The continuing story of my Harkers Island Net Boat restoration.
by Alan DeForest
(Wilmington, NC, USA)
Here’s the stem starting off. There is plenty of rot and missing wood.
The traingular section missing waspart of the knee.
I have set up a piece of plywood to guide the circular saw to start the stemoplasty, sort of speak.
After lopping off the the bad wood I flattened the section with a combination of power planer, right angle grinder and belt sander.
Would have been nice if I could have gotten the old bolts out.
Kept it flat and square by frequently checking with a straight edge.
I figure any deviation from perfect will be compensated by the epoxy.Not shown in the photos is the template I fastened from the top of the new section to the keel which held the shape of the forward edge of the stem.
There are a number of opinions about gluing up white oak, especially with epoxy.
There are the cons and pros for this but I will go with it.
I try to hedge my bet with a dovetail feature on the joints.
Before the glue up I use a dovetail cutter in a trim router and run several grooves in the mating surfaces.
During the glue up I fill all the groves with epoxy and a generous amount for the remainder of the joint.
The clamp up is just enough to get a bit of squeeze out without starving the joint.
The dovetails produce a locking action I hope will strengthen the joint.
In fifty years my grandchildren will see them when they have to restore her again.
Doesn’t look too bad, but not sure if there is a problem with tying the keel and stem tightly together; time will tell?
It’s been a while since the last blog so I have a lot to cover.
After removing all the bottom planks and a side strake from each side it’s time to start putting some wood back on.
Much of the fairing of the chine has been completed and now it’s time to replace the planking to the chine.
I used a ½ x ½ inch batten to fair the chineI replaced several side frame ends and painted them up with primer.
With a plank in position, caulk is beaded on the top edge and then clamped in place.
It is then screwed in place with silicon bronze screws.
I also applied bedding compound between the plank and frame.
I’m sorry I missed getting pictures of the spiling batten in place and transferring the measurements to the plank.
The process is explained in, The Boat Building Manual by Robert M. Steward, and it worked marvelously.
It was a real pleasure to see the plank sort of roll into position as it was pulled up tight.
Of course the hardest part to pull in was at the stem and it needed some interestingly shaped blocks of wood to set the clamps square.
Again I have no picture since I was as busy as a one armed paper hanger trying to get everything fastened.
Here is the first plank in place.
Both sides needed two planks to run the full length.The forward end of starboard plank and a close up of a couple of patches to the adjacent plank that were pulled away during the teardown. Here is the aft end of the plank to a fashion piece that starts the fantail.
Now to make a long story longer I will follow up with the garboard installation and this time I’ll catch the spiling batten in use.
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Originally the frames were sitting in a cut out section of the net boat keel and attached to a triangular gusset th
at was held to the keel with a drift.
After finding out how rotten the net boat frames had become I decided to replace the top half of the keel.
With a keel section without the large cut out sections I decided to mortise the frames into the keel.
This will help strengthen the thinnest section of keel that has seen a lot of stress over the years.
Here's a view of the frames on the starboard side.
A close up of the port side that still needs final fastening and a back rabbet cut into the new section of the keel.
Now that the frames are out I can clean up the areas where the frames attach to the keel.
There were three drifts still in place that needed removal.
They could be cut flush but that would leave iron in the wood and I think it's best to get it out.
A look at the keel and frames where the drifts were exposed to water it appears the wood is actually charred and eroded away.
If anyone has another explanation I'm all ears.
Drifts are sometimes a real chore to pull.
For this batch I found that a pair of vise grips was useful to actually rotate the drifts to loosen them up.
One was particularly tenacious and I applied a torch to heat it cherry red.
I used this technique on other drifts in the net boat keel.
To make the final extraction reapply the vise grips and pry them out with a pinch bar. Using a combination of bits of 2X6 a fulcrum point can be conveniently placed.
I think I'll be beefing up the bad spots in the keel with penetrating epoxy and some thickened and troweled in place.
Next I'll be rebuilding the frames.
Thanks for taking a look at my Harkers Island
Net Boat, suggestions and encouragement is