Building a KARA Hummer Layout Duck Boat #5: Fitting the Plywood Hull Panels

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 05-18-2015 03:25 AM 2683 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Installing Anchor Pole Through-Hull Brackets Part 5 of Building a KARA Hummer Layout Duck Boat series Part 6: Applying the Plywood Hull Panels »


The frame is complete and it’s time to apply the 1/4” Marine Douglas Fir plywood hull panels. The plan accounts for nailing these panels in place without glue and sealing them with epoxy later.

My plan is to apply 2.3 ounce fiberglass cloth to the inside surface with a coat of epoxy before applying the panels. The potential advantage is a very durable/waterproof inside hull surface. The disadvantage is that I must fit the panels prior to final application and I have to time the application of the panel so that the epoxy isn’t so stiff that it prevents the panels from bending around the ribs…I could have a disaster in the works!

Fitting the Panels

The process starts with cutting the middle hull panel.

I clamped the panel in place and traced the two middle ribs from the inside to be sure I would hit the ribs with screws and nails.

Drilling screw holes in the middle hull panel used for initial fitting and alignment.

Middle hull panel applied for fitting. NOTE: Notice the bulge on the right side. This formed because I didn’t connect the panel to the gunnels yet. It will work itself out during final application.

The end hull panels fall away toward the bow and stern. This causes the joint line with the middle hull panel to be more of a curve. I fastened the end panel with screws in the middle 12” and then traced the overlap with the middle hull panel. This is how much must be cut from each corner to make a clean joint line.

Preparing to cut an end hull panel corner. This is where track saws shine…

I traced the shape of the gunnel on the underside of each panel during fitting and cut to within 1/4” of this line to make it easier to align nails along the gunnel.

Fitting end panels with a block plane.

I removed all the panels and sanded them with 80 grit sandpaper. Here my wife is trimming the fiberglass cloth. I’m waiting to apply the epoxy to the cloth until morning. I only work half a day tomorrow and the epoxy should be “green” cured and ready to go when I get home.


In the next installment I’ll discuss applying the plywood hull panels.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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