just finished planking my first hull (35cm Racing Sparrow as a small practice boat for planking) and just want to check one thing before attempting a larger hull.

On some of the planks with the more extreme angles towards the finish, I needed to sand the planks into a sort of triangular arrow-head shape to fit between the adjacent planks to get a smooth finish.

Is this acceptable, or have I done something incorrect? I’m not sure whether it’s just an issue of how small the boat is so the angles are so tight versus the relatively large width of the plank?

Any clarity is greatly appreciated.

Nope, you haven’t done anything wrong. Sometimes the planks need to be cut like that, depending on how you decide to run the planks and the shape of the hull. I can’t find the web page that showed various planking formats, but with a little fore-thought, you can minimize all those long tapered cuts. But they will always be some.


I’ve been looking at photo’s of planking in progress and already spotted somethings I can improve on. I’ll try searching for that site ( I did try though before posting, promise )

I searched also, even in my browser history, and I can’t find that web page I saw a while ago. Odd.

There are several photo sequences of planking at On the "A Boat Build’ page and “Schooner Build” page.


Thanks :slight_smile:

I built a sparrow to 65cm size for RG65… and I had the same experience.
Having to sand the planks like you describe is just how things end up with that kind of hull shape because of how the planks twist around the hull. It’s not as bad on a bigger boat as it is on a smaller one.

There are ways you could shape the planks to aviod the twisting that forces you to sand the planks that way, but I really think it’s not worth doing that – I just use slightly thicker planking where that kind of twisting will happen and then I happily go ahead and sand it into shape. My first r/c sailboat build was a 36" Soling built that way and it’s still doing fine after over 30 years. I wouldn’t worry about it.