Beginners Guide Chapter 2

Chapter 2 From the Drawing Board to Reality

Here?s where the fun begins!

Having drawn out the hull shape the next step is to prepare the drawings for actually building the boat.

An allowance has to be made for the thickness of the hull material so that the finished boat is only as big as the drawings. In my case I offset the sections in 3mm (about 1/8? for the metrically challenged!), making each section that much smaller. By the time I strip plank the hull with 3.2mm balsa, sand it a bit, then glass & fair it, the hull turns out the same size as the linesplan.

I also make an allowance for the deck edge detail and slot each frame so that it all goes together kinda like one of those wooden dinosaurs skeletons you get for your kids.

The strongback

Because in this case I?m building a plug and not an actual boat, I don?t have to worry so much about weight, but there are other concerns. When the plug is used to make the female mould, a fair amount of compressive force is applied to the plug so I tend to build it a fair bit stronger than would otherwise be necessary. I make the frame spacing a little closer, run a full depth center girder down the middle and use a good, heavy strongback to attach everything to.

The strongback is made from 12mm ply (see photo above). Using a docking saw, I slot the ply about 5mm deep at the same spacing as the frames, as well as a longitudinal slot on the centreline. Because the kerf is almost exactly 3mm wide the frames (made from 3mm MDF) slide straight in allowing perfectly square set up. When these are glued into position the whole assembly is very neat and rigid and will not flex or bend.

Did someone say dinosaur?

Next step is the actual planking. I use planks that are a constant width. Its quick and easy. Another way is to measure the girth at each section and divide that up by the number of planks you plan to use. For example, If the girth at station five is 200mm and the girth at station 1 is only 100mm, and you plan to use ten planks then the plank needs to taper from 10mm wide where it hits station one to 20mm wide where it hits station 5. Geddit? Tapering each individual plank so that is wider in the middle (where the hull is fattest) and narrower at the ends means you end up with the same number of planks at each frame rather than having them run off into the keel line. I found this way pretty tedious and since I?m only building a plug here just stick with straight planks with tapered ends where they meet the centerline. It?s a slow and gluey process but there is a certain delight in seeing your baby take shape in the real world for the first time.

Gluing the planks

After a good sanding to eliminate any bumps caused by planks misaligning (okay, the secrets out, I?m no carpenter) the hull is ready to be glassed and faired. A story for next time??

Finished plug ready for glass

Please post any comments and suggestions??.


19 out of 7 people have trouble with statistics

Troy -

just an F.Y.I. ---- images aren’t showing up on the forum ! (at least for me)

Thanks Dick.
They seem to be fine here. I haven’t been able to attach pictures lately for some reason so put them in the article. Any advice?



19 out of 7 people have trouble with statistics

Troy -

based on the “properties” of the missing photos, it looks like you are trying to use a URL - but photos are stored on your “C” Drive.

If you use the “Image” icon available when posting/replying, you need to use a URL, and it has to be on a web server somewhere on the internet. If the photos you want to show are on your “C” Drive (which it looks like they are) then you need to use the “Insert a File” button (with paperclip on it) directly below the post you are making. This allows the system viewer to see it as a download.

If you want all of your photos to be visible withOUT download, save then to your Photo Album on this web site and then use their (URL) address from the album to insert as the image URL.

Probably not very clear.

First go to resources and see if Chad has provided you with a photo album. If he has, upload your photos to the album. Then go to the photo and copy/use the photo album URL to insert between the “[ IMG ]” code. Check the FAQ provided as it gives an example.

Main thing is “WHERE” your photo is stored… if on your "C Drive, you will have to use download.
If on this web site (or any other web site) you can use the URL of it’s lcoation.

Hope this helps!

How do you get Chad to set you up an album?

Go to the “MEMBERS” section of the forum, find his name and click on it. You will have a choice to send him email or private message (PM)

I am not sure if any of the moderators can set up an album for you on his behalf.

Once set up - select “RESOURCES” at top of forum. Then select “PHOTO ALBUM” and enter your name (STEVE) and you will be presented with space for posting photos. Rather limited, and be careful of file size of photos.


PS - Chad can be slow to respond.

Sorry guys

I cant get the pics to appear in the original post (Im a spaz sometimes!)
So for those interested the pics are below


Download Attachment: fullhull.jpg

Download Attachment: Jig.jpg

Download Attachment: planks.jpg

Download Attachment: strngbak.jpg

19 out of 7 people have trouble with statistics