Wooden Keel

by Ian Ellis
(Sydney Australia)

When you build a large timber boat, say 75 feet boat with timber keel how do you join the timber to make the keel in simple terms ?

Comments for Wooden Keel

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by: Mike

Thanks letting me know Jim,

Are you viewing the site on a tablet?

If so I think I have solved the problem.

I’d much appreciate it if you would let me know how it looks now.

Thanks again,


Part of comment page has overlapping copy....
by: Jim

When I try to read the comments I find that the photos of the boats cover up a portion of each comment on the right hand side of the page so it is impossible to read the entire comment.

I'm new to this sight and would to get more involved but I can't when the copy is covered up ........

Shipwright Wooden Boats
by: mike wright

Read Howard Chapells Boatbuilding, it is a must read.

Second keel and deadwood or backbone timbers are usually scarf jointed cut accurately and bolted together.

I use a tar or fibergum coating on the timber faces before bolting up and this is a proven and strong method especially in large vessels….one should read the many good books written on the subject.

Quartersawn timbers are good or with fir old growth with the heart in the stick from one end to the other, nice and solid works fine too.

Cup your grains down or face to face when bolting up

Keel Timbers
by: Mike

Hello Ian,

A so called ‘solid timber’ keel of that size would normally be built up from the largest available timbers, through bolted and or glued.

The larger the parts the fewer will be the joints and the less chance of joint failure.

But it will depend on what timer is available locally.

The timber needs to be well seasoned, rot resistant and have a good strength to weight ratio.

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