Paul Gartside 18' Racing Gaff Cutter • Cabinversion designed by Dominik Gschwind


Week 2 - Backbone / Hullstrips

The second week started with the machining work for the hullmaterial.
As mentioned earlier the hull will be stripplanked with western red cedar. The thickness will be 5/8 " (16mm) and then both inside and outside sheated with fibreglass cloth and epoxy. So the cedar is actually the core of a composite sandwich construction.
This method is a relatively modern one which allows a very fast built in a light and very stiff construction. Beside those advantages stripplanking also is a method of quite economic use of ressources meaning that the wastematerial is much less compared to traditional wooden hulls with massive planks.
We machined the heavy pieces of stockmaterial all the way down to strips of 1" x 5/8 " (25 x 16mm) and then routed bead and cove ends on them. As visible on the lower picture in the photo the strips then fit in to each other as males and females. The dimensions of strips in stripplanking will ideally be chosen depending on size and shape of the boat. Glóey is a very "curvy" lady specially along the bilge in the aft and we decided therefor to use a relatively narrow stripstructure.
The western red cedar emittes a very nice smell which reminds one being in a north american forest. But nevertheless the dust when machining is toxic and a dustmask should be used.
The strips will now be stored on the floor inside the mainworkshop until starting planking next week so that they can go on drying until reaching a perfect moisturecontent.

Parallel to the machining we started glueing heavy pieces of sapeele mahogany used as deadwood in the aft end of the keel.
The same for the innerkeel called the hog.
This one also already got a slot for the later coming centreboard.
Because of the length of over 4 m the hog had to be build of featherscarf extended boards.
It takes quite some time to shape all elements mainly with different types of planes and the use of chalk to fit them really tight without voids together.

These used timbers are all hardwoods and it's absolutely essential to hone the cutters of every used tool to the max.

After fitting the deadwood, hog, sternpost and apron we glued all together and finally got the backbonestructure as one long piece.