Planking the Bottom

Now that the chine is beveled and all the topsides are finished, it is time to plank the bottom of the hull. Just like with the topsides, we are doing double diagonal planking on the bottom. The inner planks will be oriented in the same direction as the topside planks, resulting in outer bottom planks that will be in the same direction as the outer topside planks. This means that the finished hull will look like if the planks were wrapped onto the hull, curving through the chine.

Some scrap off cuts from the topside planks were used to start the bottom planking. These have the correct bevel that will match the inner topside planks, as they are scraps from that planking job. The planks were set onto the back of the keel, with the edges overhanging the transom and held in place with some copper nails. The nails are not hammered all the way home that way I can pull them off easily when we begin fastening the bottom planks with bedding compound and bronze screws.

When the bedding compound is applied to the rabbet and chine, it squeezes out around the edges of the planks. This lets us know that all the seams are sealed and water tight. Bedding compound was also placed on the frames to avoid water from getting in between the frames and the bottom planking as this would expedite the rot process of the dinghy and spell an early end to Tooth II. By sealing these gaps, water can't get in as easily and the wood should last longer, giving this dinghy a longer life.

Once the first few boards were fitted, I got into a groove and work proceeded quickly. The starboard side of the hull was planked in a few hours and I had plenty of daylight left to keep working, so I did!

The port side of the hull got planked in a few more hours and in no time flat, I had the entire hull planked with the first layer. The screws at the outboard side clearly demarcate the chine as the hull curves along.

The flare of the bow is also clearly demonstrated by the long overhangs of the boards that need to be cut. Tooth has a flat bottom and the constant slapping and smacking of the bow on the waves is really annoying. Maddie and I both wanted a dinghy that would cut through the waves quietly, so I designed Tooth II to have a very narrow entry angle.

Looking forward, you can see how the majority of the hull is relatively flat. As you move forward, the profile changes and becomes much more pronounced as the bottom curves upwards resulting in a very sharp angle that looks almost vertical. 

The bottom is on and the bedding compound is curing. Until it finishes curing, all we can do is stand around and imagine what the dinghy will look like without the boards flaring out in all directions.