Boat Building 

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by Hinman R. Root
A simple steaming rig that will be very helfpul for all builders.
$3.50
Understanding manufacturing materials for small boat fastenings is important.
$3.50
Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings.
$3.50
After assembling the stem, frames and transom of a small boat, setting up is a problem.
$3.50
The basic principles and some good ideas.
$3.50
Like any other good boatbuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage.
$3.50
For boatbuilding, don't think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It's not difficult and it pays off.
$3.50
Boatbuilding pros know how to keep gremlins at a safe distance and here are some of the ways they do it.
$3.50
A useful reference for building in plywood.
$3.50
A useful v-bottom plywood boat.
$3.50
If you want your boat to be a success, take just as much care in the setting up of roms as you do with the hull.
$3.50
by Charles G. MacGregor
Only resin-bonded plywood should be used for boat building.
$3.50
by Clarence E. Werback
Understanding stresses and curvatures of plywood in boat building.
$3.50
by Clarence E. Werback
Understanding stresses and curvatures of plywood in boat building.
$3.50
by Robert M. Steward
The hollow fin keel construction described here was designed for ease of building, lightness and strength.
$3.50
Simple Steam Box for Amateur Builders (Pub. No. 7706)
Hinman R. Root/ A simple steaming rig that will be very helfpul for all builders.

by Hinman R. Root, et.al.

Here are several descriptions for building simple steaming rigs that may turn out to be as helpful to others as it has been to us. No doubt there are many amateur boat builders who have found themselves in the same fix that we were—all set to build a boat, with completed plans and all tools and materials necessary for the whole job,.except the apparatus for steaming. Necessity mothered our invention, and limited resources kept it simple. The result was a practical steaming rig consisting of merely a one gallon can, a pipe coil and a steam box, and it has demonstrated its ability to take the “tuck” out of the stiffest lumber in thirty or forty-five minutes. It can be made, as it was in our case, out of odds and ends from an average workshop. There are also several tips, hints and good practices for the steam bending of ribs and other items.

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Planking Fastenings and How to Choose Them (Pub. No. 7707)
/ Understanding manufacturing materials for small boat fastenings is important.

The materials from which small boat fastenings are manufactured are an important item of construction. Generally, the most discussed metals are copper alloys and galvanized iron. The latter has an excellent record, proven by many vessels put together with good iron years ago and still going strong, and probably will continue to do so, but it seems elementary to select a homogeneous corrosion resistant metal that can be hammered, drilled, threaded or worked in any way without destroying any of its noncorrosive properties. In other words, the entire metal should have the same resistance to corrosion as the surface. One of the most argument-provoking questions is that of planking fastenings, but it can be safely stated that flat head wood screws are almost universally accepted as the best method, although copper rivets are still the most satisfactory and long-lived fastening for very lightly built boats such as racing dinghies, which have frames unsuited for screws. When one-half inch, and thicker planking is called for, screws are widely used, and undoubtedly will also be used on the lighter waterproof plywood construction now becoming increasingly popular.

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Reading Boat Blueprints (Pub. No. 7828)
/ Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings.

Before starting to build any boat, you must understand the meaning of the drawings or blueprints. These always give the design of the boat as seen from three different viewpoints. The profile drawing, or elevation, shows the boat viewed from the side; the plan is a view from the top or bottom, and the body plan shows how the boat looks when viewed directly from either end. The body plan contains the station lines, which are cross sections at various points. The builder should never attempt to scale the line drawings because the table of offsets gives the measurements at each station, taken horizontally from the center line and vertically from the base line. The spacing of the stations and other measurements that cannot be given in the table of offsets are shown on the plan and profile drawings. All measurements are given to the outside of the planking, and it is only after the complete set of lines has been reproduced full size that accurate measurements of the frames to the inside of the planking can be determined.

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Setting Up The Frame of a Small Boat (Pub. No. 7829)
/ After assembling the stem, frames and transom of a small boat, setting up is a problem.

After the stem, frames and transom of a small boat have been assembled, the problem comes of setting these parts up and bracing them. In general there are four ways of doing this. The boat may be set up right side up or upside down, and with or without use of a keel form. Boats under 20 feet in length are usually more easily built upside down. The use of a keel form will assure the correct curve to the keel line. Notches are cut in the keel where the frames will rest, and uprights are fastened to it at each station, next to the frame notch.

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Planking the Small boat (Pub. No. 7915)
/ The basic principles and some good ideas.

