August 27, 2020

Steam Launch Blog #33

Late November to first week in December 2018 The first strake has been laid against the broad strake, and now working on the next one and a strake against the sheer – working from both edges of the boat towards the middle. Straight edges of succeeding strakes at edge away from the broad, and straight […]

Late November to first week in December 2018

The first strake has been laid against the broad strake, and now working on the next one and a strake against the sheer – working from both edges of the boat towards the middle. Straight edges of succeeding strakes at edge away from the broad, and straight edges of each succeeding strake at edge away from the sheer. Only the closure plank in the middle will have curved edges at both sides.


Our process, as shown in second picture, was to lay a wide batten at the marks laid out when we determined the number of strakes. The bottom edge of the batten would be as straight as possible, tight against the ribs, and with a fair run conforming to shape of hull. As you can see the gap between batten and previous strake is constant at mid section and tapers gradually at the bow.


I’ll note that we would reassess widths of remaining strakes after a couple of strakes were laid in place. Always a little variation and we wished the planks to be of fairly equal width for aesthetics. This is a double planked “tight fit” boat without caulked seams.


Rib placements are marked on the batten. We set compass so when its tip is placed at the edge of the preceding strake we can strike a mark on the batten anywhere along the length of the batten. The compass is then locked to maintain that distance. Tick marks are then struck on the batten at each rib. The batten is taken off the boat to our spar table and laid edge-to-edge against a cedar plank, rib marks are extended upward unto the cedar plank. The compass is reversed and point placed on our tick marks and new tick mark is swung onto the cedar at each rib marking. Brads are nailed into the new tick mark, a batten laid against the brads and fair curve penciled in. Band saw, plane, and long board sanding create our new strake which with minor planing at the boat will fit like a glove! Easy-Peasy…


At this point we’ve now laid two strakes and have marked up a strake to go along the sheer.