Riparia Resources

Nautical Photography

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Boat Building

Rachel Dinghy

40 Ft. Ketch

Overview

40 ft Ketch

Current Status

Last Plank Party

(The Viking's Lair)

The Great

Hull Moving

Turnover

(A Tight Squeeze)

Keel Pouring

Finish

Testing Panels

Riparia Boat Building
hulloverview

My Boatbuilding Project

Updated 6/25/08

I'm building a 40 ft. epoxy encapsulated, strip-plank wooden ketch intended for long range, long term cruising. It is my modification of a 1926 design by Samuel S Crocker. At this point it is basically my own design as the construction method has been changed from the traditional carvel construction to the modern "wood fiber reinforced plastic" method. It has few frames other than the bonding to the 6 bulkheads. I started out with plans for a plumb bowed 36 ft. (11 m.) schooner, but that evolved into a clipper bowed 40' 1" (12.3 m.) ketch. Beam is 11 ft. 4 in. (3.46 m.). Draft is 4 ft. 6 in. (1.37 m.). LWL 33' 2.5". It is a full keel design. Displacement will be approximately 22,500 lbs. (10215 kg.). Yet stylistically it's still a 1930's boat consistent with Crocker's other designs and with a bit of L. Francis Herreschoff thrown in.

This is my first MAJOR boat project and I expect to be working on it for several more years. When I started the project my goal was to launch it by January 25, 2012. That was to be my retirement date, as I would've just turned 59 1/2. I probably won't make that goal. On October 28, 2000 I celebrated the completion of the planking. I'm currently working 50 to 60 hrs. a month on the project. Everything seems to take longer than expected. Planking in particular was long and tedious. Since I carefully beveled each plank, and needed to taper about half of them, it took more 4-5 hrs. to do just one plank. Fitting the aft ends into the deadwood rabbet was particularly difficult due to a lot of compound curve. I've been working for 14 yrs. so far, though work hasn't always been steady. I'm in no particular hurry to finish it. The planking was so tedious that I hoped that construction would go faster now that that's done. I've faired the hull, a big sub-project in its own right. I turned over the hull a couple years ago.

I was doing the work in a pole building in my backyard near Portland, OR. That made it readily available for the odd hour of work. Unfortunately, I divorced in 2002, which put a big kink in my boat work, (and in most of the rest of my life.) Fortunately I was able to negotiate continued work at my ex-wife's home until I got it to a stage such that I could move the hull without damage. That required completing the keel and at least one layer of fiberglass sheathing.

To date I have over 6000 man-hours of work into the project. See the time chart at the bottom.

There are few things so lovely as the shape of a fine hull.

As my friend, Admiral Swabie, said,

"It's got HIPS!"

Sailplan800
bow

Ready to move

Layout800
Lines800

The saddle shaped line plots the average number of hours worked per month, as a function of the year.

The work proceeded slowly for several years due to a combination of factors. First was the tedium of putting on plank after plank after plank. (There are over 80 planks per side and they each took about 4 man-hours to scarf to length, taper if necessary, bevel to the prior plank and mount in place with epoxy, edge nailing and screws in every other plank to the ribs.) The other factor I believe was that the project was becoming a stressor in my marriage and so I subconsnciously shied away from it. The separation occurred in late 2001 and the hull was moved to its present location in late 2003. I have remarried and my wife, though not yet a sailor, is supportive of the project and wants to see it completed, the sooner the better. She encourages me to work on it.

The red continuously ascending line is cumulative work hours. Thus far I have, through May 2008, almost 5000 man-hours into the project. This does not include designing time or home cogitation about the project.

The lesson is that if you want to take on a project like this, as a do-it-yourself hobby, while still having a 'day-job', understand that, to quote my father, it's a "BIG PROJECT"

BoatBuildingHours

Riparia Resources

Nautical Photography

General Photography

Boat Building

Rachel Dinghy

40 Ft. Ketch

Overview

40 ft Ketch

Current Status

Last Plank Party

(The Viking's Lair)

The Great

Hull Moving

Turnover

(A Tight Squeeze)

Keel Pouring

Finish

Testing Panels