Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

re: page 86 of Peeler instructions

I have been practicing with my small trim router and a cove bit and fence and I am convinced that there is no way I can go the whole 15+ feet (twice) without an oops. 

Any hints on how I can accomplish this feat would be appreciated. Otherwise I'll have to use some pin striping tape.




8 replies:

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RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

   That is a tricky part of the build!  I just practiced a lot on some long scraps of okoume  and scrap plywood so I got the feel of the wood.  I used an old Craftsman router with a guide.  Pretty big heavy router.  It went fine along the curves of the wale.  I had the wales on my work bench clamped down at each end.  My bench is 20 feet long so if I didnt have that, I think using 4 or six horses and having a few extra set of hands to hold them down would be of great help.  Once you get over the mental anguish of messing it up you will be fine!  And if you have some hiccups and arent happy with the result you can always fill it in and paint.  Or make or order new ones. Go pretty shallow too,  A little goes a long way with the look.  If you wobble a litte bit you can fix it with some sanding to blend the edge.  Clean up the ends by hand.  Also, maybe have a helper to keep the power cord free of snagging something as you walk down the 15 feet.  If you dont have anyone, make sure the cord and extension cord runs nice and free, I think I put it over my shoulder.  Do some dry runs.  No bit in the router to get the feel of walking with the tool keeping your eyes on the job and keeping the router nice and flat and feeling the torque.  I am happy I did mine, they really look nice.  Either way you go with or without, you still end up with a beautiful boat!  Godd luck and just go for it!

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

   SurferBill - 

I think your right-on with the heavy router. The trim router likes to follow the grain even when it's set shallow. Also going shallow will give me some wood to sand out the burned spots. Does your router have adjustible speed? 

I'll have to get creative with supporting the strakes. I may need something to steady my hand too. I guess I will need to beg, borrow or rent a heavy router.

Thank you your input.

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

   I didnt have a choice with the router.  It is about 45  years old.  Pretty sure it is only only one speed.  Have you tested the trim router using Okoume?  I wouldnt think it would follow grain too much with the thin plys but I have never used a trim router, I guess they are really light?  as far as depth goes, all you need to do is hit the second ply to give it the look wanted so there is plenty of material to sand out any burns or wobbles.  I would try to find a bigger router with a nice sturdy guide though.  Not sure if Home Depot rents them.  I guess it would not work so good if you put the wale on the floor, it would be tough to move down the 15 feet crawling on your knees.  Maybe support the wale on two sheets of 3/4 ply on top of 6 horses?   That would give you a flatter surface to work on while standing.  Or clamp the wale to the dining room table while the wife is out!  I'm in the finish mode on my boat, three coats of varnish so far and plan on continuing until I cant take it any more or the Stripers start biting!  Good luck!

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

Hi Catbuilder,

I too had worries about the cove.  My solution?  Don't do it.

I opted to not put the cove on and to me it looks really clean.


RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

   One could add strips on either side of the stick that match the height of the stick but leave enouth space for the router bit not to touch but support the base. That should remove the wobble.


Another option would be to use a router table with feather boards to hold the stick to the fence and table top. You then only need to push the stick along the fence..

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes

   After some reflection and having several months before I can do anything with epoxy I though I might just scribe a center line and two outside lines with a divider. Then, with the trim router set shallow or even just a gouge, cut a center curf and finish the cove with sand paper wrapped around a dowel. This would be much easier on the nerves and help forestall cabin fever. To err is human. To really mess up, try using the wrong power tool.

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes


That's a great looking boat. Did you use guides on the back of the trailer to center the boat? 

RE: Decorative cove on Peeler wale strakes



I did install guides on the trailer.  They are invaluable when loading the boat.

There are uprights that you can buy, but I made mine out of some exhaust pipe parts that I picked up at the Auto parts store, some U-Bolts and a couple of lengths of 2" pvc pipe.

I'll post a picture if you are interested.

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