Sunday, January 1, 2012

Building Beth

Beth is a 15.5ft sailing boat designed by Iain Oughtred. She was launched in 2007 after a two year build. Iain Oughtred's original "Tammie Norrie" design was a 13.5ft boat with the option of a lug yawl or sloop rig. I have scaled the boat up 10% and have fitted a gaff yawl rig. Planks were cut from 6mm gaboon marine ply. framing and spars were made from laminated hoop pine.

You can buy the plans here -

I also found this forum a great help during the build -

After a couple of models I figured I knew all I needed to know about boat building and sailing.  Building started in 2005, the digital dark age at my place. Station profiles were transfered to chipboard, cut, aligned and mounted to a strong back. The station moulds were held rigid with the addition of the keelson, stem and transom. The stem was laminated from 3mm strips of hoop pine layered together with epoxy and bent around a chipboard form to cure.

Rough cut plank stock cut from scarphed 6mm marine ply was laid over the mould. Planks were marked out using battens laid across the plank positions on the station moulds to determine shape. Mating surfaces for each plank were then planed and sanded to the correct angle and the planks were epoxied in place. Slowly the hull shape takes form and the shell develops strength. The hull is the turned over and fitted out. Centreboard, thwarts, knees, inwhale, cleats, etc

After a lick of paint, Beth was launched March 2007 with a pagan ceremony invoking Neptune and tying branches to the bow...but that's another story that Partner of Tinkerer will have to tell.

After launch and some preliminary trials, one of the first jobs was to overturn the boat and test the buoyancy. I wanted to know if the boat would float when swamped and that it was physically possible to climb over the transom and into the boat. The news was good, but I learned how hard it was to right the boat climb in and bail. It was tough work and the conditions were ideal so I'm not looking forward to the day I need to do it for real.

Initial salt water trials at Cowes (Phillip Island, Victoria). This where I learnt that I needed significant balast. Without 80kg of sandbags the boat is very difficult to manage.