Introduction For some reason that may be hard to explain in rational terms, you think it is time to build a boat. It’s an excellent decision, of course, but if it is your first boat, you’ll be wondering where to start. Selecting a building method that is appropriate to your skill level, expectations, and situation should be one of your first decisions. The first edition of Getting Started in Boats covered the construction of a skiff built with time-honored procedures and materials: it employed solid-wood planks fastened with screws. The next installment detailed how to make a canoe of readily available plywood. Now we turn to strip-epoxy construction, a method that economizes on the use of solid lumber—there’s very little wasted wood—and combines it with the strength and resilience of epoxy and fiberglass. It yields a beautiful and lightweight hull with maintenance concerns similar to those of a fiberglass hull. A variety of boats can be built using the basic techniques outlined in this booklet. This edition of Getting Started explains the major operations involved in building a strip-planked boat, in hopes that you’ll discover just how straightforward the process is. Numerous books cover the nuances and details of strip-planking; likewise, several companies offer kits and plans for this technique. What is Strip-Planking? Strip-planking is simply joining the edges of narrow, uniform-width planks to form the shape of a boat hull. Many boat shapes—from canoes to kayaks to heavy cruisers—can be built with strip planks and fiberglass, as the accompanying photographs suggest. In general, strip-planking requires fewer tools and skills than traditional building. The hulls have a high strength-to-weight ratio and, because the wood is sealed with epoxy, its moisture content does not change. The boats therefore remain light, and maintenance is minimal. Wood-strip-epoxy boats have a core of softwood planks sandwiched between layers of fiberglass cloth set in epoxy resin. One big advantage of this construction is the large number of full-sized plans and precut kits for strip-planked boats available to the home builder. This eliminates a number of complicated steps and the need for stationary power tools for the milling of strips. Choose a good design that is right for you. Do some research; a poorly designed boat that does not meet your needs will consume the same materials and time as the perfect boat. Getting Started in Boats (ISNN 1932-1511) is published bimonthly, in Brooklin, Maine, by WoodenBoat Publications, Inc. Jonathan A. Wilson, Chairman. Copyright 2007 by WoodenBoat Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission from the publisher. What Can I Build With Strip-Planking? A kayak built to plans from Bear Mountain Boat Shop. The edge of practicality and the edge of speed: A racing canoe, or “high kneeler". RIFF, a 12'3" daysailer designed by Paul Gartside. NIKI (see cover story, WB No. 198), a lobsterboat-inspired yacht built by Thomas Townsend. A canoe built to plans from Bear Mountain Boat Shop, with detailed accent strip running along the topsides. Basic Steps of Strip-Epoxy Construction The building jig for a canoe consists of a series of forms, or molds, carefully aligned and fastened to a strongback. Making Molds Strip-planked boats are built on a construction jig. A jig is a seri

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