Category Archives: Hull Build

Building a Strip Plank Hull
Below are posts concerning the building of the hull for Steam Yacht Befur. This hull is s strip-plank built design by Selway Fisher (see link on right of home page) and is constructed of Western Red Cedar planks clad in woven epoxy-impregnated glass-fibre cloth.

It’s the first boat I have built, so your watching a learner!

Going at it hammer and tongs!

Well, we have been working very hard to try to get Befur ready for the water, and this picture of me taking a break from boat building (on a blacksmith’s course seemed to epitomise what life is like….). – thank you Becca for the course, provided as a Christmas present, at a real Elizabethan forge! Continue reading

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Late- yes, Embarrassed – some, Nearly There – maybe

I noticed that I had not written anything since the end of March, and I guess (unconsciously) this was because I had intended to have Befur ready for the water on the first of April, and that clearly wasn’t happening – and addressing that fact in print was a bridge too far!

However, we have been far from idle, and I actually do think we should be there for the first week of June (fingers-crossed). So here is a quick review of progress in April and May.

Checking the Solar Panels

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More Electrics, “Decks” and Woodwork

Having craned the engine and boiler into the hull we have now settled the position of the key components and can start to deal with some of the remaining fitting out tasks.

We are still aiming for an April Launch, but in true project planning style we had not said which day in April, so we have a few days left. The following items have been addressed so far:

Electrical Installation

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Engine Meets Hull

Just a note to commemorate another milestone. Yesterday we (neighbour Mike and I) lifted the engine into the boat! Hurrah!

We had spent a deal of time debating how best to do this, with the hydraulic bucket on the tractor being the initial option – but in the end we both felt a bit “windy” about working under the engine held up by an ageing tractor, and instead opted for the “trusty” Chinese chain-hoist strapped to an RSJ in the roof of Mike’s barn. We then picked the engine up, and manoeuvred the boat under the engine. To make it more interesting, we really don’t know how heavy it is – but the two of us could not lift it by hand to get it to the engine crane to put on a trailer for the trip to the barn (200yd push in light snow!)

The decision as to installation was to epoxy four M10 studs into the engine bearers and then use nuts on the studs to secure the engine bed down. Continue reading

Providing some Direction – Befur gains a rudder

Rudder ready for fitting and varnish

The rudder with pintles ready for varnish and fitting

One of the major outstanding jobs on the hull was to build a suitable rudder. As Befur is meant to sail (as well as steam) we wanted to make sure we provided some thing effective.

Researching the subject covering everything from historic articles on Chinese Junk development to the Steamboat Associations’ handbook and designers from Selway Fisher to Dave Gerr’s excellent book on ship design and lots of trawling of the Junk Rig Association’s web site we discovered some important facts: Continue reading

The Final Push to the North

Well, as I may have mentioned we have decided to relocate to Cumbria (330miles north of current location) – this of course means moving house and more significantly relocating the workshop and boat! This decision has resulted in the gap in posts and also a final push to get Befur in a state ready to hit the road.

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