’t able to use the luan to make a template. For this I had to spill it out.
I joined together enough scrap wood to make eight foot long battens to follow the curve of the chine stringer and the top stringer. I then joined the two with cross pieces to lock the shape in. After that the battens were transferred to the plywood to be traced out. Yet another idea shamelessly stolen from the pages of Wooden Boat!
From there it was a simple task to cut out the rough plank.
This shape got me close but I still had it on and off of the boat half a dozen times or more to get the final fit. I really never got it perfect, just close enough. I am starting to believe in the gap filling powers of epoxy!
From back to front I glued the panels on using butt blocks, or tingles, to join them together.
This makes for a super strong joint but I do not like the idea of seeing these when the build is over. So for now the butt blocks will be below the floor only. I was able to finish 16 feet of planking on both side with no problem. There was a lot of fitting but nothing too difficult. That all changed when I got to the last four feet by the bow.
This is a compound, complex pain in the ass. This one panel has held me up for three weeks now. I did beat it, but I have typed enough for today. I will let you know how this dragon was slayed next time.