A passion for wooden boats
Honing the craft
From my well-equipped shop in Cummaquid, MA., I want to use my time and experience to serve the needs of others who value wooden boats and the sea.How I started
The 12.33-foot Yankee Tender is a modification of the classic Asa Thompson rowing skiff. I selected this design due to its graceful lines, roomy interior, and ease of construction. The main features of the original plan are a flat cross-planked double bottom, lap strake sides, and generous rocker from fore to aft. The clearly presented plans are available from The Woodenboat Store in Brooklin, ME. Although not every step of construction is documented here I hope that sufficient detail is evident to inform any future effort to fabricate this boat in your shop. This section will be updated as construction proceeds.
Figure 1 shows the building plan viewed from both above and below. Construction proceeds on the raised V-shaped base of 2 x 6 beams shown. The cross-planked inner bottom and 4-strake sides are made from white pine. Other main items such as chines, frames, stem, skeg, rails, and keel are made of oak. The transom, quarter knees, and breastplate are mahogany. I opted to forego the cross-planked outer bottom in favor of a continuous covering of 3/8” Okoume marine plywood. This reinforces waterproofing and resists movement due to swelling/shrinking. Silicon bronze fasteners are used throughout.
Figure 2 shows the Yankee Tender in profile view. Stations 1-3 correspond to positions of the molds defining the curvature of the lapstrake planking. Note that large “+” denotes screw fastening while small “+” shows the 2” spacing of copper clench nails joining the strakes. The edges where the 3/8” thick white pine strakes join are beveled (3/4” wide) to give a lighter appearance to the construction. The gentle lines inherent in the design precluded any necessity to steam-treat planks or chines prior to bending.
Figure 3 shows the overall current stage of construction in which the bottom is complete and the garboard planks are in place. The positioning of the straight-sided molds on the raised base (neither to become part of the finished boat) is clearly depicted in this photo and consistent with the plan of Figure 1. The chines are hidden in this view but the fastenings for the outer bottom and garboard to the chines are evident. Also hidden in this view is the 5” wide strongback spanning the transom, molds, and stem giving rigidity to the whole structure. Masking tape markers on the molds and transom indicate edge positions of the successive strakes. These markers are used along with a spiling batten to get out the shapes of the strakes from 3/8” thick pine boards.
Figure 4 is an underside view looking toward the stem intended to show the cross planked inner bottom of the boat. The strongback is shown along with squeeze-out from the 3M 5200 silicone sealant around the chines.
Figure 5 is a better view of the plywood outer bottom. Two rows of clench nails further secure the outer bottom to the inner bottom. It is important to note that a layer of muslin saturated with a 50:50 mixture of woodsealer and oil-base paint separates the two bottom layers to block any water penetration.
Figure 6 is a stem view of the plywood outer bottom. The outer bottom was rough cut from a 10’ x 5’ sheet and laid atop the inner bottom and fastened to the chine. In this photo the left side only of the plywood has been planed flush with the garboard. All screws were countersunk and later filled with thickened epoxy. The edges of the plywood outer bottom were sealed with normal epoxy.