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Monday, June 17, 2013

Boat building hints

Someone asked me how I got the bottom panel on my boat project secured to the sides. It does have a pretty good bend to it.

I piled up some lumber in the middle of the plywood panel and put some weight on the ends to give it at least some bend in the right direction.

The glue was applied and the panel squared up on the back. Working stern to bow, I screwed it down with very hefty decking screws. The long screws were able to pull the plywood down into position.

Once the glue dried, I removed the decking screws and replaced them with shorter brass screws. The hole and divot left by the decking screw made a good pilot hole for the brass screws. It would be labor saving to just use one screw type to do the job, but the brass screws weren't up to the task by themselves. The decking screws were able to pull the panel down, but left a lot of exposed screw inside the boat.

The glue could have probably held the panel in place by itself, but I'm a belt and suspenders man, so hence the brass screws.

Later the whole thing will be reinforced with fiberglass tape on the outside. There will also be epoxy fillets on the inside of the hull. So maybe I'm a belt, suspenders, a rope and safety pin sort of builder.

I do not want that hull to spring apart the first time I hit a rock with it.



  1. Over-kill is always better than "under-kill!"

    1. I know I'm going to be rough on this boat. Sometimes I play hard.

  2. Extra glue and epoxy every where.Beats building with pitch/tar and twine.
    Have you thought about a aluminum skid plate for the bow?

  3. The design calls for a couple of skid strips on the bottom. Might use woven roving where the bottom and the bow meet.

  4. BRASS screws?! Don't ever put that puppy in salt water, or go near anywhere there might be stray electrical current in the water, like a marina. Either will eat the zinc (anode!) right out of the brass right quick. I would have stuck with deck screws. That's what I used in Keep It Sailing Stupid. No rust showing anywhere to date, and I'm in the saltiest place in the country...

    1. Mostly will be a fresh water boat, but all the screws will be well buried in epoxy. Good to hear about your success with deck screws as I'm leaving a lot of those in.