Sunday 7 September 2014


With the transom on, there's nothing for it but to get stuck in to installing the stringers. I'm trying hard to catch up to John Florance's Navigator build. It's hard work, as he's already up to the second course of planking. To give myself a bit of an unfair advantage I've enlisted the help of my mate George, who I used to go sailing with on his Tasman 26, and who's flown all the way across the country to help out.

Here he is scarfing stringers while I supervise. Using him as slave labour like this is only reasonable. I mean he's the one who gave me the whole sailing bug anyway. I suggested today that he should sail his boat around next time so we could duck out to the Abrolhos islands. I think that's only fair.

Indeed George was doing such a fine job, I figured I might as well spread my sleeping bag out on the cockpit floor and have a nap. It's very comfortable there, and my boat doesn't snore at all!

We started by roughing out cockpit seat tops from 6mm ply, which hold the rear four bulkheads nice and securely. Then we started at bulkhead 8 and cut a notch in each bulkhead for the lower stringer. We did this using the tenon saw, and then knocking out the ply from the middle using a 19mm chisel, with the bulkhead supported by a length of pine clamped to it to prevent splitting.

By doing one bulkhead at a time and test fitting with a piece of timber, we were able to ensure the angle of each notch is right for the path of the stringer, with no huge gaps.

Once we were happy with the notches in the rear four on both sides, we glued the stringer in and clamped it overnight, before finessing the notches in the bow. This was mainly because we don't have enough clamps to do two stringers full length. Here's the aft port side all glued up and clamped.

Then we worked the notches in the bow to get nice fair curves in both stringers, and finally notched them into the stem. The goal for each notch is to bury the stringer deep enough that a couple of wipes with the plane on both the stringer and bulkhead will five us a decent gluing surface for the planks.

The view from forward shows things are nicely symmetrical. There's quite a bit of bracing to ensure the stringers don't pull the bulkheads out of true, especially towards the bow where the bends are more interesting.

From aft, you can see the rather interesting collection of clamps to pull the stringers in while holding everything true. I'm thinking fewer clamps will be needed as we move up, because the prior lot of stringers will hold the boat true for us.

1 comment:

John's Big Cancer Adventure said...

Hey! No fair getting help! I'm working solo here. :)

AND to boot, George looks like he knows what he's doing! Been around a boat or two, has he? Even has one of those salty mariner beards.

Suzy...the build is looking awesome. You're so much more precise and clean in your work. My project is a hot mess right now. I have 3 rows of planking done and am putting the gunwales in, while trying to reinforce everything with 'poxy and fillets.