Illustrated Guide to Building a Spira International Ply on Frame Boat
Spira International, Inc. Huntington Beach, California Copyright ©, 2008
All Rights Expressly Reserved
Of course. I get bored in a few hours and if I'm hand sanding. You could build this boat using only hand tools but power tools sure makes the construction go much faster. especially not if you’re planning to fiberglass cover the hull. if Iset out to sand a boat. you'll have no trouble building these boats. Tools To build a ply on frame boat.
Plenty of clamps always come in handy when boat building
. so I’ll generally do a much better job if using a power sander than the “good enough” attitude after my hand gets sore wnen hand sanding. wood framed. You'll need them to build the boat and it will give you a chance to get used to the tools. plywood planked boat designs available today.Building a Spira International Ply-On-Frame Boat
The unique Spira International Ply-On-Frame boat designs are perhaps the easiest to build of the traditional. One great idea is to build a pair of saw horses. I won't have made nearly as much progress by hand than if I'm using a power sander. You may upgrade materials. there's no substitute for common sense and anyone contemplating taking one of these boat out in any rough water should be thoroughly familiar with small boat handling in poor weather conditions. They are alsoa reliable. This can be considered a minimum list. You may substitute with the local equivalent. If you are not sure if your local materials are OK. you should also be familiar with using wood working hand tools and hand-type power tool such as saber saws. If this is your firstendeavor into any kind of wood working. and electric sanders. In any case. following is a list of suggested tools you'll need. Materials Standard construction grade materials are called out on the boat building plans. seaworthy small boats able to handle most lake and near coastal conditions. but it is not necessary to use expensive marine grade products. For instance. Power Tools Saber Saw Electric Drill Power Sander (random orbital) Electric Screwdriver Hand Tools Block Plane Screwdrivers (both straight & phillips) 20 (or more) 2" or 3" "C" clamps Hammer 3/4" or 1" Woodworking Chisel Wrenches for the bolts. if you have spent sometime using wood working tools. drop me an e-mail and I’ll check them out for you. The materials called out are common in the Western United States and your area may not have the exact materials. To build the boat. of course. I personally find the time savings using power tools allows me to do a better job. I'd suggest building a tune up project of some type before building the boat. electric drills.
Traditionally. If a smaller boat. On some of the boat designs the strongback is detailed and on others it’s left up to you. This is usually dependent on how complex the strongback needs to be. it’s usually quite simple to construct. lay out the frames full size on a piece of plywood (some cover it with butcher paper so it is fresh for each frame). the frames of the boat are built first. Generally this is made of a strong wooden beam just long enough to fit inside the boat. andbolted together to form the shapes as shown on the drawings. Using the plans. The wood frame members are then cut and laid out on the pattern.
.Building Procedure Building a wooden framed boat is best accomplished on a strongback. glued with epoxy. then drilled. This brings the boat up to a omfortable working height and keeps everything aligned while the boat is under construction.
or more complex. notched blocks can be created to create this curve.
. so there’s no need to block up the frames. you need to set the ribs on the strongback. Still other boats. Drill through the frames and keelson and bolt frames in place using epoxy glue as shown in the drawing. the bottoms are straight. or some of the Grand Banks dories. Temporary simple blocks may be used. On some boats like the Carolina dories. you will need to raise the ribs up from the strongback to create “rocker” or a curve to the bottom.
Blocking Up Frames
The keelson is next to be attached. Pay close attention to whether the frame risers are toward the forward or aft side of the frame bottoms. have the strongback designed so that you do not need to worry about heights.Next. like many of the vee bottom hulls. Just tack them to the strongback in their correct longitudinal locations. But on many boats..
Drill starter holes.
Fitting the Chine Log
Repeat the process used for the chine log for the two shear clamps. Take your time doing this so the fits are tight and smooth. This minimizes the tendency to warp.After the frames are in place. This involves planing the frames and chine log so that plywood will smoothly fit on the outside of the boat. Build up the transom and cover the outside with plywood. You'll find it's easiest to begin at the transom and work forward going from one side to the other. As you approach the keelson stem area. you must cut away the material to smoothly transition to the bow. Epoxy it and bolt it into place as shown. The aft end of the keelson should be beveled to a 12 degree angle so the transom aligns properly once it is located. Some people (and I include myself) like a drawknife for this work. Drill through the log and frames. Rough shape the joint where the keelson and stem come together keelson with a saber or band saw. the next step is to "fair" the boat. but be careful. epoxy the joint and attach it in-place to the end of the keelson using the lag screws. The chine log comes next. it takes some practice to keep from removing too much material.
. Using epoxy as a glue bolt the joints together. add the stem and any stem knee (filler between stem and keelson) that is called out on the drawings. You must cut out notches in the frames as shown on the drawings.
Once the framing is complete.
Again. and is recommended
Fiberglass covering is optional on most Spira International boats. roughly cut out the plywood planking a bit oversized. You then can now fasten the plywood using either boat nails or better yet. Apply the side planking first. drill and drive stainless steel screws with about 3-4" spacing along the frames and about 6" spacing along the chine log or shear clamp. apply it to the area you're planning to plank and clamp the plywood in-place. then plane the edge smooth along the bottom.After all the framing is faired. Apply the fiberglass tape with epoxy along the plywood seams. You may optionally cover thebottom or the whole boat with one or more layers of fiberglass for a long lasting. it is best to work from side to side to minimize the tendency to warp the boat. sand and saturate the wood with epoxy before turning over. At a minimum. tough finish. so that the bottom planking covers the edge. Mix up a batch of epoxy.
The fitting out of seats and accessories up to you you from
.Flip the hull over. or you might elect to varnish your boat with either traditional spar varnish or the new polyurethane varnishes for that beautiful wood look. Saturate the inside of the hull with epoxy also. Epoxy the plywood joint butt blocks in-place on the inside of the hull everywhere you find a joint.
Don’t forget to saturate the inside of the hull with epoxy.
Not it’s time for a good coat of paint. Your hull is now complete. Run a few screws to hold the butt block in-place while the epoxy hardens.