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Boat Building Techniques


Information about boat building techniques

Fixing a Popped Seam

It will happen that as you are building a strip-planked boat, one of your seams will pop open. If you are using staples, you may be able to add glue, squeeze it closed and shoot another staple into it, but if you are trying to avoid staples, you might need to seek other solutions.

Stripping the Bottom Part Two

In part one of stripping the bottom I did not need to worry about the length of the strip much, I just left them over long then trimmed them back when they were in place.

Stitch and Glue Night Heron Class Video

Another 7 Night Herons have been built at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. This time-lapse video shows the progress over 5.5 days, starting with a raw pile of CNC-cut parts from Chesapeake Light Craft, and completing with an assembled 18' long kayak.

Trimming the Keel Line

In the previous step I stripped up one side, letting the ends of the strips overhang the center or keel line. In this video I am trimming off those ends so the keel line is straight and true.

Stripping the Bottom Part One

In this video I am stripping up the bottom. I am doing a "straight" stripping pattern where I strip up one side completely without stripping the other side. I then come back and trim the strips to follow the centerline.

Continuing Stripping the Kayak

In this video I am continuing with the stripping on the side of the kayak. Because of the fairly plumb bow and stern of the microBootlegger design, these strips run straight of the ends. This makes the stripping fairly straight-forward as there is no shaping involved beyond the rolling bevel.

Setting Up Forms

Here I show using an aluminum strongback and spacers to quickly and accurately set up forms. This same technique would work with a plywood box beam. The aluminum is more rigid, but the plywood will work as well.

My newer book "Building Strip Planked Boats" includes a description of the spacer method of setting up forms on an internal strongback.

Ripping and Sorting Strips

The 2" strips were too wide for the kayak I am building so I ripped them in thirds. I will be "book matching" the strips on the boat, so I am keeping the strips in the order they came off the plank. As I rip the strips into thirds I sort each third into groups of corresponding thirds from all the other strips.

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