Thwarts, knees and sole margins

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After pre-finishing the beaded thwart risers, it was time to think about the thwarts themselves. There are two rowing positions in this boat, and thus two rowing benches (or thwarts) placed across the hull perpendicular to the keel (athwartship). The rowing benches are reinforced with oak knees, which are fastened through the hull and into the thwart. The knees, combined with the thwarts make the hull much more stiff than it would be otherwise, and much stronger as well. The thwarts and knees also keep the hull from getting wider with use, so the boat will still measure according to the design. The midship thwart also fastens into the centerboard trunk, to further stiffen/strengthen the whole hull. All of this sits on, and is attached to the thwart risers installed earlier. The fits on these parts are critical, some parts of the joints need to be very tight, some need room to move, and to drain water.  

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In addition to the thwarts, there are also "stern-sheets" which are more seats that run fore and aft, more or less parallel to the sheer. These seats are not for rowing, but for sailing, allowing you to sit comfortably as the boat "heels over". The stern sheets lap onto the midship thwart and are fastened to it and more knees. 

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Also, while waiting for varnish to dry, I steam-bent the mahogany sole margins, which serve to stiffen the hull, and hold the floor boards in place while sailing. 

With the seating installed, the boat has taken on new strength, rigidity, and a new look. With the centerboard trunk installed permanently, and the hull stiffened, she would float, and is almost ready to row. 

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