CODBLOG14: Top planks.
The Top Planks and the Rubbing Strips all need replacing. This is a big job because they run the full lenght of the boat, they are shaped to fit the lines of the boat and they are made out of 5/8inch mahogany planking.
Getting mahogany anyway is a bit of a challenge — 21 feet lengths just cannot be done on our budget. We have to scarf-joint two shorter lengths together to make each one. West Epoxy was used to glue the joints together. The joints seem pretty secure and when planed are not too noticeable.
The Rubbing Strips were not too difficult, once sanded down they only required a rounded edge on one side. Because they are fairly thin they are very flexible and bend nicely to the curvature of the hull. The Top Planks however are a a bit chunkier and take a lot more bending to fit to position. Additionally, before fitting and after they were planed we put a feature line down them as all the original boats had. This was done with a router — not an easy task to keep a straight line — but I think we’ll get away with it!
Before fitting the Top Planks the Deck Beam Shelves need to be positioned as these will be rivetted together with the planks. The original Deck Beam Sheves are useable — (one had to be repaired using the West adhesive) — which is a great saving because these also run the whole length of the boat. Also, these give the positions of all the Deck Beams so we know we will get these back in their original positions.
Once the Deck Beam Shelves are clamped in position we can offer up the old Deck Beams to make sure the alignment is correct. Its getting quite exciting now as the boat seems to be taking shape.