Bilge Stringers

This is a bit of work in progress…

The bilge stringers run inside the hull along the bilge line, and also provide the “foundation” for later attaching the bilge runners (or bilge keels) to the hull.

This produced some head scratching – as it seems to me that the “bilge keels” will need to be basically parallel to the centre line of the boat (the skeg) to avoid them being be a large snow-plough-like drag on the boat…. and being as how they are bolted to the bilge stringer that will also need to be parallel to the centreline… You’d think!!!

However the (undimensioned) dotted line which “shows” the location of the bilge runner on the drawings looks to be very much NOT parallel to anything (in either plan or elevation)… add to this the fact that it’s location is specified as “740mm from the centre line centred on mould 10” (and that was the sum total of instruction/specification on the topic) and I found myself again suffering that “engineer-building-a-boat-lost-at-sea” feeling….

So as before, one girds ones loins, grasps the jig saw and set’s to….

My approach was – cut the one defined slot in mould 10… cut another at the same dimension from the centerline at mould 6 (in an attempt to produce the required parallelism), then persuade the first lamination into these two slots and then mark off all the other moulds from this – having first “eyeballed” the whole shebang!

Then I tried to transfer all these dimensions to the other side of the boat – so I had a mirror image…. Two things became clear:

1 – it actually looks OK! I guess I will get the hang of this woody/boaty free-expression thing somewhen

2 – the two sides of the boat are different shapes!!!

I guess I “knew” this latter fact from the way the jigsaw cut crooked lines (see post on cutting moulds two (correction THREE) years ago) -but once one tries to measure some real (mm accurate) dimensions on the two sides this just stares you in the face. So I think we will just have a bunch of faring to do … I am going to try to do as much of this as I can on the moulds to hope we actually build a fair hull and don’t need to sand away 40% of the planking.

Banana boat

On the subject of building a bent boat, as I was grubbing around on the floor I caught site of the Deck Clamp from below, and was a bit shocked to see a “kink” (really “a dent”) in this on the port side. This happened as I was short of clamps (F clamps) and failed to properly close up the laminated joint over a foot or so of the Deck Clamp. I spotted this re-opened the joint, re-clamped and epoxied it and felt quite smug that it was fixed… not realising that my re clamping exercise had squashed the nice curve of the Deck Clamp into a nasty straight line (I can’t believe I just said that – this boat building is turning my head).

It’s probably only 10-12mm out, but it looks foul… Well when we come to add the gunwale and decking I am hoping it will be obscured and only you and I will know – or alternatively we can rename her as SY-Banana…

Here are pics of the Bilge Stringers going on

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