Years back a boat’s keel was considered the most important part of its construction, but today’s application of engineering to boat design arranges the planking to form a sort of fore and aft girder, using it not only to keep water out but also as the most important strength member. This makes it necessary to use the type of planking specified in the plans of any boat you may be contemplating building. For instance, if the designer specified batten seam construction, indicating thin strips to be let in frames behind the seams, he figured the additional strength and help from the battens to keep the seams tight would permit frames being kept twice as far apart as if ordinary planking were used. If you leave out the battens and plank the usual way the absence of enough backing frames will result in a leaky boat. Much of the popularity of the common flat-bottomed skiff results from the ease with which it can be planked, particularly on the bottom. Here planks are run athwartship, or across, and being on the heavy side, and usually in short lengths, necessitate only one keelson, or fore and aft inner strip, to keep them from. working. Still, satisfactorily planking such a boat is not as simple as it sounds. The trouble is not in putting the planks on but in laying them in such a way that subsequent swelling in the water will not cause them to crowd each other so much as to warp and start leaks where they fasten to side planking.

4 page(s)

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Plywood Has Its Place (Pub. No. 7020)
/ Like any other good boatbuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage.

Like any other good boathuilding material, plywood must be understood to use it to the best advantage. For many applications, it’s a boon to the boat builder. To use it intelligently in marine service, take some of the practical tips suggested by the author in this informative article

Every once in a while a new product is introduced upon the market which is such a startling improvement over what is already available that at first it almost seems as if the ultimate had been reached. But even though this new material is highly acclaimed and at first appears to be the answer to many problems and is generally admitted to be an improvement, it isn’t long before you will find one group of users praising the new material to the sky while there will also be those who see nothing good about it and will condemn it to the limit. Plywood is not a new product but since there seems to be a sort of “for-and-against” attitude concerning the use of marine plywood, we are wondering if it has been overrated or if it is unpopular with some because it has been put to uses for which it is not fitted. Because marine plywood has so much to offer the amateur boatbuilder, per. haps it would be worth while to consider some of the various applications to which this material is put to see if it has been used properly as well as to consider some of the current objections regarding it.

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Loft Before You Build (Pub. No. 7024)
/ For boatbuilding, don't think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It's not difficult and it pays off.

If you expect to turn out a professional job of boatbuilding, don’t think you can short-cut by not laying the lines down full size. It’s not difficult, and pays off.

All over this boat-minded land of ours amateur boatbuilders are planning to construct the boat of their choice. While many will purchase their boat in kit form in order to eliminate some of the layout and other preliminary work, a considerable number will obtain plans from competent marine architects or build directly from one of the many excellent “how-to-build” articles. In either case, in one’s eagerness to get at the actual construction of a boat, it is a temptation to skip some of the preliminary work shch as the task of making a full-size layout of the lines from the table of offsets. This is thought of by some as being a tedious, laborious task to be done grudgingly and gotten over with as soon as possible. We have never thought about it in this manner, but have always looked on it as the opening of a door to a new project, the necessary beginning to a new venture.

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Tricks of the Trade for Home Boatbuilders (Pub. No. 7025)
/ Boatbuilding pros know how to keep gremlins at a safe distance and here are some of the ways they do it.

To build a boat at home is a fascinating and rewarding experience, but all too often gremlins creep into the process to threaten both the progress and the fun of building. Boathuilding pros know how to keep these gremlins at a safe distance and here are some of the ways they do it.

First and foremost, construction jig stringers must be level—really level—both fore and aft and athwartship, if the boatbuilding operation is to begin properly. Backyard boatbuilders are likely to skimp on this important part of the operation, either through carelessness or the use of inaccurate levels. Most V-bottom boats are set up on a construction jig which is little more than a pair of joist stringers rigged parallel to each other, level in both directions and marked off with station lines for cross frames and transom. But these stringers must be level, and they must be kept level throughout the operation.

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Tips on Using Plywood (Pub. No. 7026)
/ A useful reference for building in plywood.

Professional boat builders have been looking for a material with all the outstanding advantages of waterproof resinbonded plywood for many years. However, with the successful development of this material, the one who has reaped the greatest benefit has been the amateur builder. Armed with knowledge of this material’s peculiar characteristics and with certain information regarding its application, the amateur builder can turn out small boats in one half the time, with greater strength and permanency, less likelihood of leaks, and better appearance throughout. It should be understood from the outset that not all boats designed for conventional planking can be adapted to plywood without change. Frequently hull lines do conform to the natural curves taken by plywood. This happened to be true of the Rebel Class racing sailboat. (Available as Booklet #5374) If you have selected a conventional design and would avoid trouble, it is recommended that a small model incorporating the frames, keel, chine and sheer line be built and thin wood sheets representing the plywood be bent in place to test the natural curves which will result in the finished hull.

