wooden boat
Small Boat “Louise Marion”     The Deadwood












There are simpler plans employing modern materials and techniques in small craft boatbuilding, but I have what may be a somewhat Ludite perspective on tradition, at least in boatbuilding and felt a desire to learn and use somev(notice, not all) of the techniques or materials. The Louise Marion therefore isvby modern criteria somewhat over built. The scantlings and construction of the deadwood attest to this.

The first step is to construct the strongback for supporting the boat during construction. The strongback I made was basically an extra long saw horse using a couple of 2 X 10s as the longitudinal members connecting the legs.

Constructing the keel, skeg, centerboard logs, stem, sternpost, and transom was first on the agenda. I began by cutting and shaping the keelson. This meant Cutting it to the shape of the bow to accept the stem, shaping the bevel on the bottom side to conform to the bottom, cutting the center board slot, and shaping it's aft end to accept the stern post and transom. The skeg was cut to shape with a circular saw. The keelson was then steamed so it would take the upper curve of the skeg. Emmediately after steaming the keelson and skeg were clamped together and allowed to set to that shape. They were then taken apart and given a couple of coats of paint. After the paint dried their fairing surfaces were bedded with tar, they were clamped back together and through holes were drilled for bolts. All the holes for bolts and drifts were drilled slightly under size. This meant all bolts and drifts needed liberal coatings of wax before driving or they would bind, especially in oak.

The centerboard logs were cut to shape, painted, bedded with tar, and clamped in place. Holes were drilled and bolts set.   Centerboard and skeg section drawings.

The stem was cut, shaped, and fit to the keelson. The stem knee was cut and fit during this time as well. When a good fit was made these were painted, clamped, and bolt holes were drilled. They were unclamped and bedded, reclamped, and bolts and drifts were set.

Previously, the keelson and skeg were cut to shape to accept the stern post and transom. The transom was cut to shape and it's edges were bevelled. It was placed on the keelson and skeg for fitting. The stern post was cut to shape and clamped to the skeg and the after side of the transom. The transom knee was cut and clamped in place. Adjustments were made for fit and placement. When a proper fit was obtained these pieces were painted and again clamped in place. Holes were next drilled for bolts and drifts. They were taken apart, bed with tar, clamped back in place and bolted together with 3/8" bolts. 1/4" drifts were set as well.

The centerboard ledges were cut to shape and fit between the fore and aft ends of the centerboard logs. These were bolted in place and drifts set into the skeg and forward shoe. Previously, a rabbet had been cut longitudinally along the inside top edge of both logs. The lower planks of the centerboard sides were set into these rabbets and drifted to the logs. Three more planks per side were fit and drifted onto these planks and their ends screwed into the ledges.

The deadwood was pretty much set up at this point and everything was painted (especially the joined surfaces). I decided at this point to continue building the boat upright. I wouldn't turn her over until after I had the station molds in place and the sheer clamps and chine logs fit.