Tag Archives: boat building

Canvas decking

During the building of Alice Gale I have spent time working out how I wanted the deck to be finished.  For a long time I thought I would be making a wood finish, most likely mahogany striping from my wood left overs.   While reviewing classical boat construction I learned about the use of canvas covering over the deck beams.   A modification of this process for plywood decking using wood glue as a substrate sealer caught my attention.   I really liked the idea of a classical look to the deck and appreciate the rougher non slip finish.   An alternative solution that would look quite similar and much more durable would have been a Dynel cloth and epoxy finish.  The WoodenBoat Forum has a lot of references on both Dynel and canvas covering.   I decided on the canvas covering option primarily due to the simplicity of application.

Meranti plywood fore deck

10oz canvas covering (black spots are from graphite paint spill and is not rot)

Fitting the canvas

Careful alignment for cutout made

Fitting canvas

Trimming the canvas

Tools for installation

A scrapper takes out any seams

The canvas is glued to the plywood deck with Titebond III wood glue.   A generous amount of glue is spread evenly onto the plywood and a scrapper is used to push out any wrinkles.  I started from the center bitt and worked outward to the gunwale.    The edges are then stapled.   After allowing the glue to dry overnight the entire decking is sealed with a mixture of  Titebond glue diluted with 30% water.  But first use a spray bottle of water and a household cloth iron to reactivate the glue and stretch out the canvas.   The diluted glue is then painted on until the canvas is saturated throughout with the glue mixture.

Use spray water and and Iron for final smoothing (after overnight drying, canvas has been stapled)

Painting the diluted glue mixture

Allow the glue to dry completely for several days before painting with a marine enamel.   I will be painting the Alice Gale decking with the same two part marine enamel I am using for the interior hull.  (System Three WR-LPU Polyurethane Topcoat, color Whidbey White)

Glue has set and ready for paint.

Canvas covering on aft decking


Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Building Stage


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Midship seating and sail plan redesign.

I have made several modifications from the original Ebihen building plans.    A significant change occurred when I had Mr. Vivier redesign the sail plan so that I could dip the mast under a local bridge.   The sail plan has changed from a Gaff rigged sloop to a Lug Rigged Sloop.  This change will allow for simpler sail management.   The main sail has increased slightly in volume while the jib has decreased.   A 4 degree mast rack has been added to the plan.

If you are interested in this sail plan please contact  Francois Vivier. (Ebihen designer)

The original design calls for a cross seat, rowboat style (thwart), across the centerboard trunk.  I have changed the seating to side seats along the gunwale. This required several new seat pillars (knees) to be designed.    I did this redesign for personal and practical reasons, desiring better access forward and seating comfort for my sailing guests.

Side Seat design

Plywood laminates for each knee

Epoxy glue up of knee laminates

Ready for installation

Installed with screws and thickened epoxy

Added additional support

Faired as needed with epoxy fairing compound

Added rear seat support, rabbit cut

Dowel used side locker seat support

Installed support

Seat support and trim detail

Ready for primer

Ready now for paint

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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Building Stage


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Odds and Ends

Here are few photo’s of various construction details.

Mahogany trim above seat height

For the stem I added a mahogany trim piece above.   Turns out I was a bit short on my stem height after plank attachments.  This trim piece brought it back to specifications and also added a bit of beauty to the stem.   The mid section will be painted hull green.

I added mahogany trim to stem

Here is a view looking aft.   Shows first coat of varnish on the gunwale and the fitting of the floorboards and seats.  I used tile spacers to establish a standard width between boards.  You can also see the horse traveler and fairleads on the transom.   These parts where ordered from Classic Marine.

board spacing

Here is a closer look at the u leads.   The length was longer then expected and I had to add spacing blocks.   Not sure if this was an order mistake, but I like the results.

I needed a back block to fit the Classic Marine U type leads

The bronze horse from Classic Marine is of great quality.

Fitting horse to transom

And here is a view of the rudder installation hardware.


Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Building Stage


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Birthdays, Holidays, and finally a Tiller

I haven’t posted for almost 6 weeks.   I have worked on Alice Gale during this time frame but much more time was spent on a slide show for my Dad’s 80th birthday party and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   I had a great time with family and friends during the past weeks and I couldn’t be happier.  My dad’s party was a great success and holiday meals with friends and family where outstanding.   I also got a little ski holiday in between Christmas and New Years.  Mammoth Mountain was in excellent condition with over 100 inches of snow on the ground.

Back to Alice Gale.    I finished basic work on my trailer modifications.   I ordered some custom sized u-bolts to replace the four stressed bolts in use.  I still need to wire the trailer for lights, but I will wait until I have Alice Gale already on the trailer.   It’s time now to work on the boat again after what has felt like a long lay off.

I ordered the majority of my final hardware items from Classic Marine.   These parts came in during the holidays.  The workmanship and quality of these parts are remarkable. While expensive, each part is a work of art.

I have completed work on my tiller, while also working on the rudder.

Sapele Mahogany laminated to match width of shaped tiller

Working on the rudder and tiller shape

Ready for Varnish, with end ball installed

You can also see that I have installed the 4HP Mercury outboard.  Here is the motor mount prior to installation.

Measured and cut, ready for epoxy sealing amd mounting

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Building Stage


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Trailer and outboard motor

I was expecting to order a custom trailer that was ideal for Alice Gale  (this is our boat’s name for the Ebihen 15).   A few trailer manufacturers provided quotations and it looked like I would be spending upwards of $3500 for a trailer that would be ideal.    For several months I would go online and browse Craig’s list for possible trailers that could be modified.   I also have thought of making my own trailer.   In late October Craig’s list came through with a trailer that was a perfect match for Alice Gale.

Oxidation removed and ready for primer

I had a number of specific needs for the trailer.  The trailer needed a folding tongue, low height, good balance, and solid support for the boat.   This trailer is very unique.  It has a tilt bed, adjustable keel rollers, adjustable axle location for balance, and a very long tongue that allowed me to adjust the overall trailer length to an exact size for my garage space.

Epoxy paint to match hull interior

I shortened the overall length with a folding tongue hinge

Unique roller system collapses to rest keel on blocks (to be added)

Trailer is nearly completed

I am busy now with replacing the trailer springs, lighting,  folding tongue, and adjusting the location and spacing of the winch assembly.  Once this is completed the trailer will be off to temporary storage while I get back to work on the boat.

I scored again yesterday on Craig’s list with an 4HP Mercury outboard motor.

Another Craig's List find


Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Building Stage


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Gunwale construction

The gunwale on the Ebihen 15 is built up from 5 separate pieces of wood.   I selected Sapele Mahogany and Oak for the gunwale.      I did not use full length  pieces and simply joined together each piece on the boat without scarfing as I built up the gunwale.   If you are painting, this is a pretty easy way and joints will not show with good filler and smooth sanding.  I am planning still to leave my gunwale bright (no paint), so I did the best fitting I could with each of the joints and so far I am pleased with how the gunwale is looking.   Close inspection will show the epoxy joints and a purist will probably be disappointed, but  I am more pleased then expected and the construction is still up to my hoped for standards.

First layer being fitted

You will need a lot of clamps

First layer for the starboard bow.

Second layer of the gunwale

Second layer clamped

Inner Gunwale

Gunwale oak rubbing-strake

Ready for sanding


Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Building Stage


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