Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Boat Parts

After evaluating my lumber needs and doing a bit of shuffling around I realized I had enough plywood to make the stem, breasthook, and transom knees.

So what are these, you ask? The stem is the backbone that connects to the keel and forms the bow. It's probably the most distinctive part of the boat and a part that that someone with no knowledge of boats would probably say "That's a boat part". This part is made from three identical pieces cut from 3/4" plywood and then laminated and screwed together.

Here are the parts after cutting out. I still have to do all the sanding to get them to final shape, and of course there will be assembly. But assembly will occur when the frames are assembled, probably sometime next month (February).

The breasthook, is a triangular part made from two pieces of 3/4" plywood, also laminated together. It serves as the top forward portion of the bow and provides a means of connecting the sheers to the stem. I don't have a photo of this yet but if you look at the picture above and visualize it standing on end (thus forming the bow), the breasthook attaches to one end perpendicular to the stem forming a sort of "T" shape. Then attaching to the edges of the triangle are the sheers which are the top edges that run the length of the boat back to the stern. I will try to post some better pictures soon showing this in detail.

Finally there is the transom knee. Also, made from three laminated pieces of 3/4" plywood, this is an "L" shaped part that provides a connection between the keel and the aft bulkhead (transom). The transom takes a lot of stress from the motor and the knee is one of several parts that make up the structure of the transom and aft end of the boat. Again, I will try and find some decent pictures of this to post as well .

All of these parts were laid out on the same sheet of plywood and then cut out with a jig saw. I laid these out using the technique I described in the last blog entry. Namely, tracing the parts onto tracing paper from full size patterns and then transferring the shapes to the plywood using carbon paper taped to the tracing paper. All will have to be sanded to final shape.

The knees will actually not be cut out until later. This is because they are cut to a certain angle (12-14 degrees). This angle is dependent upon the requirements for mounting the motor to the transom. The angle is also dependent upon the final angle of the installed transom.

When installing the transom, I will strive to get it mounted to the correct angle, but to insure that the knee fits exactly to it and the keel, I will wait until then to cut out the knees. This way I can make any corrections in the knee angle before I cut it out.

There are additional photos in the construction photo gallery.

I imagine the average person will look at these photos and simply see some shapes made from various pieces of wood. That is perfectly understandable since they most likely don't have the same level of interest in my boat as I do!

But because I am intimately involved with this construction, I am already at the point where I can see the actual boat taking shape. It's pretty cool actually and gives me no end of satisfaction. I hope that maybe someone reading this blog will be moved to try out this hobby. Glen L Marine has a wonderful selection of boats for the amateur boat builder, everything from small rowboats to 49 foot long trawlers and sailboats.

So until next time, take care...............

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back To Work

So after nearly four long months of waiting, I am ready to start back up on the boat. While I knew there would be a waiting period back in August of last year when I started the boat, I did not expect it to be completely void of activity. However, things being what they were, that's the way it turned out.

But now, the funds will be available in a week or two at the most so I can start planing on the next steps in the process. When activity ceased in October, the plan was to save up enough to purchase the epoxy glue and assemble the frames parts I had already created. Because it is still fairly cold here and I don't expect that to change for at least another month, I have decided to complete making the other frame parts instead.

That means frames 1 , 2 and the transom. Today, I had a bit of time so I started developing a layout plan for these parts so that I can determine how much wood to purchase. The wood will be the same as used for the other frame parts, 1 inch African Mahogany, which is a final planed thickness of 3/4 inches.

The transom frame is a bit tricky to determine actual size because that frame will be mounted at a 12 degree angle in relation to the boat.That means that the bottom edge of the frame will be beveled . The plans give the dimensions to the outside of the transom. Since the transom is angled backwards on the boat, that means the inner face of the frame will actually be slightly bigger than the outer face (because of the bevel mentioned previously)

Here is a crude drawing illustrating what I am talking about.:

I tackled the layout pattern in a fairly simple manner. The plans show the shapes of the frame parts in a 1 inch equals 1 foot scale. I simply traced the frame parts and then using a architects scale, I drew a 10 foot board in the same scale on a piece of paper. I then cut out the frame parts and arranged them on the scaled board so they would all fit. I plan on buying boards 11 to 12 inches wide.

For purposes of determining the layout pattern for the transom, it was only necessary to estimate the extra material needed to allow for the inner face and draw that part slightly larger on the edge where the extra wood is needed.

So this isn't a lot of work accomplished but it is a necessary step in order to purchase the correct size and amount of lumber. Others may use a different means of establishing this criteria, but this is what I used. I am certainly open to other suggestions if someone wants to comment on that.

This coming week I will be contacting a local lumber yard and making the purchase. Once I have the lumber in hand, I can start the process of making these final frame parts. So until next time.........

Update 1/20/2013

Had a little time today so I laid out and cut out the two side pieces for the transom. That was all I had enough lumber for until I purchase the next batch in the next week or so. These are the first new pieces I have made using my revised technique developed when I ran into the snag with undersized parts back in September 2012.

So I thought I would provide a brief description of the technique I used. Basically, using the dimensions from the plans, I laid out the keel, chine , and sheer points for this frame (Frame 0) on my white assembly board. Then I took tracing paper and taped it together so it was long enough to lay over the chine and sheer points on the layout board. I had previously laid out a line designating the inner edge of the frame part when making previous frames.

I marked these two points and the inner edge on the tracing paper. Next I laid the tracing paper over the full size pattern, lining up the chine and sheer points . From there I traced the curve of the outer edge and the two end edges. I now had a traced version of the frame parts. The inner edge of the parts are a straight line.

Next I taped carbon paper to the tracing paper, face up across the curved edge and the two ends. Then the tracing paper was placed , carbon side down on the wood lining up the straight inner edge with the straight edge of the lumber. Finally, I ran a pencil over the curved edge line as well as the two ends which transferred the lines to the wood.

Here is a picture showing the tracing pattern on the wood.

After that it was a simple matter to cut out the parts. This method is far more accurate than trying to lay the patterns over the wood and use sighting holes (my previous approach) and only relies upon the pattern for the curves. 

Anyway, it felt good to get back to work on the boat. I will have to sand these two parts to shape and then wait until I get my next batch of lumber before I can finish the other frame parts. That should be by next week sometime.