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Building Strip Plank Boats

This page is not yet complete - We will be adding more text to it in the coming weeks - please bear with us.

Most of the pictures on this page are of a build of the SFD Felix Steam Launch that is nearing completion at our old workshop.  This has been built to a very high spec with all the fitting out in native Scottish Hardwoods.

The Timber used for the planking was Douglas Fir so that internal glassing would not be required.

In the absence of a picture of the finished boat - look again in early February - this picture shows how Strip Plank construction can give beautifully rounded hulls.
First Step is to construct the Strongback or building frame, shown here with the Inner stem mounted.
Next is to erect the moulds and transom.

On this boat, we decided to laminate the frames first, so that they could be faired more easily then if we were trying to do it on a completed hull.  The size of the moulds was adjusted to compensate for the thickness of the frames.

The Keelson and inwales are added.
We decided to get the floors glued up and faired in position before planking.

These were removed before we actually started the planking.

First day's planking completed.  These are the easiest pieces to do.  Between two of us, we were getting 10-12 planks per side per day.

On smaller hulls it is more usual to staple the thinner strips to the moulds while the hull is being glued up.  On this hull, each strip was screwed to the frame at every other station.

Filling the final gap.
The basic hull structure complete, and coated with epoxy.

We had already done a lot of filling and fairing, hence the marks on the boat.

Applying the glass cloth.
Jim reamimg out the prop shaft through the keelson.

By this time the hull has had a lot of filling and fairing using the fairing additive for the epoxy.  A lot of very dusty work.

The hull having been given the full treatment with two-pack undercoat.  The final couple of top coats will be applied shortly before finishing the whole building process.
The great day of turning the boat.  We did not know exactly how heavy it would be so a large number of volunteers were summoned from the pub.  The sniff of free beer does wonders.

In the event, the hull was so light that four of us could have done the job.

Next the joys of sanding down the inside of the hull.  Dust protection is essential.