Shipyard Memories #23: Finishing The Build

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by shipwright posted 09-15-2011 01:49 AM 3250 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Closing Up the Hull Part 23 of Shipyard Memories series Part 24: Some Old Tools of the Trade - Bevels »

I’m afraid that the photos are a little scarce from here on but I’ll do what I can with what there are.

This photo shows the keel halves ready for gluing. Making the 3” thick keel out of two pieces makes it much easier to fit it to the hull as the joint line to the hull on each half can be cut on the appropriate angle(s) on the bandsaw. When assembled the two will make a vee that fits the hull perfectly. You will also notice that the pieces are cut off in line with where the shaft line will be. This allows us to cut a 45 degree angle on each of the four pieces that surround the shaft. When assembled we will have a diamond shaped hole on the approximate line of the shaft.

Here the halves are glued up. The forward end will be made up wilh smaller fitted blocks to fair into the hull. The stack of sticks on the left that look a little like pool cues are the cabin side / window posts. They are scarfed to be teak above the seat backs where they are seen and fir below the seat backs where they are hidden. Gotta watch those pennies.

The next two photos show the setup for final boring the hole for the shaft tube. This is done by first running a string from a spot exactly where the center of the engine coupling will be to the center of the diamond shaped hole in the back end of the keel. Second, a bearing block is set up on the keelson (inside keel) with a 1” hole in it for the boring bar. It is set up so that the string is centered in the hole and the hole lines up with the angle of the shaft. Then a second bearing piece (plywood this time) is set up just outside of the back of the keel, also lined up with the string.

When the boring bar is inserted into both bearings it may or may not be centered in the rough hole but successive cuts with it’s fly cutter will expand the hole to the size of the shaft tube while correcting any misalignment in the smaller rough hole. Once bored the hole is cleared of any chips and the shaft tube is epoxied in. The shaft then slides into the tube and will align perfectly with the engine coupling.

Here the cabin sole and the seat shelves are in place. You can see the cut out for the engine box and the engine beds installed. The sole has been ‘glassed and the facing on the seat shelf is glued in on the near end. The pieces for the far end facing are there ready to be installed. The seat shelves are solidly glued to the hull and perform a major stiffening function at an area where the hull takes lots of abuse. They also serve to keep the life jackets, stored under the seats, up off the floor which is washed daily.

We’ve jumped ahead a bit here. The decks, cabin sides and posts are in. Probably the most difficult thing in building these boats and getting them to look right is the alignment of these posts. They have to look right, that is converging from bottom to top and each post has to be parallel with it’s opposite number on the other side and in the other end.They all have to be right from every angle as you walk around the boat. It can be a frustrating task because every time you make a little adjustment to make it look better in one place, it affects three or four other views. Together with the cabin sides they have to form a sort of flattened, elongated section of a cone.

The window tops / roof aprons are installed and the seat bases can be seen mounted on the seat shelf and secured to the posts. If you have good eyes you’ll notice those half teak – half fir posts. Most of the joints from here on are unframed and held only by fillets of thickened epoxy. For example the cabin sides that you see here are filleted to the deck inside and out but there are no fastenings. They are epoxied to the posts and fastened with a few staples.

The last construction photo I have shows the roof being held to shape with a camber pattern and clamped to the apron piece. The only fastening that will be used to hold them together will be a fillet of epoxy inside and out. Both parts are 1/4” plywood. The camber pattern will stay there until the wheelhouse windows and top roof are in place. At that point the camber will be locked in and the area of the lower roof, inside the wheelhouse windows can be cut away. We painted the roofs before putting them up but left the area for the fillets unpainted.

Here are a few finished photos the will help you understand some of the last bit.

That’s it for Stitch and Glue construction, and my shipyard memories. I hope that you have enjoyed these blogs as much as I have.

I have spent many years “happily messing about with boats” and wouldn’t consider any of it to have been “work”. I have enjoyed immensely sharing some of my good old days with those of you who have been interested in following my meanderings and I have been humbled and flattered by your interest and your kind comments.

Thanks for dropping in. ... Really


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

17 comments so far

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3943 days

#1 posted 09-15-2011 02:19 AM

I’ve got to drop a huge thanks for posting these shipyard memories. Even though I don’t exactly have an affinity for large bodies of water, I found these entries more than interesting and they make me feel like getting up and build a boat right away.


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5094 days

#2 posted 09-15-2011 03:14 AM

Hi Paul,

Speaking for myself, I’m thrilled you went to the trouble to post this. I really enjoyed it, and learned alot about this.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4351 days

#3 posted 09-15-2011 03:57 AM

Thanks for posting all the boat building pictures. I’m sure you have at least one more boat to build. Next time take lots of pictures.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View LittlePaw's profile


1572 posts in 4192 days

#4 posted 09-15-2011 04:18 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed your posts on your boat building, Paul. I learned a lot on building boats – not that i’ll be doing so any time soon. I did have and still do want to build a canoe someday – and I’m sure what I learned here would be helpful. Thanx, Paul.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4422 days

#5 posted 09-15-2011 05:28 AM

Very interesting and definitely enjoyable to see.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 5038 days

#6 posted 09-15-2011 05:40 AM

very cool Paul, I love the the whole thing.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5191 days

#7 posted 09-15-2011 06:00 AM

Thank you thank you thank you! The whole series! I wish it would never end…but I will go back and re-read each entry like a good book…awesome stuff!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4036 days

#8 posted 09-15-2011 06:00 AM

Very educational Paul and a treasure to keep. It is right on the scene. Thank you very much for this.
Hoping the best for your incoming endeavor. Take care.

-- Bert

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4274 days

#9 posted 09-15-2011 07:51 AM

These are interesting enough to make me want to build a boat, but I know I can’t right now. I’ve enjoyed the blog a lot. The captain’s wheel & chair look like they tilt forward to reveal the guts or something underneath.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Brit's profile


8329 posts in 3957 days

#10 posted 09-15-2011 08:52 AM

Excellent blog as always Paul. Thanks.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Schwieb's profile


1917 posts in 4575 days

#11 posted 09-15-2011 11:52 AM

Your memories are inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I really enjoyed all your posts.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4996 days

#12 posted 09-15-2011 02:10 PM

This has been so much fun.
Oh, to love one’s work so much ….. Good for you!


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 4184 days

#13 posted 09-16-2011 01:26 AM

You’re a very accomplished man Paul & your work is impeccable thanks for sharing your memories. By the way my 6 year old grandson is interested in woodwork & he said he’s going to build a boat I’ll let you see the results
Best regards

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View shipwright's profile


8726 posts in 3912 days

#14 posted 09-16-2011 02:24 AM

Thank you all very much.
Your appreciation is what makes the effort worth while.
I am happy to have been able to give you a little insight into the not so common industry that I so enjoyed being a part of.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 4884 days

#15 posted 09-16-2011 05:11 AM

I always dreamed of building a boat but I know I never will so I watched you having all the fun. I bet you really enjoyed building it. Thanks for the great blog.

-- Tom D

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics