I think we are starting to get “into the flow” with the planking… Louise and I work like a (reasonably) well oiled machine now – as you can see from the pics below the hull is starting to take shape.
(visitors to the barn agree “it’s starting to look quite boaty”)
I think one of the main things I have learned is the need to “go with the flow”; in the earlier planks we set about the process by using a great many clamps to attempt to force the planks to sit down neatly… What I think we now understand is that the trick is to “ease” them into place by making sure we first apply the right “twist” to align the plank with it’s neighbour and mould.
This revelation came about as we moved beyond the point where we could clamp from the deckline to the new planks, and so had to rely more on the wedges. The image below shows how it worked at the transom. I am also adding a stainless wood screw at the ends of the plank (into stem and transom, as belt and braces ..and there are substantial epoxy fillets to bond the ends of the planks to these two structures….
One other thing that we can see is how the shape of the hull affects the inherent strength of things – at the bow and stern the curve in the hull means that everything is VERY stiff – whereas the shape mid-way along has a very flat profile, and you can quite (worryingly) easily flex the assembled planks!
Hopefully, the structure we are building will be stiff enough, but the worrying thing is that we will only find out for sure on that first “navy lark” moment, when a bit of “left-hand-down-a-bit” fails to avoid the approaching pier/buoy/ferry, or the “depth charge” (see “I couldn’t resist it ) does not save us from running aground….