Monday, March 5, 2012

Black Pearl Project - One hulluva nice looking boat!

Between this and my last posting, I managed to finish planking the hull.  Once I got onto the straight runs on the bottom of the hull, things moved along very quickly. As I am not varnishing this boat, I do not need to worry about how the strips look, i.e., there's no pattern or inlays or what have you to slow me down. As you can see in the image below, I simply let the strips run off the edge of the boat. These were easily trimmed afterwards. Not having to fit and cut each strip, beforehand, made for an easy job.

Strips running off the edge.

Once I had the hull planked, I moved onto the sanding. In the images below you will see the rough sanded hull - 60 grit. The first step is to fair the hull and to bring all the strips down to the same level, so to speak. This took a couple of hours. You will also see some fairing compound - either gray or pink. I used this to level up some spots on the hull. Again, as I am painting the boat, these will be not be seen in the finished product.

To neaten up the stems, I used a piece of 1/4" thick oak. These are glued into place. Notice the use of packing tape to hold the strips in place while the glue dried. I had my doubts that it would have sufficient clamping power, but it worked out great in the end.

The bow.

Looking aft and showing the sanded/faired hull.

Rough strip on the stern.

Looking fwd - faired and sanded hull.

Rough strip on bow.

Once the strips were glued into place, it was simply a matter of planing and sanding  them to blend into the hull and to provide a rounded shape to the stems. Certainly looks a lot neater than the ragged ends of the strips.

Finished bow strip with fairing compound.

When I built my stitch and glue boat last winter, I resolved not to use a power sander because of the amount of dust it would kick up. Instead, I hand sanded the whole thing. Of course, even hand sanding  throws up a lot of nasty dust that gets onto and into everything.  This time I decided to go with something different. I read that a ROS (random orbital sander) is one of the best tools for fairing and sanding te hull/deck. I found one at Home Depot on sale for 29.99.  It got rave reviews from a large number of users so I figured I'd give it a spin (pun intended). I hooked it up to my shop vac and, lo and behold, not a bit of dust in the air at all - even after sanding the entire hull!! The few times I had to hand sand, I noticed that the air became choked with dust. I was amazed and happy, to say the least. Of course, it gets pretty loud with the two (sander and vac) running at the same time, but I'll take the noise over the drudgery of hand sanding any time!!

My new favourite tool!!

With the hull rough sanded, I'm now in the process of filling any gaps, doing the final fairing and then the finish sanding. After that, it's time for the glass.

Thanks for dropping by,



  1. Sean, please tell us more about this stripping technique (with the strips running off the edge). After you have the Strips running off the edge, do you use a pull saw or a plane to have them make the shape. I think this is ingenious, but I can't find any other builders using this technique.

    You're so close to it you probably can't see your own genius.

  2. I used a sharp razor blade knife/box cutter to trim them down rough. (The pine is so soft that it was easy to cut this way). Then I used a small block plane to do the final shaping. I think this way makes for a faster build.