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Day gaff sailing boat with center board by G.L. - FINISHED - scale 1/10 - SMALL

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Part 1: Introduction
My fishing smack cross section is finished; a new project is already sprouting. But first my workshop is urgently in need of a deep cleaning and there are also a lot of jobs waiting for me in and around the house of which the priority must be upgraded if I want to preserve the peace in the household.  So the start of my new project will have to wait.
That does not mean that I will go off-line for a while. While making the fishing smack cross section, I was simultaneously working at another POF model.

I didn't want to keep up two logs at the same time, but now the pictures are sorted and the model is well advanced, enough to keep the log running while I am busy with other things. I can continue giving weekly updates retroactively at least until I am ready again to start a new project.


My previous building projects were  working boats (Ostend shrimper and fishing smack) and a warship (HMS Triton cross section). Now I want to build a pleasure boat.

I found my boat in an small handout for making plank-on-frame models that I bought some years ago from 'Nederlandse Vereniging voor Modelbouwers' (http://www.modelbouwers.nl/ ). The handout is an assembly of articles which appeared round 1950 in the Dutch magazine 'De Modelbouwer'. They are written by Jules Van Beylen, former conservator of the Belgian National Maritime Museum in Antwerp. In the handout Jules Van Beylen explains how to build plank on frame models on the basis of four small ship models varying from basic to moderate level.


The second model of the handout will be the subject of my project. It is a small gaff sailing sloop with a retractable center board. It is an imaginary boat, a design of Jules Van Beylen just for modeling. I doubt that real examples of it ever have been built. 

One of my previous builds, a coastal fishing sloop was a simple boat, but it took me almost three years to build it (and it is not yet complete now). This is a much more elementary model, so it will be finished somewhat faster. The plans include two sheet: a general construction plan and a rigging plan and are not included in the handout, they have to be bought separately at the 'Nederlandse Vereniging voor Modelbouwers' (http://www.modelbouwers.nl/). They are laying already some years in a drawer waiting to be used.

The model will be built at scale 1/10. It is a 7.50 m long hull, so the length of the model will be 75 cm.


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Part 2: Keel, stem and sternpost

I start with making the keel out of a 65 cm long piece of oak.


At the front I saw the joint for the stem.




The stem, also in oak is sawn out and the joint is checked with the keel. I leave the upper side of the stem a bit longer than needed. It will be sawn in model later.




The width of the keel is not the same everywhere. The keel is widest in the middle and becomes narrower towards the ends. I shape it with plane and band sander.




I scrape off the angles of the upper side of the keel to make the notches for the garboard strake.






A major part of the stern post is sunken. I use a fixed-base router to shape the stern post.


Then I saw it out with the fretsaw.


The connection between sternpost and keel is strengthened with a pin at the sternpost and a hole in the keel.


Checking if everything fits.


The inner keel is a four mm thick plank which narrows towards the ends. The different widths along the keel are measured at the bottom of the eight stations.


Time to glue and nail everything together.



Thank you for the likes and till next week!

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The inner stem.


Before gluing the inner stem into position, I make the notch for the planking in the stem.


I saw also the knee for the stern post.


Knee into position.


My project is a boat with a centerboard, so there has to be a slot in the keel to house the centerboard. To make the slot I start with drilling some 2 mm ᴓ holes right next to each other to be able to jig saw the slot.


The slot is sawn, It still has to be cleaned up with a flat file and sandpaper.


Preparing the stern of the boat. Some 4 mm thick mahogany planks glued together on the stern template.


The stern sawn out.


Gluing the stern into position.


I made paper templates of the seven remaining stations and glue them on a piece of plywood.


and saw them out.



Thank you for the likes and till next week!

Edited by G.L.
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Part 3: The building board

I make the 'building board' as described in practicum of Mr Van Beylen. It is a simple rectangular frame in which the model is fixed with some nails and some small wooden support blocks. A piece of string is stretched to center the stations.


With the stations lined up and centered.


I add support blocks between the stations for strength.


The handy thing about this kind of building frame is that you can clamp it in the workmate in all kinds of positions.


With the stations in position, the edges of the inner keel can be chamfered in accordance with the angle of the station bottom.



Thank you for the likes and till next week!

Edited by G.L.
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On 8/24/2019 at 12:26 AM, Heinrich der Seefahrer said:

Highly intertsting methods of work and excellent craftmansship you do show to us, Thanks for sharing!


