Ways to Give

Inside IYRS Blog

Learn what it’s like to spend a day in the life of a student.

Apr 9

Written by: Tom
4/9/2012 9:04 PM 

For instance, that large support that spans the transom on the Watch Hill 15 has been fit and fastened in.

And last week, you may recall that the forward bulkhead supports were going in. This past week, the aft supports have gone in.

Two students are teaming up on fitting the sole bearers for this boat. One is doing a lot of the bench work,

while the other is working on fine tuning these parts in the boat.

Oh, and those mahogany parts that looked like bulkhead slats from last week?
Bulkhead slats.

Up along the overhead walkway, the team is getting set up for building the mast.

The wooden braces are set up to be level and flat, so that they can be used as a reference surface for glueing up the mast staves. Below the braces is a full-scale drawing of the mast.

The crew will use this drawing to guide them in laying out any mast curve onto the braces.

Back on the shop floor, the lobster boat is completely planked now!

Most of the crew is working on fairing the hull these days.

A few of the guys are up top setting up a jig to cut the half beams to length.

The long batten attached to the side deck will act as a guide for the circular saw. The guide provides a smooth fair line for the circular saw, so as it runs down along the half beams, the cuts will also be in a fair line. When the carlin is attached to the cut faces of these half beams, it should make a sweet, fair curve.

The sailing dinghy is getting her thwart knees now.

These parts get all kinds of fitting. They must sit flat on the thwarts, as well as notch into the inside faces of the lapped planking.

Not only that, but they also have notches for the inwales.

Last week, I called them gunwales. Wrong. The gunwales are OUTSIDE of the sheer plank, and the inwales are, well, inside. That's what you get for only building boats with sheer clamps (the bigger boat version of an inwale) and molded sheer strakes (this builds in the extra width and decoration of the gunwale).

These parts have all been steam bent, rather than laminated. There are also bent knees at the transom.

There are still a few more knees to be bent.

It might look like this is an awful lot of bend to subject these parts to. This is fairly thick oak after all.
Well, it is a lot to ask of this wood.

Here are a few of the failures. They really give an idea about how brutal the forces being applied to this wood are.

The Beetle cats are moving right along. This student has completed his deck beams and has fitted the mast partner and yoke together. T

he partner is the big oak part right at the bow of the boat, and the yoke is the thicker grey deck beam just aft of it. He is in the process of lining up the mast hole in the partner with the mortise in the mast step that will accept the tenon protruding from the base of the mast.

There's a lot of shape to the mast step, and it's handy to know how to use a rasp to get nice, smooth curves in this part.

This whole area of the boat has to be especially beefy since all of the load of the mast is concentrated here. So, up top, there is a thick oak mast partner held by a thick yoke, and down below there is a thick oak mast step supported by an oak floor.

This student is shaping that floor.

After the deck supports are done, it's time to add in some bracing. These parts will both stiffen up the boat and provide support for the cockpit coaming that will come in later.

You can never ever have too many clamps when building a boat.

And if you're done with those braces, you can start installing the sole bearers.

One of the great things about this stage of building is that there are a lot of relatively small tasks to do. Each presents it's own challenges, but this really keeps boredom at bay. That's a great relief after so much time spent planking.


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