History of the Col. Lewis

First Stages of Re-building

First float in 27 years

Sails and rigging

Re-building (planks)



Fave Boat Building Schools

Other Sharpie hull designs

Assorted Details

Photos From WBF 2007

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Re-building the hull is simultaneously incredibly simple and incredibly complex.  The simple aspect of it is to replace all the wood that is rotten, overly weathered, cracked, or missing.  The complex aspect of it is that, before any of that can happen, the shape of the boat has to be "faired," or restored to its original lines and gentle curves.  In the case of this boat, many of the frames have rotted almost completely away.  This has caused many of the hull planks to bend, warp, kink, or just plain crack.  In addition, years of lying upside-down with the gunnels propped up on logs has resulted in the hull developing a serious twist along the longitudinal axis.

Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way to fix these problems.  With so many rotten frames (4 of 8), the hull is really quite flexible.  By attaching a single, solid plank along the entire length of the gunnels (17'), I was able to pull the walls of the boat "into fair" (see photo).  Once that was accomplished, it was also pretty easy to twist the boat back into its original shape.  Adjusting the cross-braces that I'd installed in the summer of 2006 allowed me to secure the hull in the newly-faired shape.

View of the faired hull from the stern.  Green arrows indicate plank used to pull the hull into fair.  The string in the center of the photo was used to judge alignment.

The next step is to systematically remove and replace the frames.  As you can see, there is a small amout of deadrise, or vee, to the hull (see photo).  I have been able to use the rotten frames as templates to make the replacement frames (using white oak amidships, where most of the stresses from the mast and lee-boards will be, and douglas fir everywhere else). 

View of (upside down) hull frame, showing deadrise of ~4-5 degrees. View of original fir hull frame (on right) being used as a template for shaping the white oak replacement (on left).

In addition to using the rotten frames as templates, I also have been making extensive use of my grandpa's carpenter's bevel to ensure that the frames are symmetrical (which would not necessarily have been the case using only the original pieces.....)

Carpenter's Bevel on the port upright of 
Frame No. 3.
Carpenter's Bevel on the starboard upright of
Frame No. 3.

With enough of the frames replaced to hold hull planks securely, it's time to move on to planking!