This past weekend, we started planking the Starwind 860's port ama. With her first section of hull skin in place, the Starwind is looking more and more like a boat!
Each side of the ama is a single piece of (scarph-jointed) plywood. We've stitched them together along the keel with chain-link fence ties.
The two hullside panels are then spread apart and placed over the bulkheads.
One of the rules of boatbuilding is to always accept help when it's available. Dennis – civil projects expert, father-in-law, and creative carpenter – was eager to lend a hand.
With the flat panels draped in place, it's time to assemble the A-frames that we'll push against to force them into their final curved shapes.
This simple clamping rig applies the necessary pressure to bend the panels into the desired curvature near the keel.
With everything wedged approximately in place, the shape of the hull emerges.
In most sheet plywood designs, individual panels are conically developable – at any given point on the surface, they are curved in only one direction. That's not the case here; the Starwind 860 has a small but significant compound curvature in the hull surfaces. Making this work means that we have to force the extra curvature into the plywood, carefully and symmetrically. Which means a LOT of clamps.
The details of exactly how we get this compound curvature, without distorting or twisting the hull, will be in my next post.