Finally!! Very happy indeed to tell you we have finished planking our boat and now have a single joined up wooden hull. It took us a little longer to do than we had originally allowed for (a week or so….optimistic frankly Holmans) but we’re pleased with the job we’ve done. She might not be perfect, but we think she looks alright! We missed the Jubilee deadline by a couple of days, but managed to completely close the boat up on Thursday last week after a few days off for the celebrations.
I won’t lie to you, we are fairly delighted to be done with planking. We learned a lot, and I’m quite sure as transferable skills go plastic nail gunning will come handy in the future on numerous occasions. In all seriousness, I’ve probably learned more about working with wood in the last few weeks than I otherwise would have done in the rest of my life. But once we’d got the hang of it and realised it was going to take us a little bit longer than we’d thought the repetitive nailing, glueing and clamping began to wear a little bit thin, particularly on those days when it was hard to work out how eight hours could have passed without the gap to close on the hull getting appreciably smaller.
So we ground some more coffee, started a running total on the wall with a marker pen of how many planks we’d put in each day and thanked Twitter for its motivational qualities and accountability. And actually, planking’s not that bad. Actually nothing’s that bad after two cafetieres of Holman coffee.
Once the ends of the planks running from the keel met the ends of those running from the sheer (roughly where we’d got to in my last post), we started angling and fitting planks in alternately in a herringbone pattern until the gap in the middle was about as thick as five short planks…
Then, when we got to the last few planks we planed the convex and concave mouldings off each strip to give a square edge so that we could fit each one as a single full plank more easily. From there we continued to work down from the keel, until we ended up with a tiny eye shaped hole into which we fitted the final plank on each side, shaped to fit exactly.
By the last stage we’d forgotten all about it taking too long and begun to enjoy what we were doing regardless of glue covered forearms and looming deadlines, so that by the time the last few planks went in we were just delighted to have got that far and ridiculously proud of the little hull that had taken shape in the workshop. And a bit surprised; as we were standing around wondering what to do next having just nailed the last plank in place, Si turned to me and said (incredulously) ‘*!@! Cat, we just made a boat out of wood!’