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Thoughts On Study Plans for “Little Silver”

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  • Lewis E. Gordon
    Little Silver is just about what I expected from the online catalog. She s about the maximum size I would want to tackle, either building or handling. The
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 19, 2005
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      Little Silver is just about what I expected from the online catalog.
      She's about the maximum size I would want to tackle, either building
      or handling. The self-draining cockpit, bridge deck and cabin are laid
      out in a pleasing arraignment while the power requirements and speed
      are just what I want in a lake cruiser.

      A mild surprise was the construction methods; double diagonal planked
      bottom and batten-seam topsides. I wonder if Mr. Atkins was thinking
      ease of amateur construction or was this the fashion of the day? I
      would hate to plank a bottom twice (two 3/8 inch layers with brass
      screws and copper clinch nails specified), so this arrangement would
      have to be changed. A conventional cross planked bottom as per Pete
      Culler would seem to be easier, quicker, just as strong and no
      heavier. The keel as shown with apron piece is commonly used with
      cross planked V-bottom boats, so nothing unusual. Another benefit
      would be a simpler chine log. As I interpret the study plans, the
      chine log looks overly complicated.

      The batten seam topsides (four planks/side) would be fine if I were
      planking with plywood (not available here) so standard carvel
      planking, about 13/16 rather than the ½ inch specified would seem to
      be in order for this length boat. Even with batten seams, ½ inch
      cedar planking seems skinny.

      I will need to do a lot more study and come up with a materials list
      to estimate the amount of wood needed and a guesstimate for
      construction costs. I would like to have a boat like this, but we will
      have to see what the budget allows.

      Lewis
    • jkohnen@boat-links.com
      Trust the designer! The 1/2 batten-seam topsides are lighter and stronger than 13/16 carvel planking (except against punctures). Using 3/4 cross planking on
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 25, 2005
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        Trust the designer! The 1/2" batten-seam topsides are lighter and stronger
        than 13/16" carvel planking (except against punctures). Using 3/4" cross
        planking on the bottom wouldn't be any heavier than the double 3/8"
        planking, but wouldn't be as strong. If you must use carvel planking on the
        bottom, the framing is more suitable for lengthwise planking. But I wouldn't
        be surprised if Billy Atkin chose two layers of light planking to make it
        easier to fit the planks to the twist of the bottom. Little Silver's
        construction is pretty standard for motorboats of her day, and is still a
        good sort of construction today -- especially if you need to haul her around
        on a trailer.

        On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 03:42:42 -0000, Lewis wrote:
        > ...
        > A mild surprise was the construction methods; double diagonal planked
        > bottom and batten-seam topsides. I wonder if Mr. Atkins was thinking
        > ease of amateur construction or was this the fashion of the day? I
        > would hate to plank a bottom twice (two 3/8 inch layers with brass
        > screws and copper clinch nails specified), so this arrangement would
        > have to be changed. A conventional cross planked bottom as per Pete
        > Culler would seem to be easier, quicker, just as strong and no
        > heavier. The keel as shown with apron piece is commonly used with
        > cross planked V-bottom boats, so nothing unusual. Another benefit
        > would be a simpler chine log. As I interpret the study plans, the
        > chine log looks overly complicated.
        >
        > The batten seam topsides (four planks/side) would be fine if I were
        > planking with plywood (not available here) so standard carvel
        > planking, about 13/16 rather than the ½ inch specified would seem to
        > be in order for this length boat. Even with batten seams, ½ inch
        > cedar planking seems skinny.
        > ...

        --
        John <jkohnen@...>
        http://www.boat-links.com/
        Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in light so dim
        he would not have chosen a suit by it. <Maurice Chevalier>
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