In past years and past dinghy projects I have found that laying out the planks on the plywood was one of the parts which should have been very easy and became very hard. Part of the problem was trying to do this on the floor of the shop. Invariably I managed to position my body between the light and the plywood no matter here I knelt. That compounded the series of errors that stemmed from failing to measure properly and I was saved from disaster only because things just didn’t look right.
I am pleased to report that I am capable of learning from past experience! Getting started on the Medway coincided with the arrival of the latest Wooden Boat magazine (April 2013) which had an article on saw horses in the “Getting Started in Boats” section of the magazine. I bashed out a couple of horses based on the John Brooks euro-design at the same height as my ancient B&D Workmate and brought the layout up to a proper working height. Man, what a difference it made to be able to stand and reach across the surface. I had also upgraded the shop lighting with another fixture and eliminated the shadows. The big plus is that I managed to almost end the measurement errors.
Next was the task of setting the curves to work with the intersections with the station lines. In the past this has been a problem because I didn’t have the weights to hold down the wood batten forming the curves. This time I used brads to mark the points and simple bulldog clips to hold the batten on. It worked a treat and cut down the frustration level to a manageable measure. I have laid out only the three planks which extend to one and one-half sheets of plywood. When these have been cut out they will be used as templates for the other half of the hull. The bulkheads and transom will be fitted onto the offcuts.