Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gusset Construction Continued

This post will cover the frame gusset and floor timber construction. As mentioned in previous posts, the gussets serve to strengthen the joints of the frame parts. They extend 6" (or more) over each frame piece. They will eventually be nailed and glued to the frame assembly.

There are two gussets per joint, one on each side of the frame. In addition, there is a filler block between the gussets to fill in the space outside of the frame parts that the gussets lie over. These filler blocks serve two purposes. First, they add additional strength to the joint. Secondly, they fill in an area that would be difficult to encapsulate with epoxy resin later.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gusset Construction Started

Just a quick update tonight. I've started the process of laying out the gussets and the floor timbers for the frames.

Gussets are 3/8" thick plywood parts that will ultimately be fastened and glued over the joints on the mahogany frame parts. They provide extra strength for these connection points. Plywood is used because it is less likely to split than solid wood. It's cross grain structure is very strong for the amount of thickness.

Two gussets will be applied to each joint (one on the front and one on the back of the frame). They will be fastened with what are called ring nails (sometimes called boat nails ). Essentially ring nails have multiple little ridges around the shank of the nail that prevent the nail from coming out later. In combination with epoxy glue for each gusset, these will be very strong joints.

Floor timbers a made from 3/4" plywood and will connect the bottom joints of the frame pieces (on the frames that consist of two bottom pieces). Their purpose is to provide strength to this joint and serve as a support for the floor (sole) of the boat when it is installed later on. These have to be an exact height so that they line up later when the frames are attached to the building form.

The question might arise why plywood is not used for the frame parts if it is so strong. The problem with plywood frame parts is the edge of the plywood. It has two disadvantages. First it is not a strong connection when parts are screwed or nailed into the edge (solid lumber is however). Secondly, the edge of plywood is harder to seal against water (not impossible, just more difficult to get complete coverage).

By using a combination of solid lumber and plywood, the frame structure can take advantage of the strengths of each type of wood product while minimizing the disadvantages.

Here is an image of the paper patterns used to create the gussets. This process will also be used to create patterns for the floor timbers and repeated for all the other frames. Other frame gussets will be slightly different shapes but will follw a similar pattern of extending 6" over each adjoining frame part.


The next update will continue the discussion of the construction of these pieces. There is an additional photo in the photo gallery showing the gussets laid out on plywood.

Update 5/2/2014 - More in depth explanation of gusset construction

Update 6/10/2015: I've decided to add a small tidbit about the patterns. Because of paper shrinkage, they are a bit smaller than the measured dimensions in the plans. I learned this in October of 2012 (see "Bit Of A Setback To Deal With" in sidebar). I resorted to laying out the measured dimensions on a large layout board and then using that to aid in getting the frame parts correct. Rather than repeat all of that here, it is suggested that you read that posting and subsequent posting to see what I did.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Engine Thoughts & A Teaser - Updated

The week has been slow as far as construction goes. Many things to do besides boat building but I did spend some time researching the choice of engine and installation.

When I first decided to build the Vera Cruise, I was interested in building a boat with an inboard engine but utilizing a sterndrive for propulsion. For those that might not be familiar with this, it is commonly seen on fiberglass boats purchased  from boat dealers and is often referred to as an I/O (inboard/outboard). It consists of a drive unit that is attached to the aft end of the boat and which sets in the water. The drive unit connects through the aft end of the boat to an engine via a connecting drive shaft.

This drive unit swivels to control steering on the boat while tilting for trimming the boat when it is underway. Trimming for this type of boat means adjusting the angle the boat sets when it is at speed so that the bow of the boat is out of the water and the stern is riding across the water.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Starting to look like a boat!!!

So final sanding to shape of the first batch of frame parts is completed. Took me nearly a week to do this but the parts are looking good. Next phase will be to begin laying out gussets to lay over the joints. The gussets will be made from 3/8" marine grade plywood. I'll detail that process in a future post. For now, I couldn't resist the urge to lay some of the parts out roughly and take some photos.

They are starting to look like a boat and I am very satisfied so far with my progress.The following photos are quick shots of three of the frames (2,4 and 5).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Sanded Part Example

Here are two photos of what I am after with the sanding. The first photo shows two parts that look like one part. These two parts are part of a bottom of the frame and will be symmetrical across the bottom.

The second photo is another angle



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sanding Parts To Identical Shapes

Yesterday, I started sanding the parts to shape. All of the frames have some duplicate parts that need to be identical shapes when finished. These parts make up the left and right sides of the frame. Especially critical is the outside curve. Some of the parts require the inner edges to be a specific distance from the outer edge.

In order to accomplish this, it's best to sand both parts at the same time. This provides the best means of insuring that the parts are identically shaped. Most of the parts have at least one straight edge from the original board. I am using that as my starting point. However, to be more accurate, a second edge needs to be lined up.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still More Frame Parts

Another short update since there isn't much new to say. I've used up all the mahogany I purchased for frames and one piece of the keel. A couple of boards had splits in them so some of the wood wasn't usable (grrr!). Wish I would have noticed this when I bought the lumber.

Chalk that up to experience.

Now that the parts are cut out, I will be spending some time sanding them to the final shape. I suspect that is going to take a week or two since there are quite a few parts.

Then I will be doing some initial assembly in order to determine the shapes of the plywood gussets that overlap the joints as well some floor timbers for three of the frames. The floor timbers will be used to support the floor at the back end of the boat. All of these plywood parts will need to be laid out, cut out, and also sanded to final shape. So as you can see, there is quite a bit of this type of work still to be done.

I've added one new picture to the gallery showing me cutting a part out.

So on to sanding.

Monday, September 3, 2012

More Frame Parts

Just a short entry. I was able to complete laying out and cutting out of another 7 parts. I probably could have gotten more done but the heat here in Austin is pretty high and after several hours in the garage, it gets to the point where you need to take a break.

So here is a picture showing some of the new parts. Not shown is the first of the top crown pieces. These form the shape of the deck forward of the cabin.

All of these parts still need to be sanded

That's all for now.



Small update 9/4/2012 Cut out the parts I laid out yesterday. and lay them on the floor for a photo . Most still need to be sanded to final shape. Still have another 16 parts in this first batch of wood plus a bunch of plywood parts to connect the parts together..



Update 6/10/2015: I've decided to add a small tidbit about the patterns. Because of paper shrinkage, they are a bit smaller than the measured dimensions in the plans. I learned this in October of 2012 (see "Bit Of A Setback To Deal With" in sidebar). I resorted to laying out the measured dimensions on a large layout board and then using that to aid in getting the frame parts correct. Rather than repeat all of that here, it is suggested that you read that posting and subsequent posting to see what I did.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lessons Applied

Last post, I mentioned how lightning was a factor and something that needed to be addressed. My garage now has some new fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling. It was a bit of a chore because my garage is short on electrical outlets. I decided to replace the overhead light with an electrical outlet which I then plugged the lights into. But the original electrical box that held the light wiring was too small for the outlet so I first had to pull that out and then replace it with a proper outlet box.