Grapeview Point Boat Works

81 E Grapeview Point Rd + Allyn, WA 98524 + 360-277-9015 +

Building a Glued Lapstrake Rangeley Lake Boat

Page 10: Various Wood Bits

The floors
The floors support the floorboards

The floors provide significant support to the flat bottom of this hull. The curved sides are inherently stiff, but not so the bottom. The floors nearest the ends have too much curvature to bend cold, so we laminated them in place.

The floorboards are made of Port Orford cedar, which is the best west coast boatbuilding cedar. It is quite durable (rot-resistant), and very stiff for its weight. It isn't readily available, but we use it when we can find a source. It is just the right stuff for lightweight floorboards that will be left bare. In time, they will grey nicely, and make a nice contrast to the bright interior.

The floorboards in place
The floorboards in place

The floorboards will lift out in two sections for easy cleaning. The floorboards are quite thin and are widely spaced as in a canoe, to minimize weight.

The same photo shows the thwart risers. The thwarts will be screwed to these, and will be removable for maintenance. The risers also help to stiffen the hull.

The gunwales are installed
The gunwales are installed

The gunwales are quite wide on this boat, bending them in place was a bit of a struggle. We made them only slightly smaller than shown on the plans since we want plenty of strength along the sheer. We need to be able to tip the hull on its side to dump out water without worrying.

The thwarts are milled to thickness (11/16") from 5/4 stock. They say that 50% of the wood purchased ends up as scrap, chips, and sawdust. Judging from the shop floor, that's about right. We wanted to buy 4/4 stock, but they were out of stock, and the 5/4 was nice wood. At least we can heat the shop with the chips.

The thwarts are fitted
The thwarts are fitted

Fitting the thwarts is fun. Sometimes the ends are cut square, but we think they look best when snugly fitted to the planking. It's good practice for beveling end grain. The photo shows one of the thwarts with the edge beveled throughout most of its length. This is one of those nice details that makes the boat a little more refined.

The thwarts on the Rangeley are quite low, like Rushton's boats and Adirondack guideboats. A general guideline is that thwarts are 10" above the floorboards, and the oarlocks sockets are 7" above the thwarts. On these boats there isn't that much height available, so the oarlock height is 7" (thanks to the oarlock pads) for good rowing and the thwarts are about 5" high.

Oarlock pad
Oarlock pad for mounting the oarlock

In order to improve the boat’s appearance, we reduced the oarlock pad thickness by 3/8" and the sheer was brought up a corresponding amount to keep the geometry correct. The top of the oarlock pads are also shaped slightly concave, and the oarlock sockets are mortised into the tops, both of which are a bit more work, but add up to make the boat look "just right".

In the same photo you can see the starboard inwale has been fitted (but not glued yet), and the port side has the inwale spacer blocks installed. The spaced inwale is a bit more complex, but it adds a lot of strength, and the look is reminiscent of a traditionally framed boat. The inwale will be glued, and then screwed through the spacer block, the planking, and into the gunwale.

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