When I was much younger, my dad told me a joke that has stuck with me. Every time I hear the word "Knee", I am reminded of it.
A man rushes into a whore house and asks the madame for a woman and states that he is in a hurry.
The madame fulfills his request with a lovely lady of the night and they head off into their room.
As he takes off his shoes, she remarks: "What is wrong with your feet?"
He answered: "When I was younger I had Toelio."
"You mean Polio" said the woman.
He insisted "No, no, the doctor told me it was Toelio."
She shrugged off his misshaped feet and they continued to undress.
As he took off his pants, she questioned his weird looking knees!
He answered: "I have Kneasles."
She questioned: "You mean Measles?"
He insisted: "No, no, the doctor told me it's Kneasles."
He reminded her that he was in a hurry and took off his underwear.
She looked at him and asked: "Now, are you going to tell me you also have Small Cox?"
Be careful what you say to your kids, you never know what will stick with them!
Back to the dinghy, we are now fitting the knees in the transom. Knees are a structural member of the hull, just as important as the keel, frames, and floors. Knees help resist wracking and keep the hull from flexing as waves and loads try to torque the hull.
In the simplest of forms, a knee is simply a brace that keeps a corner from collapsing. Knees are used everywhere: they can be found under bookshelves, and even fold out table leaves. Once you break a knee down to its basic function, it takes away all the mystery behind it and makes it easier to comprehend.
The transom knee will fit into the corner of the transom between the transom and the sheer. The shelf clamp will also connect to it, adding extra rigidity to the hull. A few simple measurements were taken and the knees were cut from a piece of quartersawn scrap wood that was lying around in the off-cut pile next to the bandsaw.
The knee fits good enough for what it needs to do and where it will be located. I did not bevel the side that mates to the transom to make the knee rest flush with the gunwale of the dinghy because that is a lot of work with no room for error. Most transom knees are very visible, as they are the top of the back corner of the dinghy. Our transom knee is going to be covered by a lid which will double as a seat for Maddie as I row us to shore. This means that the transom knees are going to be hidden away inside of a storage locker, only visible when the lid is up and we are either storing items or retrieving them later. For these reasons, the knees only need to be functional and their aesthetic aspects can be ignored.
The knees were glued and screwed into place, with two screws through the transom and three screws through the sheer. The shelf clamp was also screwed through the tip of the knee and into the sheer, locking the entire assembly in place. You can see the screws on the sheer are set on an incline that runs perpendicular to the angle of the transom.
The knees were set and left to cure in place as the screws hold them in position for the rest of the life of the dinghy. Now the transom knees are finished and installed and the hull is a lot stiffer when torqued.