16' Gentlemans Runabout #12: Top Side Planks

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Blog entry by ashgrove posted 03-13-2013 12:28 AM 1716 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Rolling the Boat Part 12 of 16' Gentlemans Runabout series Part 13: Interior Stain »

Installed shear planks.

Clamped the layout batten on plank.

Cut curves for first top side planks.

Laid out joints for the planks.

Cut knotches in frames, ready to install planks.

7 comments so far

View Mip's profile


325 posts in 763 days

#1 posted 03-13-2013 03:09 AM

That’s looking pretty sweet! I would love to see it in the finished stage. I still like the building process pictures. You have to put up pictures when it’s done.

View stefang's profile


13251 posts in 2020 days

#2 posted 03-13-2013 10:23 AM

It’s got a great shape and the work looks very good too. Can’t wait to see it with the deck laid.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jap's profile


1232 posts in 739 days

#3 posted 03-13-2013 12:23 PM

very good job

-- Joel

View runswithscissors's profile


1005 posts in 711 days

#4 posted 03-15-2013 08:44 PM

You’re doing a beautiful job. I’m curious about the design. I’d swear I have it in one of my collections (Motor Boating Ideal Series), but just scanned through them and couldn’t find it. I’m guessing George Crouch or John Hacker. Billy Atkin, maybe? The sectional hollow in the bottom frames seems to be an earmark of early runabouts, say around the 1920s and 30s.

Wondering where you found the design. Almost all of the plans in the Ideal Series were complete enough that you could build right out of the book, though of course designers were eager to sell you full size plans. One or two volumes even had “blue prints,” in that they were printed on blue paper with white lines and text.

How did you find the seam batten construction? It’s supposed to be one of the more difficult constructions, as the planks have to fit very precisely.

View ashgrove's profile


23 posts in 1330 days

#5 posted 03-17-2013 03:50 PM

The boat is a 1928 Runabout designed by Hacker. I purchased the drawings from the Wooden Boat catalogue.
As for the batten seam construction, I found that spiling the planks gave me the most trouble as the process of steam bending the planks before cutting was difficult. Also the chine at the stem was hard to calculate.
It should be easier the next time round.

View runswithscissors's profile


1005 posts in 711 days

#6 posted 03-17-2013 08:25 PM

Part of the rationale for development of the V bottom boat was the supposed easier construction, as compared to round bilge/steam bent frame type. As you discovered, the chine is about the trickiest part. A number of designers, Billy Atkin among them, as I recall, pointed this out. But so many people then, as now, fear the steam box. I see this often on lumberjocks threads.

Anyhow, you are doing an admirable job on a tricky project. Looks like you have conquered the tough stuff, and it should be clear sailing the rest of the way.

Oh, I’m curious what wood you planked her with? And I see the transom required steam bending. Same wood?

View ashgrove's profile


23 posts in 1330 days

#7 posted 03-17-2013 09:17 PM

I used white oak for the frames and African mahogany for the planks. I made a steam box out of a 16 foot piece of duct and a boiler out of a coal oil container.

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