| Building the Schooner
Step by Step
Our schooner will be a working boat, in service year round.
If she were built using traditional construction materials
and techniques, she would require constant maintenance with
potentially long periods out of service. Availability of the
quality of materials that the original was built from was
The final deciding factor was that we wanted the boat to
be as exact a replica of the original in looks as possible
and she was going to be built mostly by volunteers that did
not necessarily have boat building experience.
Since we were working from a set of plans and table of offsets,
the mold frame method seemed the best choice. And, because
of the rarity of traditional materials and need for low maintenance
along with our desire for the boat to look like the original,
it was decided that we would use a composite technique.
Much has been written lately about saving old, planked wooden
boats by cold molding several wood/epoxy layers over the existing
hull. Then Reuel Parker started building new boats in Florida
laminating plywood and diagonal layers over longitudinal planking,
using epoxy. We started experimenting with these methods on
We settled on our own combination of these methods. We would
build the schooner using the original cypress planking on
yellow pine frames, but the cypress planking would be much
thinner than the original. Outside of this first layer we
would bond one or more layers of plywood with epoxy. One or
more layers of polypropylene cloth set in epoxy would in-turn
protect the plywood.
The result will be that when visitors look inside the schooner
they will be able to see how the original looked, cypress
and pine. And, viewing the outside the boat will also look
the same. You will see paint! The difference will be cost
and ease of construction and vastly reduced maintenance schedule.