Drill Holes in the Boat?!?!

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Stitching, Tools, Woodworking

Yes that’s right, today I drilled holes in my boat.  Why you ask… well it is because the Skerry is built using the stitch and glue technique.  Essentially, the hull is formed by stitching panels together with copper wire.  When the boat has its proper form, the seams are “tack-welded” with epoxy between the wire stitches.  When this epoxy cures, It is safe to cut out the stitches.  So today, I drilled holes for those copper stitches to pass through.

Before I got to the drilling, I had some cleanup work to do.  I had jumped over a couple steps in the manual (on purpose).  First I had to measure and mark the bottom panel for the positioning of the three hull frames.  Next, I used a chalk line to mark the centerline of the boat along the bottom panel.  Finally, I planed the inside of the side panels at the stems to a 45 degree angle.  This will help the panels meet at the bow and stern.

Ok, back to drilling.  It took much longer than I thought it would to drill all of the holes. Actually, the drilling was pretty quick, it was the measuring and remeasuring that I spent most of my time on.  The manual seems to only emphasize a few hole positions, but for the mass majority, it just says something to the tune of, “every 4 inches or so.”  I didn’t want to work that way and used my carpenters square against my chalkline to match holes on both sides of the bottom panel.  This certainly isn’t necessary, but I am super glad I did.  You will see why in my next post.

When I finished drilling all the edges of the bottom panel, I moved onto both #1 panels. If I had been following the manual in order, I would have already drilled the #1’s top and stem holes when both side panels were clamped together for cutting gains.  I waited because I wanted to drill the holes to match with the bottom panels at the same time as I did all the others.  I thought I would be saving time drilling through both panels simultaneously, rather than drilling holes to match the bottom panel while stitching.  All the holes were drilled without difficulty.  I even had a special helper drill some of them!

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 11.0 Hours

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