Acorn to Arabella: Installing the Last Oak Broadstrakes

The boatbuilding filmmakers from Acorn to Arabella, Alix and Steve, have discovered that planking can be a bit of a challenge.  They are learning to plank with some of the toughest pieces to fit onto the frames, and each of the oak planks has its intricacies.  The plank has to fit well fore and aft, and the bevels have to match so that they can put in a good bead of cotton caulking. The challenge is made even more difficult thanks to the thick, unruly oak planks. Witness more of their determination and progress, both of which are impressive and, at this point, expected from these dedicated TotalBoat Ambassadors. 

Once they finish these last broadstrakes, which are the last of the oak planks, they will be planking with cedar which is likely going to be much easier to work with, thanks to the softer characteristics of cedar.  The boys are ready for some easier work and will move quickly once they make it through these last oak timbers. Arabella will be a solid, well-planned build which they will need for world exploration – just another part of this Arabella adventure that we can all look forward to watching! Enjoy!

3 responses to “Acorn to Arabella: Installing the Last Oak Broadstrakes

  1. I realize the idea is to build a traditional built boat but building in wood in modern times when we have waterproof glues and better fasteners there are alternative way to build this still using heavier lumber would be to use a strip planked method with your favorite waterproof glue and edge fastening like bronze annular ring nails (expensive).. This could be continued for the entire planking and would produce a water tight hull that does not need caulking.
    Oak would not be my first choice for strip planking though.
    The so call traditional method is only a variation on previous planking methods when good fasteners were not available.
    I also wonder about using soft cedar planking for the rest of the hull in a heavy boat with caulking. its going to require some skilled caulking to do a good job on soft cedar planking.

    1. When the skill-sets are mastered, plank on frame construction provides a good balance of ease of construction, lifespan of hull, ease of damage repair, and ease of normal maintenance. These are all aspects of boat ownership that must be considered when choosing a building technique. Part of that equation, that must not be ignored, is the present and future availability of the materials chosen for the project. I could expound at length on this point but maybe someone else will pick up the conversation.
      “The so call traditional method is only a variation on previous planking methods when good fasteners were not available.” The best, longest lasting, fasteners were made of wood and have always been available. The traditional method is all about wrapping planks of wood around a compound curved form, as in “boat building”

  2. Noting the thickness of the oak planking, it may have been a bit easier
    laminating the planks using half thickness planks and resorciinol glue and or use narrower strakes.

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