The Planking

Female captain restoring wooden sailboat

The plank repairs mirrored the whole restoration process in a way, that there were SO many more planks that needed repair than I had thought at first. 

Wooden boat restoration Female captain
The plank wood around the chain plates was soft like cotton

One of the worst areas were the planks around the chain plates. Through the constant small movement of the chain plates by the pressure put on mast and rigging while sailing, leaks had developed that little by little had destroyed most of the plank wood right around them. 

Wooden boat restoration frame repair
Behind the settee lockers there was a lot more rot

There were several planks at the stern, by the aft bilge and some on the beam. When I thought, I was almost finished with plank repairs, I ripped out the plywood ceiling behind the settee only to find another 2-3 weeks of plank and frame repairs. 

I used 1inch beautiful dry mahogany that I had brought back from my trip to Belize for the planking. The planks were built by first making a template with a 1/4 inch piece of plywood, slightly smaller than the plank would have to be tapped in place onto the frames. Then, I used a so called spiling block, a small rectangular straight block of wood, with which I would make marks every 5-6 inches all along the template. I then would remove the template and fasten it to the future plank. With the spiling block in the right orientation, I would copy the marks onto the plank wood. With this method, I would be able to build fairly well fitting planks. 

Still, my planks were far from perfect. The reason why I was able to get away with that, was the heavy weighing decision to sheath my sweet Alani with fiberglass after all the repairs were done.

Wooden boat restoration plank repair
The plank template made with the help of my cute little spiling block
Wooden boat restoration plank repair
Copying the template marks on the future plank
Female captain restoring wooden boat
Concentrated plank building


Wooden sailboat restoration Rio Dulce
Work in progress
Female captain restoring wooden sailboat


Read the next chapter Interior, Preps and Extras

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