Planking a Plywood Hull

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  • 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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