Building a new Lapstrake and SPLASHING--NEWBIE intro

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Waliveaboard, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Waliveaboard
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Port Townsend, Wa

    Waliveaboard New Member

    I understand the controversial subject of splashing, or stealing the lines of a boat, and I dont intend to make a bad first impression in this forum which i have read for a while but never joined till now.
    Boats are usually built from plans, but how often will the amatuer or professional shipwright stick to those plans 100%.

    If someone likes a particular vessel and wants to replicate it, sure the first thing to go do would be to buy a set of plans, it would be the smart thing to do, as you'll spend more effort trying to get all that usefull information of exact offsets, shears, materials and OTHER DIMENSIONS AS WELL. Trying to take lines is a huge time taking effort.

    But sometimes.......

    I am currently a lofting-o-phobe. I am building my first lapstrake boat. I have no plans. I have a 12' skiff that was left to me by a friend of mine when he passed away. And him and I and most of the sailors and shipwrights in town agree it is one of the most beautiful rugged lapstrake skiffs still alive. I know he found this skiff half completed in a forest and paid a shipwright to finish it.
    It is wearing out, as lapstrakes do, so I am taking on the job to not let the lines perish (and of course have another great skiff).

    I am trying to copy it. I have spent the last couple of weeks pulling lines. Now I have 5 station molds set on a strongback with a keel in place, and a stem and transom in production.

    Oh I tried to find plans, I dug and compared atkins and scoured duckboats website, I asked around to all the woodenboat enthusiasts I know in PT and came to a complete dead end. More than likely because the boat was finished by a shipwright who knew how to make a boat look good not one who had plans.

    So to answer the question of how I pulled lines....

    I did it like this on this lapstrake.... I got lots of doorskin. I spiled the offsets of every stationmold, and was able to very easily transfer the points to a surface i could sink nails into then use a batten on. One thing to realize is after a boat has been built and been around, it is definitaly not symmetrical, or the same exact shape it was when built. I found additions to the stem and keel, that were clearly added years after the boat was finished. So modeling a new build after something already built, will give the oportunity to the builder to make lots of decisions, just like a set of plans will.

    So this method has worked thus far for me. The shape lookes great and is as accurate as I can see possible. It cost me about 30 dollars in doorskin and a hot glue gun, some straight edges and squares,and a lot of time.

    So I figure this method will work, as long as I can fill in the gaps of knowledge by bouncing ideas off others, thats where this forum comes in.
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Just so long as the mold fairs out nicely (and it will), sounds like a good project.
    From a standpoint of using someone else's design, there are many who came before you who began with a restoration and ended up with a new boat. I myself have a boat of unknown origin whose lines I really like. I wouldn't hesitate to copy the lines. I spent a lot of effort attempting to track the design down to no avail.
  3. nachoman
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Michigan

    nachoman New Member

    I'm interested to hear how this works out for you. I'm trying to do the same thing with a boat that the mold and plug from were lost years ago. It also is a legitimate case of where splashing makes sense. My biggest concern is getting the mold to release from the existing hull. Having only one boat left of the design, destroying it in the mold creation process is not okay.

    Are you creating molds directly from the original? Other than the lack of symmetry (which will undoubtedly be the case with mine as well) were there any tricks to it?
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