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Wooden Boat Building and Restoration

Deck Beams and Gunwales

The gunwales, deck beams, and sheer clamps were rebuilt next. The gunwales were done first and there were a couple of challenges with them. The first was was the s-bend amidships by the windshield. I used the old gunwale scraps as a template and was able to recreate the original s-bend shape. They were made of Sapele Mahogany and came out pretty good.

The most difficult challenge was bending the gunwale around the sheer-line of the bow. It was especially difficult because the bow has a trumpet shape to it creating a sharp angle along the sheer line. This part of the gunwale doubles as a sheer clamp along the bow so it had to be done right.  I ended up laminating this section of the gunwale with a double layer of wood. For the inner layer I steam bent some white oak, and for the outside layer I steam bent some mahogany. I ended up doing this twice. My first attempt failed miserably. The second time I tried spiling a pattern and then cutting the gunwales from the pattern. That worked, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.


With the gunwales completed, the boat was really starting to take shape. The deck beams were next and they were pretty straight forward. I just duplicated the original beams, along with the original deck camber. I did add some additional support to accommodate a new laminated veneer deck system.

Last was the sheer clamps. They ran ran from the windshield down to the transom. Two small triangular rear decks were also made matching the originals.


The deck beams and sheer clamps were all made of White Oak.