Re: Simple as crab cakes

Posted by BobE on Jul 7, 2006

We’re certainly not a production shop. No way – not even close. Hobby only. Brother Dave builds inside his singlewide or the porch. I build in the crawl space under the house – barely 6’ clearance. Brother Lee has room enough to build a single boat in his basement. We’re in three different cities spread up and down the east coast. There is 600 miles between the nearest house – 1200 the farthest. Between the three of us, we have built several CLC designs from the Severn thru the Chess’s and WR’s as well as rowing boats and the Oxford Shell, which BTW if you haven’t tried – well you ought to cause it’s a blast – we even made the rigger from a Glen-L design. Sorry, getting off-rail here. We’ve never sold a single boat, although Dave needs to unload a Sabalo SOT or another kayak to make room for his current projects. Too many boats, but lots of fun. We all work as software engineer types although we have always had boats and model airplanes as hobbies. So I can’t see a link to a production job in any way, but I understand your fear of what it must take to build the forms. Believe me, it is very easy.

We, mostly Dave, created the “henways”, as Dave likes to call ‘em, because it makes the deck install process soooo much easier – well worth the couple hours it takes to build the forms – and you can use a couple of them again when installing hatch stiffeners to help prevent distortions in the deck. They have the same radius as the sheerclamp planning form for the appropriate deck. We used inexpensive ½” “Sandeply” I think it is called at the big (HD) box store. A router with a ¼” spiral bit is attached to a circle cutting jig made from some left over ¼” ply. Cutting on centers even allows for the thickness of the deck ply over the bulkheads. I think Dave has a write-up with pic.’s stashed away somewhere if anyone is interested.

Some advantages they have over straps alone is that the forms allow one to see if a flat spot is developing say in the bow section where the double curve begins. On my WR18 in 3mm I was able to form the ply in two directions – what folks generally say can’t be accomplished. All performed single handed in relative ease – far simpler than wiring the hull for example. They also prevent the heavy flex at the sheerclamp as can happen with string and straps without extra blocks of wood placed on the hull. And the external forms make the deck conform to the bulkhead radius so that no gaps appear between the BH and the deck; (or you could use stiffeners under the straps at BH/deck beam locations). I know, I know, I could go on, but I’m boring you to tears.

I’ll grant you that making the forms takes a power tool, but everyone needs another excuse to buy a router – eh? Some may complain that using any external form goes against the grain of the S&G process, so be it.

I’ll wager a dinner of crab cakes that a first-timer, without a helper, can install a deck with henways faster, in a not so frantic state of mind, than any other method with two helpers and do a better job of it as well.

In Response to: Re: Simple as crab cakes by Laszlo on Jul 7, 2006


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