Thank you very much, Heinrich


On 8/24/2019 at 12:54 PM, Peter Cane said:

I like the building frame. Genius idea.

Could you show some more pictures of the Garboard strake notch please as I have to learn how to do this.

The model will be fantastic.

I like your choices of wood too.




Thank you for the complements Pete.

I searched on my memory card for more pictures, but they show all a bit the same. The problem is that this is a retroactive log and that the shown construction stadium dates from about a year ago. The hull is now planked and the garboard notch is filled, it is not possible anymore to make more pictures of it.
At the time I probably failed to make a picture of the notch in its totality. Using the chisel with one hand and making a picture with the other is sometimes an awkward operation.IMG_0309.thumb.JPG.a2ca5a3c0208618b59fa3def5e937689.JPGIMG_0310.thumb.JPG.7defc9bf973c6e289a1d044bd71f5935.JPGIMG_0311.thumb.JPG.81cff7925aaf05fbac3d2fd80c24bd11.JPGIMG_0312.thumb.JPG.a2ffc8817e6a6a864f1fe2c72cdd337d.JPG

The principle is as follows: At each station there is a possibility to check the shape of the garboard notch. The vertical cut with the chisel has to follow as much as possible the direction of the station edge (sketch 1) and the horizontal cut of the chisel must be as much as possible perpendicular to the vertical cut (sketch 2). That means that the shape of the cuts are slightly different from station to station. Between the stations the notch has to be cut in a way that the shape transitions happen gradually.


The garboard strake has to fit in the notch along the whole length of the keel (sketch 3).IMG_20190826_0002_NEW.thumb.jpg.f557790e9fb8b34b7ef1c8c6d5de1cc9.jpg

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Part 4: Planking the hull


For me, an apprentice modeler, planking is still a hard nut to crack. Certainly in this model where the planks are 3 mm thick oak and uninterrupted from bow to stern.

Mr Van Byelen explains a method in his handout.


I have tried it out several times and was never able to make a workable plank, therefore I try to use the method by which I made the strakes for my schrimper.

As a non-English speaking it is difficult to explain it, but I will try to clarify how I work.

The model will have ten strakes on each side. I start with marking ten equal divisions on the side of each station.


I presume that for the top (wale) and bottom strake (garboard) one side is straight, but as those strakes run convex over the stations they do not stand perpendicular on those straight sides and despite their mutual distances are equal on the keel, they are not on the curved strake.

To determine those vertical station angles and their distances on the surface of the hull, I clamp a straight lath around the stations with the upper side equal to the tops of the stations and mark the vertical direction of each station (unfortunately the picture is a bit hazy).


I take over the station positions and angles on the plank from which I will saw the strake.


Next thing to do is measuring the strake with on each station and bring it over to the respective markings on the plank.


I saw and sand the plank and I attach it provisionally to the model to check the shape.


When all last corrections have been made, the strake must get her curved shape. Therefore I wet the plank and bend it over the heat of a candle flame. After this heat treatment the strake keeps her curved shape...


... and can be attached to the model.


Next day day it's up to the other side.


The two wale strakes are now in place. They are only glued at the bow and the stern and are therefore very fragile.

Now I will place the garboards. It is a similar procedure as for the wale strakes. They have also  a straight side were they lie against the keel.
I try another system to bow the planks. This time I bow them dry above a paint stripper heat gun. It works a lot faster and better than a candle flame.


The starboard garboard...


... and the port one.



All the further strakes do not have one straight side, so from now on I will have to use an adapted method. But that is for next post.

Thank you to follow.

Thank you for the likes.

And thank you for the constructive comments.


Till next week!

Edited by G.L.
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All the further strakes do not have one straight side, so from now on I will have to use an adapted method.
To determine the shape of the strake which is in place, I attach a strip of transparent paper to the model. The paper has to be attached as much as possible winkle-free.


I mark the different stations on the paper.


Now I rub with a pencil along the entire stake edge , that's how I get a sharp line of the plank side.




Now I take the paper off the model and measure station by station the width of the adjacent strake and mark them on the paper.




I connect all the markings with a continuous line. Where the connections are too angulated, I round them off. When all the is done I have a paper template of the strake which I glue on an oak plank to saw out and to sand into shape.








It is always a bit of surprise to see how the strake is bent. Here you see the strake sawn out and still with the paper template on it.


When peeling off the paper template, I take over the station markings on the plank to have a reference to place them on the model.


After a check to see that everything fits, I bend the plank (paint stripper heat gun method), ...


