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What Are The Different Techniques For Building Boats Out Of Wood?

There are basically four construction techniques when building wood boats; strip planking, lapstrake planking, carvel planking, and plywood construction. Sometimes a combination will be applied for customized built wooden boats.

Let’s begin with the most undesirable of all construction techniques; plywood. Typically speaking plywood is limited to the deck, joinery and very small wood boats for the beginner wood boat builder. That’s not to say that a boat can not be constructed from marine plywood, some older wooden boats, normally v hulls, had been often plywood planked over a sturdy framework of sawn frames and longitudinal stringers. When they’ve been covered in fiberglass cloth and set with resin they could remain seaworthy for a lot of years, with a lot care. Modern plywood construction almost always incorporates epoxy. If hull planking is laminated from two or more levels of thinner plywood, the outcome virtually mirrors cold-molded construction. Plywood’s major limitation is its incapacity to bend in two directions at once, and some wood boat plans have adopted a radius chine to overcome the disadvantages of a chine hull form. Plywood is being more and more utilized as a planking material for lapstrake hulls bonded with epoxy.

Strip planking now brings together traditional techniques with more contemporary developments. Traditional strip planking for small wooden boats is very much like carvel planking, in that the backbone, setup and construction technique are the same. Additionally the planking is connected backbone and body in much the same method. The more contemporary strip planking has more characteristics of cold mold planking. Newer wood boats with strip-planked hulls are normally glued with epoxy, and may be constructed without having frames, with glass cloth or other reinforcing (set in epoxy) providing the required strength. Backbones are almost always laminated, employing an internal and outer stem that simplifies both setting up and planking.

To determine the form of the carvel plank hull, a ribcage of sorts is added to the backbone. This is done first with molds, which could be thought of as temporary bulkheads spaced every couple of feet for the entire duration of the boat. At this time once the form has been set up, ribbands, or longitudinal stringers, are fastened over the molds. The molds and ribbands collectively form the framework over which a carvel wooden boat hull is constructed.

Lapstrake hulls generally use a backbone equivalent to a carvel wood planked boat. Planks are lapped over one another and fastened at each lap, giving an even and unfinished hull with considerable strength. This allows lapstrake hulls to be framed after they have been planked, as opposed to before, meaning that ribbands can be dispensed with when setting up. Molds are erected on the backbone as with carvel planking, but these are generally more broadly spaced. Because there are less molds, the form of the boat will largely be established by the flexibility of the wood.

Hagadone Marine can help you decide on a good wooden boat in Spokane, regardless of the construction. It is ideal whenever you happen to be getting a wooden boat, to have it surveyed or to buy it from a respected wood boat dealer.

For more information about owning a boat built from wood, contact our Sales Center @ 866.525.3232 or via email pauln@hagadonemarine.com. For restoration services contact the Resort Boat Shop @ 208-667-5099 or via email eobrien@hagadonemarine.com. You can also visit us on the web @ www(dot)hagadonemarine(dot)com

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