3 page(s)

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Planking a Plywood Hull (Pub. No. 7027)
/ A useful v-bottom plywood boat.

Some good tips on the proper procedures for planking the plywood hulls of small boats.

Most plywood boats are not a true V-bottom, especially near the bow, where the sections are given a curved or rounded form, with the chine line running up very high. This is necessary because a flat piece of plywood cannot be bent two ways without cracking. The boathouse people did not want this type of bottom as all their planked boats were V-bottom boats with flat sections, and with the chine kept reasonably low. It was their opinion that anything but a bottom with flat sections and a lot of deadrise forward would slap and pound. Another point they raised was the fact that most plywood boats do not have any frames and, due to the rough handling their boats get, they would have to be as strong as possible. To accomplish this I built the boat with conventional frames, using oak stem, keel, chines and battens. Port Orford cedar frames were used, joined at chine and keel with 1/4-inch waterproof plywood gussets on each side of frames. These gussets are glued with Wieldwood glue and screwed to frames.

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Build Her on a Sound Foundation (Pub. No. 7030)
/ If you want your boat to be a success, take just as much care in the setting up of roms as you do with the hull.

If you want your boat to be a success, take just as much care in the setting up of forms as you do with the hull construction itself.

Have you ever been a sidewalk superintendent? I mean, have you ever had enough leisure time so that you could stand around and watch the construction of a large building. It’s fun and educational, too. If you have ever witnessed the whole procedure from start to finish, you were probably greatly surprised at the amount of work that went into the project before any of the steel was erected and any building done above the ground level. In fact, before any of the excavation was even started, sample drillings were taken to find out what lay under the surface of the ground to support the building and a lot of calculations were made to determine the size and shape of the footings on which the proposed building would rest. Large buildings must rest on secure foundations or they will go out of shape and, in extreme cases, collapse altogether. Now, although your boat will ultimately have water for a foundation, supporting it uniformly under every square inch of the bottom, it is essential during its construction that the hull be erected on some sort of construction frame which will properly support it and maintain all the component parts in perfect alignment until the hull is completely planked. It is then fairly rigid and self-supporting and if it is then turned over and set in a cradle it will stand by itself without going out of shape. Such a construetion frame must not only be strong enough to support the entire weight of the boat, but must also be rigid enough to withstand the strains set up as the various structural members are forced into position.

4 page(s)

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How To Use Waterproof Plywood in Boat Construction (Pub. No. 7048)
Charles G. MacGregor/Only resin-bonded plywood should be used for boat building.

by Charles G. MacGregor

Only resin bonded plywood should be used for boat building.

There are many other kinds on the market, including the so-called waterproof variety. Insist, however, on resin bonded plywood for marine work, manufactured by the hot press process. If in doubt about the material you are planning to, use, boil a small sample in water for about an hour. The plies or laminations of the resin bonded plywood will not separate. This product is sold under various trade names adopted by the` manufacturers. When possible order plywood in stock panels. They can generally be obtained from your lumber dealer or direct from the manufacturer's distributors or agents. Resin bonded plywood of fir is the least expensive material suitable for boats. It is manufactured on the West Coast of the United States in the region where the giant trees grow, and is shipped to the distributors in all parts of the United States and Canada. Examine each panel very carefully before accepting it. Inspect the outer laminations on each side of the panel, for blemishes, such as transverse joints and graving pieces. Examine the long edges for voids or gaps between joints of the inner lamination. Do not accept any joint showing more than 1/32" in 3-ply.    They seldom exceed this in 5- or 9-ply material. Stand the panels on edge in a dry room, in a rack or against the wall, with short cleats laid on the floor and a few narrow spacers between each two panels so that each will be separated from the other to allow circulation of air. Choose a shop with good light to build your boat, ample circulation of air and a solid, level, dry wood floor. Keep a clear space of at least 2 to 3 feet all around the building form. Be sure the boat can be moved out when completed without tearing the building down. Many amateur builders have overlooked this simple precaution to their sorrow.

