A few simple finishing
touches will transform the appearance of your wooden boat giving her that
classic traditional feel.
man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or
anything else, is always a portrait of himself."
The appearance of the majority of the wood work on your
going to going to be determined by its function.
However, the expression that ‘form follows function’ overlooks
a modicum of decorative detail can transform the utilitarian into a
The ultimate sign of a serious boat builder is having an
This doesn’t need to be anything flamboyant such as gilding
in fact often the most
effective way is to have a couple of favorite finishing touches.
My own particular favorite finishing
touch is the
This used to be a fairly
common method for finishing a
But that was back in the days
when craftsmen had the time
and inclination give their work that touch of quality.
So this is a particularly
pleasing bit of finishing touch
detailing to use on a classic boat.
If you really want to stamp
your individuality on your
boat you can develop you’re own variation, then use it
The Bird’s Beak’ can be used
Toe Rails, Grab
Rails, as well as sliding
only takes a few moments to cut a long bevel and the ‘V’ with a
Then round off the corners
with a chisel or a
The concave bevel can be
shaped with a half round rasp or
with a Radius Spokeshave.
Finishing Touch Beading Tool
This simple little tool is
superb for putting fine
finishing detail on by hand.
It can be used on either the
push or pull
Different shaped blades can be
bought, however it is
relatively easy to make your own.
Just take care that the blade
isn't allowed to
follow the grain rather than being controlled by the stop.
One of my favorite tools is my
This is a plane which is
designed to cut
It has a variety of blades for
cutting flutes, beads and
Mostly I use it to cut
I don’t like to over do the
decoration just add
enough finishing touches to take the plainness away.
Of course, you can do all that
and more with a Router, I
just happen to enjoy the satisfying, quiet, swish of sharp plane
through the wood.
I also use the multi plane to cut Drip
Grooves and Capillary
These aren’t decorative, they
are very important
functional design elements.
For the vast majority of us
wooden boat owners crashing
into an iceberg is not up there on our list of worries.
Our biggest worry is how to
prevent wood rot.
This is a problem which, is
caused mainly by the
insidious creep of moisture into cracks and crevices where it gets
Water, because of its surface
tension and by virtue of
capillary action will run along the underneath of overhangs and creep
between close fitting surfaces.
And it is especially fond of
shiny surfaces, like
varnished or gloss painted wood.
There are numerous products on
the market which promise
to prevent rot and seal cracks but the best form of prevention is
And the best way to stop
creep is to create breaks to its flow.
On overhanging lips, such as
around cabin tops or hatch
tops a simple drip groove on the underneath will be enough to overcome
And where there are close
fitting surfaces, such as
inside the rim of a hatch a simple capillary break will stop any
it to osmose upwards.
While these measures should be
part of the general
practice, for a professional boat builder they are the sort of
touches details that the amateur often overlooks, at his peril.