Planking complete on the Tirrik

The sheerstrakes are on, and the outer stems are fitted, but not yet glued. Tomorrow I will start in on the skeg and keel. Here are a few photos showing the progress of the planking.


Once these boats have their garboards on, planking goes quickly. On all but the smallest boats the planking needs to be scarfed to make up the strakes. On the first few boats I scarfed whole sheets of plywood, which gets it all over with at one go, but doesn’t make the best use of materials, since the planks can’t be “dog-legged” after they are scarfed. Scarfing whole sheets also means that you are wasting effort scarfing sections of the plywood panels that end up getting sawn off as the strakes are shaped.

I much prefer to scarf the strakes on the boat. This means I don’t have to work with 17′ floppy strakes, which is far easier. The process is a bit lengthy to describe (and tedious to read) without a bunch of photos, but I’ll give an overview here, and explain the whole workings on the next build.

After lining off the strakes on the mold, I make full-length patterns of the strakes from doorskin. While the pattern is on the mold, I decide where the scarfs should be, and cut the pattern at these locations. I now have a pattern for the aft, mid, and fwd sections of each strake.
These patterns are used to shape the planks, after adding the approximate length required to make the scarf. Before cutting the scarfs the strakes are screwed to the mold and the exact cut line for the scarf is marked. The scarfs are cut on the bench, and the planks are then glued and screwed in position. Screwing the planks in place uses the same holes as when the parts were previously fitted, so everything still fits. The scarf joints are sandwiched between pieces of plywood that are as wide as the scarf joint, and a few screws and clamps hold the joint closed while the epoxy cures. Piece of cake.

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