Thanks to the long summer evenings, I’ve been making slow but steady progress on Tammie Norrie. I took a break earlier this month to watch the Summer Olympics, but all in all, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done. The remaining strakes have been cut out and hung, and today I hung the sheerstrake.
The sheer is the line of the upper edge of the hull, so it follows that the upper strake is referred to as the sheerstrake. This line is important; if the line is smooth and flowing it really adds to the boat’s beauty (and if you get it wrong, it really shows). The sheerstrake also has a number of other components attached to it, so the strake deserves it’s own name.
The sheerstrake is hung in the same manner as the other strakes. Briefly, the process is described as follows:
- Cut the bevels on the transom and the adjacent strake.
- Use battens to build a “truss” or pattern of the strake.
- Use the truss to lay out the strake on the very expensive plywood; cut a little proud of the line and trim up with a block plane.
- Cut the scarfs for each plank; clamp the planks in place temporarily on the boat, and epoxy the planks together to create a strake.
- Clean up any glue blobs on the strake, then epoxy the strake to the boat.
- Fasten the ends (stem and transom) with bronze screws.
The sheerstrake is somewhat wider than the adjacent strakes, but the apparent width will be reduced when the gunwale is installed.
I mentioned in the post on Wee Lad that the last strake to be hung was often referred to as the “whiskey plank,” as hanging the last plank represents a milestone in the construction of the boat, and entitles the builder to a small celebration. I didn’t have any whiskey in the house, but I did have what I consider an acceptable substitute:
Planking is done. The garboards were hung in early May, and planking finished in late August. It’s been a productive summer. The next milestone is Turnover Day, when the boat will be turned right side up. But there’s quite a bit of work to be done before then.