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Old 09-24-2011, 09:27 AM
l_henderson l_henderson is offline
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16 ft jon boat made from home milled oak boards

Anyone have plans for a 16 foot plank and frame jon boat? I want to make a robust boat that will be powered with a 50 hp 2 cylinder evinrude. Plan to have stick steering. Cutting an oak tree now with capability to mill 14 inch wide boards 16 ft long.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:04 AM
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lewisboats lewisboats is offline
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What kind of oak? Better be Live or White. Red oak is not a wood to plank a boat with. As to the plans...you're building a box basically with a curved bottom. For 16' I would go with a bottom of 4.5 to 5 ft wide and sides around 12" wider, a depth of 16-18" from bottom to shear, 2 seats and a bow deck. Make the seats of plywood, seal them up and fill with foam. Set your aft transom at 1.5" and make the bottom around 5/8" thick, go with 1/2" for the sides and 3/4-7/8" for the bow transom. Deck should be around 5/8". I would go with a lap on the sides for added stiffness. Put your aft transom at a 13-15 deg rake and there you go. I would batten the seams on the inside and outside...the outside providing skid and scrape protection and the inside helping to seal the joint. You will need to put some framing in there to tie the planks together too. I would go with around 2x2" at a 15-16" spacing, running across the bottom and up the sides with gussets at the corners. Also brace the transom with knees in the corners and one from just below the motor mount area to the bottom...with equal legs or the bottom one longer. Double or triple up at the shear or put a scuppered wale in (all those holes are handy spots to tie to).
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:31 PM
l_henderson l_henderson is offline
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Thanks Lewis!!

There is a lot that I do not know about boat building, the info that you gave is great, just what I was looking for. Transom construction seems crutial. I am planning to use 2 inch plank for transom, but could use more detail on design. Also plan to make sided 21 inches high. Does that change anything from your suggestions?
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:06 AM
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lewisboats lewisboats is offline
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You do realize that the tree you cut today and rough mill won't really be useful until sometime late next year or preferably the spring after. The wood must be allowed to dry and season. It must be properly stacked and stickered (separated by sticks to allow air flow) and allowed to dry down to somewhere in the mid to low teens moisture level.

Going with 21" side panels...you might want to add about 4 more inches to the beam at the shear...16" wider than the bottom rather than 12. 54" across the bottom and 70" at the shear would be just about right.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:50 AM
l_henderson l_henderson is offline
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Kind of oak tree

According to a local expert the tree is a Quercus alba Linnaeus
Fagaceae aka White Oak. Plan to air dry 3 months. Shrinkage is suppose to be about 6% radial, 10% tangential, and almost none longitudinal. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:42 PM
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philSweet philSweet is offline
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By all means make the frames out of oak, but plank a jon boat with something else. The oak planks will expand/contract with so much force that the framing would need to be massive to resist it. You could resaw to about 3.5 inches width and work with that, but that is a hard way to build a jon boat. From personal experience, I don't much care for white oak in the tropics; I think it should stay north of the Mason Dixon line where it is less a maintenance headache. I've got this tree so I'm going to build a boat is putting the cart before the horse.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:24 PM
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Oak is not the best planking material due to excessive movement. Usual southern US boatbuilding woods are Live or White Oak for framing and long leaf yellow pine for planking. Don't try to re-invent wooden boatbuilding for your own convenience as the laws of shrinkage and warpage will retaliate.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:48 PM
l_henderson l_henderson is offline
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I thought that since the oldest commissioned war ship "Old Ironsides" is made from oak it would be a good chouce. I have plenty of Long Leaf Pine trees that I can harvest and mill planks.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:48 PM
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Oak is quite suitable to 8" thick planks on 12"x14" frames but I doubt you want to build your boat that stout. I know a caulker who worked on the CONSTITUTION repair and he said the garboards are 14" thick.
LLYP is one of the best small work boat planking materials there is. It is hard, very rot resistant, stable and doesn't take up much water when wet. Oak is infamous for crawling around unless it is very well seasoned, out of the sun and quite stout in scantling. Oak makes great planking for warships and large tugs, LLYP more suitable to smaller craft and widely used in the past. Cypress is also good. Whatever you use, season it one year for each inch of thickness. Stack it and stick it for air circulation, paint the ends with paraffin to slow checking, cover the stack from sun with tarpaper stapled on, with a little pitch so rain runs off.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:10 PM
l_henderson l_henderson is offline
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Lewisboats, you mentioned "lap the sides", how much and which plank goes on top, the higher or lower?
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:23 PM
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Plank from bottom up. Lowest, or "garboard" plank first, lap the next about 2 plank thicknesses so if 1/2" plank lap it 1". At ends cut a tapered dado in upper edge of garboard so plank lap disappears at ends, or just keep the lap all the way to the end but this looks clunky and catches on things. If frames are close, not necessary to fasten laps, but if spaced widely put a thin copper rivet through the lap between frames.
Read this thread about "building a johnboat of lumber" and it should help:
http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...boat-of-lumber
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:25 PM
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And here:
http://www.gatorboats.com/Big-Mamma-Boat-Plans.htm
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:29 PM
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Passing this along.
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16 ft jon boat made from home milled oak boards-screen-shot-2011-09-27-12.29.00-pm.png  
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:37 PM
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Art by Mike Calway-Fagen showing how NOT to do it.
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2011, 05:33 PM
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lewisboats lewisboats is offline
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I think he has a complex...

Good stuff above...I'da dug similar up if I had time...been rather busy recently...only time to stick my nose in and comment here and there.
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