Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Steaming The Breast Hook


After selecting the most perfect timber he could scout from a fan’s wooded lot in New York, Lou is ready to cut, shape and steam the large piece of oak. In this episode, Lou once again shows off his eye for knowing the sweet spot for the sheerline. Work skiffs, in particular, require the perfect sheer to match the lift rails. With a skilsaw and a steady hand, Lou gives a quick adjustment to the sheer and then planes it smooth. But what he’s most excited about is the selection of the breast hook timber and his steaming process. He has brought back a few pieces to choose from, and once he shows you which he’s selected, you won’t believe your eyes!

Enjoy Lou’s bonus safety lessons and steaming instructional. Lou is a brave and experienced shipwright and we don’t advise that you use any of these tools or processes without the proper safety precautions and lots of common sense. Consider your comments and concerns for Lou’s safety practices heard. He hears you, too. He just isn’t about to change any of his practices because of it. But his experience is rare and his confidence and competence is high. He’s Louis Sauzedde, after all.


7 responses to “Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: Steaming The Breast Hook

  1. Great method for steaming when you only have a small amount of bending to do. Never though about making steam bags of 6 mil poly. Show us more. Thanks

  2. Poly bags are a great way to steam – super convenient. I used poly bags to steam rub rails in place on a skiff. Duct tape held the long tube together, but a company like ULine sells poly tubes in rolls.

  3. Very interesting videos on the natural crook breasthook.
    But I’m not sure that the amount of time and effort (trips to NY, sawmill, band saw, steaming) is realistic for most of us building a painted work skiff at home. It would be really useful to see Lou build a breasthook or its functional equivalent using readily available materials and no band saw.

  4. The Uline poly tubes are a great way to steam chines, gunwales, etc. Only problem is the rolls are 1000′ – i have about 950′ left, after building my boat. I’d be happy to sell off 100′ chunks to anyone who’s interested.

  5. Steaming , I built a steam box out of cheap fence material I picked up at a lumber yard .
    Got a thamater from a local grocery store in cooking utencials . I used a steamer from a wall paper removal kit I picked up at a local paint store that sells wallpaper . All for under $100.
    Wish I’d seen Lue’s using Plastic sheets .
    Next time I’ll skip the box and follow your instructions .Thanks for the tip Lew😎

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