... glue and clamp the plank on the model.






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I experience that this method of lofting the strakes is not ideal. It worked well for my shrimper because the planks were maximum half a ship's length long. On this model they stretch from bow to stern, therefore their shape must be more accurate or they wrench or there are gaps between the strakes. I have to try another system.

I try it this way: I attach a narrow strip of fairly stiff drawing paper along the edge of the strake that I want to draw. I take care not to wring the strip along the edge of the adjoining plank.


Then I draw from the inside of the hull with a sharp pencil along the plank edge the edge shape on the paper. I mark also the stations on the obtained pencil line.


The paper can be taken off the model; the line must now be retouched until it is smooth enough to follow the last strake.


Now it is again the usual procedure of measuring the stroke width and to displace the widths to the paper pattern.




The obtained shape of the plank.


The pattern cut out and on the model to check the connection to the adjacent plank.


The pattern glued on the plank to saw it out.




After the plank was curved above the heat of the paint stripper heat gun.


Holding the plank on its position.


The plank glued and clamped.


Clamps removed the day after


Thank you to follow.

Thank you for the likes.

And thank you for the constructive comments.


Till next week!

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On 9/7/2019 at 9:17 AM, Jim Lad said:

What a delightful model.  I'm glad I found your build log.




On 9/7/2019 at 12:05 PM, Bedford said:

Just found this, very interesting

Thank you John and Steve,

I am glad that you're interested.

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On 9/7/2019 at 1:51 PM, druxey said:

You might want to look at planking techniques articles on MSW that are 'pinned': look in the section https://modelshipworld.com/forum/14-building-framing-planking-and-plating-a-ships-hull-and-deck/

You are right Druxey. Anyway I managed to plank the gaff sailboat in a more ar less proper way, but it can be done better. I will look for a next project in which I can exercise planking in a 1/10 scale using the information of the articles. It must be a simple vessel like a rowing boat, just to improve my modeling (planking) skills.

Thank you for your remark!


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Another problem: By the force of clamping the planks, the stern is coming to sit askew. I have to unfasten all the planks from the stern. To make sure that the stern is remaining perpendicular to the keel is make a support to secure it.

Once the support is fixed, the planks can be re-glued to the stern.


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With an increasingly growing respect for real boat builders, I continue the laborious work of placing plank  after plank.








Fitting another template.


Only one more plank to go at both sides.




Port side completely closed.




Now filling up the starboard side


When the glue dried up, There is glue residue and a lot of unevenness's on the hull therefore I scrape the surface.


The I sand the outside with sandpaper grit 080 up to 600.








Before taking the hull from the building board, I make a new chair in which I can finish the model.


Now it's time to lift it from the mold. I remove one after one the station boards. It is an exciting moment; will it keep its shape or will the shell collapse like a pudding?


Edited by G.L.
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The hull, released from the board. The excesses of the planks at the transom are sawn off.




The surface of the inside of the hull is a bit rough and here and there you can see the traces of the paint stripper heat gun.


I crape the unevenness at the inside of the hull away. To reach all the inside curves of the hull, I file a small rounded scraper out of a piece of a cutter blade.




The inside is cleaned up.


The hull waiting in its new chair for further treatment.



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Part 5: The center board case and center board.

Next thing is making the center board case. Here you see the different parts.


Gluing them together.




The center board case is standing on the keelson with a slot and groove connection. I make the slots in the case with the table saw.




The groove in the keelson is stabbed with the chisel.


The center board box in its position.






Paper template of the center board to glue on a 2mm thick aluminum plate.


Sawing out the center board with the jigsaw. I lubricate the saw with some fuel oil.


The center board sawed and filed.


Fitting the board in the slot.




with the center board case...


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On 9/21/2019 at 10:04 AM, Ab Hoving said:

Beautifully executed!

Thank you Ab, your complement means a lot to me.


On 9/21/2019 at 10:53 AM, Peter Cane said:

I think you have done a wonderful job.

Planking a hull is extremely difficult and I echo what you say about having respect for the old ship builders.

They were artists in their own right.

Love the centre board.


Planking on a 1/10 scale is indeed not easy. I would like to master the skill so I believe that one of my next projects will be a simpel vessel like a rowing boat on a 1/10 scale to further qualify myself.

Thank you for your comment Pete.


8 hours ago, Backer said:

Beautiful work !

Thank you Patrick. Just lik you with the Golden Hind, I do my best to improve.

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