wood boat construction

Does anyone have any detailed information on the best methods for planking a wood hull for an RC sailboat? I am mostly interested in an IOM (one meter) but anything will do. I was given these titles, but I can’t locate any of them.





If anyone can help find any of these I would appreciate it very much if they would let me know!!



I think the US One Meter Class has a guide that will help; you might find it andmore info at amya.org
Chris Jacksons new book "Radio Controlled Racing Sailboats has a chapter(5) called:“Timber Planked Hulls” that will help.USA e-mail:usa@traplet.com phone:1-800-695-0208

Doug Lord
High Technology Sailing/Racing

The AMYA magazine has had many articles over the past 30 years if you can’t find enough I can copy and mail you the best one.

I know this isn’t wood planking, but it’s a good page if you plan to mould in the future. Moulding is lighter.


Molding is not really that much (if any) lighter than a properly built wood boat.

For the articles:
Marine Modeling Mag and plans -Check traplet.com

Amazon is always a good place to find books, you can often order out of print books. I have had excellent results with this service. Also check Ebay, I have found a ton of out of print books cheap.

Otherwise : http://www.swcp.com/usvmyg/ripmake/ripmake.htm


Molded boats are significantly lighter and stronger than planked hulls (its why you don’t see very many contemporary racing boats made out of wood). Particularly in the IOM class unless you can build very light and straight you will be at a disadvantage with a wood hull. If you are starting out and you’ve never built a planked boat before, it might make some sense to try a non-racing project first before you try to build an IOM. If you are a begining builder and you want to race competitively you should very much start out with a prebuilt, molded hull. There are many suppliers out there and if for you part of the pleasure of r/c boating is the building, just putting together a kit racing boat will be a rewarding challenge.

I have been building and designing i meter sailboat for over the past 7 yrs. and have always used blasa to plank the hull. then fibreglass. but what ppl have been saying is true, if you want to compete with the best you need to make a mold and then you can get a very lite weight hull . I will be making a mold of my new design but realize the cost just went up 500% for materials. just a little note. the first boat i did yrs ago is still in the water are runing faster, building out of balsa allows for modification (surgery ) on the hull much easier good luck and if you want blueprint check out triple crown. you can find the drawing on the web. good luck

Also it is true that you don?t find many wooden hulls in the first class rankings, I would like to remember that Mario Jorini won the italian campionship 2003 (M class) with his cedar planked “Monarch”!

In my opinion most skippers prefer, at least in the IOM class, fiber glass hulls because of the simpler maintenance and because you can simply by them.

So, eewhite4, I think you should start to plank a hull, may be with Bantock?s “Nimbus MK2”. The plan is excellent and with many building informations. And you will compeet a lot and for a long time at club levels and presumably very much higher!

Balsa planked hull can be as light, and strong as a fiberglass molded one, especially in the IOM class where you have a hull weight limit (G. Bantock in his KITE plans suggest using timber (cedar) instead of balsa)?. And lots of people are building balsa hulls, and sail them.
If you want to learn how to plank a hull, read the USOM construction guide (http://www.amya.org/us1mcons.html), on the same site they have links for other one-meter plans too. It?s U.S. one meter oriented but all the building techniques can be applied to other classes too.
If you want to get real technical, I suggest the U.S. Vintage Model Yacht club (http://www.swcp.com/usvmyg/), especially the ?trials and tribulation? page (http://www.swcp.com/usvmyg/ripmake/ripmake.htm), its about a vintage Marblehead but extremely helpful. On the vintage group msn page (http://groups.msn.com/VintageModelYachts/_homepage.msnw?pgmarket=en-us) some time ago somebody posted an article on planking using a proportional divider, that can be helpful too.
One last advice some balsa suppliers on Internet are selling balsa planks 42 inches long (you can find the addresses in the AMYA web-page) and buy a stripper too, makes the job easier.

e white
planking is not that difficult. use the amya manual. and you realy cant go wrong, i have both styles of IOM one balsa planked and the other molded firbeglass. both boat are competetive. and if this is your first boat. i am sorry to say this, but you will not be first. so learn from your first boat. the people ahead of you.(and me) started the same place. sailing a slow boat but sailing it fast, that way when you do get a faster hull . you will not be making those huge mistakes. and you do not have to spend a huge amount of money. I built my IOm on a budget of $30 . that was the hull . fin and bulb and fibreglass, the hull i bought was over $500. and they both do the same thing