Wooden Sailboat Blog

“Welcome to my sailboat restoration blog.”

Replacing top Plank

The top plank was in very bad shape and needed to be replaced.

Marine Ply

To save money and get better strength I decided to substitute cedar with marine grade Okoume ply. Cut to 6" wide strips and splicing them; the new sections were 16 feet long and planed down to 3/8" from 1/2".

Richard at Work...

I had 4 days of great help. When it comes to handling 16 foot pieces you need more than 2 hands....

Removing old Plank

Behind all the smoke there is some true action going on. By prying the old plank "a little" the Dremel blade can just reach the cooper tacks and separate them. Since there was no glue used everything came of quite clean.

Clean Surface

After removing most of the tacks with a counter sink the old plank is cleaned with the sander. Now we are ready for the new piece.

Shaping "the Copy"

Since the old plank came off in one piece we simply traced the outline. After cutting it out the edges are shaped to fit the curve of the hull.

More Epoxy Glue

Using a sticky epoxy mix we tried to find a cold day to perform this operation. Attaching a 15 foot plank, clamping it in place and driving 50 cooper tacks takes a while. We manage it even by using the fast hardener in 50 degree weather.

Special Clamps

With some left over maple we assembled clamps that can reach over the planks.

Driving Cooper Nails

I ordered the cooper tacks from Jamestown Distributors. By holding a large mallet on the back side they act like "staples". The ends bend over and hold the gap tight.