Planking Has Started
April 29, 2018
The hull of a ship like Ernestina-Morrissey is curved from stem to stern and from keel to bulwarks. As a result every plank has to be shaped to fit with its mates to form those curves. The process starts with 3 inch oak timbers.
These photos were taken on March 26, 2018.
A spiling batten is used to scribe the line that will guide the cut to shape the plank.
Lines are scribed on the stock for the correct shape.
Once the stock is marked a circular saw is used to cut along the curved line to shape the plank.
The plank is then planed to three inches as you can see in this video. And here David Short shapes the caulking bevel.
The planks are then brought to the railway and readied to be steamed.
The steam bag is a more portable modern answer to a steam box. The planks must be steamed so they will be flexible enough to bend to fit tightly to the frames.
Bristol Marine has shared photos with us and also videos on their Facebook page. If you have access to Facebook check out:
Drone’s eye view
40 foot sheer plank going in (to railway)
sheer plank coming out of steam bag
Sheer plank going on
The thickness of planks next to the keel is 5 inches midships and is tapered to the stem and stern as you can see in the next sequence of photos. Also notice the fastenings and check our post on fastenings.
3 1/8 thick near the stem
5" thick at midships as noted on plank
Note the curve (bend) in the starboard garboard strake, looking aft. "Strake" is a single strip of planking running longitudinally from the stem to the transom. On Ernestina-Morrissey it takes more than one plank to complete a strake. A smaller boat may have a single plank making up a strake,
Port garboard strake and the first broad strake above it, looking forward.
Port sheer strake looking aft.
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