Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Still away, but got some fittings

I'm still away from the build working, but have managed to get a few fittings fabricated so I feel like I am still getting stuff done.  Six months and counting to resuming regular scheduled construction/painting.

The original design included plans for having various fittings cast.  I decided that I would take advantage of being overseas to have them fabricated in stainless steel (316).  Below is a shot of the ones produced to date, across the top you have six chainplates with backing plates to match.  Underneath on the left is the stem fitting and then three whisker stay plates (I didn't take a close up of those, they are 6mm.

The chainplates (one close up below) are all 8mm, you can see the triangular shaped gusset underneath to support the right angle step out then up.  This space is where the gunwale hardwood sits (two holes for attachment) and the very top hole is where the rigging attaches, note the slight bend inwards about 4cm up.  Five bolt holes to go through the bottom of the fitting and a hardwood pad into the hull, then a shaped backing hardwood piece on the inside of hull to spread the load and the stainless backing plate last.  The hardwood pieces will need to match the curves of the hull to give flat surfaces for both the chainplate and backing plate to sit on.

The stem fitting is shown below looking from the front side which attaches to the forward side of the stem.  The front, rear and flat section on top are all 10mm, the upright plate in the middle is 8mm and goes through the bowsprit.

Below shows the inside face which will be on the inside of the stem under the bowsprit in the anchor well, where there is a small lower deck section in front of frame one.

Below is from the side showing the 8mm upright piece that goes through a slot cut in the bowsprit.  Note the holes for attaching rigging at the top edge.  Note also the slope to match the one already cut on top of the stem according to the plans.


More fittings underway for the rudder, I'll post pictures when I get them.  Looking forward to getting back underway soon!


  1. Found your blog after looking for more pics of a Sundowner, after hearing about John Welsford designs in a boat book. So glad to see you are still at it. I have a terrible urge to build a boat, but need to really think about the practicalities! I have binge-read your blog to help remind me what a project like this would be like - especially since my woodwork skills are pretty basic (did do a lot on my old gaffer though, but I was mainly tool and jig designer, and working out how to do things more than wielding the tools). But still got that urge. If only I can arrange space, money, and time!

    1. Ah I feel your pain. That's all I was doing when I started, looking at a boat I really liked but couldn't find many photos on.

      I am still at it, but the break is coming to a close soon. I assume you've seen the original, if not there is a link up the top right of the blog which will take you to Mr Whipple's build.

      The most fortunately things I had was the time due to my shift work, the space 25m or so from the house in a shed and most importantly an understanding family. Money spread over a long build doesn't seem to hurt as much as well. I'm hoping to splash sooner rather than later, but am pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying just plodding along (when I'm there). Skills you pick up along the way, I only had the basics from high school woodwork/metalwork for a couple of years. But I have a father who is a retired tradesman, and have outsourced some to him and professionals.

  2. I live in a city, so space is expensive! And time is always scarce. I would love to sail an example boat before I build it, just to see if I like the motion :-). I have also been quite enamoured of George Buehler's designs and especially his philosophy for years - and he is very helpful to builders of his boats - but he is getting on a bit now ... it might be wise to hurry up. But they get built right side up, so glassing would be a pain. I would love not to have to glass - but I want to do plywood so there is the best chance of the boat not leaking!!! Plus, faster!. Oh my, well. I can't shake the idea!! Keep at your build and blog and I eagerly look forward to the day you launch!