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April 17, 2003 - Spreading the Bottom Planks and Attaching the Transom:  Since my last entry I took the side planks out onto my driveway, aligned them, screwed them together, and faired the edges.  I also did a "test" spreading of the bottom planks, which resulted in one of the wires at the very front of the bow splitting out of it's hole.

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After the split occurred I repaired the hole using a small piece of scrap plywood.

While making repairs to the split out I notice that the tip of the other bow plank had five knot holes lined up straight across the plank.  I figured that this would greatly weaken the hull, so I cut off the offending piece and scarfed a new tip onto the plank.

At this point in the assembly process there are too many parts and pieces to handle alone so I called on my good friend, Roger Francis, to give me a hand.  Roger has a lot of experience in construction and remodeling and his help in this project is greatly appreciated.  (Two heads are better that one.)

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When I built the cradle I inserted 2X4 center posts to allow for the height of the keel on the finished hull.  Roger and I saw that these posts were not going to be practical and removed them.  We decided to make braces on the cradle that approximated the bottom lines of the transom.  Here Roger holds the transom in preparation for measuring the braces. We held 23 inch pieces of 2X6 against the back of the cradle and drew a line against them using the transom as a guide.
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Next we  placed the 2X6's against the back edge of the cradle crossbeam and attached them using 2 1/2 inch deck screws. Here are the braces screwed into place to accept the bottom of the hull.   The nice thing about using this system is that the braces can be raised and lowered as the hull is moved back and forth during the leveling process.
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The next step was to open the planks and place the transom on top of the ends of the planks.  Before opening the planks I loosened the wires on the very front of the planks and there was absolutely no cracking or splitting around the holes!!! To hold the transom into place while waiting for the side planks to be attached, we cut and installed two 2X4 blocks, which were screwed through the bottom planks and the back of the transom.
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At this point the hull was supported at the back of the cradle, but not at the front.  Here I'm shown making a pattern for a brace for the front crossbeam of the cradle.  I did this by holding a scrap piece of 3/8 inch plywood against the hull and using a compass to scribe a line on the plywood using the hull as a guide.  Next I cut the plywood out along the scribed line.
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The 3/8 inch plywood makes great pattern material, but isn't strong enough to make an actual brace.  For that I transferred the pattern to a piece of scrap 3/4 inch plywood left over from cutting out the transom. After making the first brace I flipped it over on another scrap of 3/4 inch plywood and duplicated it.
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Next we leveled the hull, crawled under the bow, and screwed the braces to the front crossbeam of the cradle using deck screws. This shows the braces installed on the front crossbeam of the cradle.

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IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!

My next job will be to drill holes in the side planks and attach them to the bottom planks and transom.

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