haven 12 1/2

greetings:  i have just finished planking the haven 12 1/2.  the instructions say to ram cotton in the seams.  is it okay instead to use epoxy putty or microballons or 3m 5200.  some of the seams or holes are an 1/8 inch wide.  also is it okay to fiberglas the hull?  thanks-mikc

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RE: haven 12 1/2

Hi mikc,

Wow, ambitious project!  I got to sail one of those while taking a week-long class at the WoodenBoat School.  A beautiful piece of fine craftsmanship. 

You're not going to find too many people here working with traditional carvel plank-on-frame construction, so you'd probably get more responses over on the WoodenBoat Forum.  I think you'd want something more resilient than epoxy in those seams, however, because the planks are going to swell some when you get it in the water.



RE: haven 12 1/2

I visit the Woodenboat Forum regularly and I can give you the drill even tho' I have no experience with carvel planking.

Assuming your planking is made from lumber, it will swell and shrink and you have to accept that. You need a caulking that not only can follow the movement of your planks but it should be something that can eventually be reefed out and redone without using dynomite. 5200 is a type of super  caulking but it is also a super glue. An application of 5200 is almost irreversible.

More bad news. You can't put glass over hulls covered with lumber. If you constrain the swelling and shrinking cycles stresses can build up that can damage the hull structure. The same danger exists if you fill the voids in the planking with epoxy. If the wood swells and there is no place for the excess to go the hull will make room even if it means breaking ribs and pulling screws.

RE: haven 12 1/2

Charlie's advice is spot on. Applying epoxy in the seams or glassing the hull will destroy your boat. A carvel built boat needs cotton calked seams but 1/8" gaps are huge and may not allow the calking to fit tightly enough to stay in the seam. You may have to replace the offending planks or cold mold veneer over the hull. ( I think that's how Capt. Nat. did it originally ) 

Don't do anymore work on the hull. Go to the WoodenBoat Forum http://forum.woodenboat.com/index.php  and ask for advice. Provide as much information as you can, preferably with lots of pictures of what you have already done. Best of luck.

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