4 page(s)

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More About "Developable" Surfaces (Pub. No. 7047)
Clarence E. Werback/Understanding stresses and curvatures of plywood in boat building.

by Clarence E. Werback

During the past two or three years various articles have appeared discussing the methc of designing "developable" surfaces as applied to hull form.
The intent of this discussion is to acquaint those interested in this design principle with further possibilities of its application and procedure. At the outset we should like to say that so far as we know, C. P. Burgess presented the first paper explaining the principle and method of geometrical projection involved in the development of this type of hull lines. We wish also to acknowledge the great amount of research done by Bruce N. Crandall*, who has possibly expanded the possibilities of this design principle more than any other designer and at the moment is giving the Navy Department the benefit his skill. To those not familiar with the principle let it be said in simple terms that the surfaces of the sides and bottom forms of boats designed on the principle, are segments of either cones or cylinders or combinations of both. Surfaces so developed will be free of compound curvature and hull forms will be such as to permit the application of plywood in full lengths without buckling or the necessity of steaming. In the case of steel hulls the plating can be applied cold without furnacing or working. It can seen at once that a tremendous amount of labor is saved on hulls designed around this principle. In the use of plywood there is no dress down, no seams to caulk and no sanding. Priming, and even finish coats of paint, may be applied on both inner and outer surfaces before the plywood is fastened on. Also, since there are certain stresses built up in the plywood skin because of the curvature induced as it is warped around (which should be kept within minimum bending radius set up the plywood manufacturers), frames can be more widely spaced without affecting the overall strength, of the hull structure.

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Developable Surfaces for Plywood Boats (Pub. No. 7051)
Clarence E. Werback/Understanding stresses and curvatures of plywood in boat building.

by Chas. P. Burgess

Laying out a hull so that the true surface of it can be readily determined.

The rapidly growing popularity of plywood and sheet metal for the construction of small boats and yachts makes the problem of designing developable bottom and sides one of timely interest to both professional and amateur yacht designers.    Strangely enough, it appears that very few designers, even among the professionals, know the solution to the problem, and yet it is quite simple, and can provide the amateur with a lot of fun when he knows how the trick is turned. All curved surfaces may be classified as "developable" or "undevelopable." The side of a cylinder is a familiar example of a developable surface, and a sphere an undevelopable one. A sheet of paper may be rolled into any form of developable surface, but it cannot be formed into a sphere or any other undevelopable surface without crinkling or stretching. It is generally supposed that a V-bottom boat with straight lines in all cross-sections is developable; but, a matter of fact, it is not strictly developable unless th angle of deadrise is constant throughout the length, though it may be near enough to true developability to permit forcing plywood into it. A better shape of bottom, and one which is strictly developable, can be designed with slightly convex sections forward, and with the angle of deadrise increasing towards the bow. A widespread and quite erroneous belief is that a developable surface cannot be curved in two direction at right angles to each other, e.g., longitudinally and transversely in a boat.    The fallacy of this belief may be seen at once by imagining two diagonal sections through a cylinder, intersecting one another at right angles. Both of these sections have curved intercepts with the surface of the cylinder. In fact, with the exception of lines parallel to the axis, all lines on the surface of a cylinder are curved; and yet a cylindrical surfae is indubitably developable.

2 page(s)

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Plywood Instead of Deadwood for Keels (Pub. No. 7063)
Robert M. Steward/The hollow fin keel construction described here was designed for ease of building, lightness and strength.

by Robert M. Steward

The hollow fin keel construction illustrated in the accompanying drawing was designed for the prevention of aching backs and blistered hands usually accumulated by amateur boat builders when working solid deadwood into shape. There is another, easier way out, and that is to make the deadwood slab-sided, but why muss up the water with such disregard of naval architects' experience and tank testing? The essentials of the hollow fin keel, which is especially adapted to hull construction of the bent keel type, can be explained briefly. It is made possible by the manufacture of the waterproof plywood. These sheets are made of Douglas fir, or Oregon pine, call it what you will. The outline of the fin is laid down on the mold loft, or living room floor, together with the waterlines through the fin and the outline of the ballast keel. After the ballast keel bolts and other deadwood bolts are drawn in the locations of the webs can be decided upon, the number of webs being more or less guessed at. After going through the operation of laying down the hull lines and sections it can be readily seen that a section through the boat can be drawn any place by simply drawing in a station line, picking up the half breadths, transferring them to the body plan, and drawing in the section. So don't skimp on the number of webs, because all one has to do to get one out is to draw a section where a web comes, deduct the thickness of the plywood planking, move the net shape onto a 3/4 or 7/8 inch board and slide it through a band saw. The plywood skin should be screwed to the webs and to pieces of oak forming the leading edge, the bottom of the fin abaft the keel, and the stern post, also to plain fillers on top of the keel and one bolted to the under side of the bent keel. The stern post will have the same cross-section from top to bottom and therefore can be gotten out on a circular saw. The other rabbeted pieces can probably be roughed out pretty well on a saw, too. It goes without saying that all joints and interior surfaces should be painted during assembly. Anyone with enough ingenuity to try this construction can very well work out the missing details himself. And how about filling up the spaces with cement? I am not advocating that all fin keels be built this way from now on, but do think that it might be tried on a small boat.

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