After spending some time clearing our work space and preparing shadow-boards for tools, drawing a scale plan (lofting) of the component parts and deciding on the measurements and construction methods, taking advice from those that have been here before, we have made a start with the Trust’s first boat to be built from scratch.
It would be a mistake to think that because we have restored and renovated quite a few historic wooden boats, that building a new one from the drawing board would be simple. Restoration projects mean that there are at least some remains of a structure that can be used to give an idea of what the end result should look like, but without any old photographs or original designs to refer to, a new-build is a little daunting to the inexperienced (that’ll be us then).
So, last week we took our designs and after discussion with our mentor, Nigel Gray, began to make the ply-wood templates of some of the components. This was done by pressing tacks along the edges of the design and pushing the ply-wood over these so that the indentations give an exact outline of the drawn shape. Here the Aft-Wedge is marked out and the ply-wood template made.
The Aft Wedge will be a particularly important part of the build as the propeller shaft will have to pass through it at a critical angle and be wide enough to accommodate the propeller (within the curve above).
A similar process is being carried out for some of the stem pieces and in this way we will produce a set of templates for the main frame and key components.
Meanwhile, the transom has been made from oak without a template. This is because it is recognised that the precise outline will be very difficult to predict at this stage until the planking and stern pieces are made and in place.