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Laker 14 Tunnel Boat Plans
Page Two
Initial Assembly & Cross-beams

Set up the tunnel sides, upside down, in there correct positions relative to each other -- and a height off the floor conducive to constructing your boat.

I used some scraps of flake board cut 46" long with a 2x4 cleat at each end. As bulkheads and beams are installed, these temporary forms can be removed.

I strongly suggest you install bulkheads and beams with screws only at first, then do final assembly with glue once you are certain all is correct.

At each station, install one bulkhead section to each tunnel side. Make certain each bulkhead is perfectly aligned with its station line, and the reference line on the bulkhead is perfectly aligned with the reference line on the tunnel side.

If you are building the racing layout, I suggest you install the inner bulkheads a this time and wait for later to intall the outer sections. If, however, you are building the pleasure boat layout your only choice it to install the outer sections at this time.

Mark each beam at its centerline (on the bottom edge and both faces) and where it will meet the tunnel sides, 23" either side of the center.

Once you have a bulkhead section on each tunnel side at a station, you can slide the beam into place. Align the beam with the bottom edge of the inner bulkhead (or the line drawn on the outer bulkhead) AND make certain the tunnel side is aligned with the marks on your beam.

You will notice that the beam at station six is higher than the deck line of the outer bulkhead, and partially intrudes on the stringer notches at the inner bulkhead. After temporarily installing the bulkhead and beam as outlined above, trace these elements onto the beam then cut and notch the beam. (I actually cut out below the deck stringer on the outer part of my beam.)

Note: in the photo, while the tunnel sides are upside down, the beam shown is right side up.

The transom beam will need similar treatment and is described below.

The bow and transom beams can be cut from solid stock or laminated from smaller lumber. Here my bow beam is being laminated from 1" pine.

Transom beam also laminated from 1" pine.

The bow beam is cut and/or planed to shape and assembled with its outer bulkhead section (there is no inner bulkhead at station one, no matter which cockpit layout you choose).

Add an angled cleat to the aft face of the bow beam to facilitate attachement for all stringers that extend to this beam.

This cleat extends between the tunnel sides.

The transom pieces that you have drawn and cut from the drawings is actually the inner transom.

The tunnel side will extend aft of the inner tansom by (at least) an amount equal to the thickness of the outer transom, which will be installed later in the building process.

Transom beam cut and planed to its final shape.

Temporarily install the transom beam with its outer bulkheads (there are no inner bulkheads here).

Trace the deckline onto the beam, disassemble and trim the beam and cut the notch for the outer deck beam.

The transom beam needs to be notched to receive the tunnel battens and the deck battens.

For the racing layout, only four tunnel battens need to be precisely located: the two just inboard of the tunnel sides, and the two just outboard of the coaming. For the pleasure boat layout, only the two outer ones are critical.

All other tunnel battens need only be evenly distributed between these critical ones.

I cut my notched initially with a handsaw. Then removed the waste roughly with a chisel. I removed the last of the waste with a router plane, an old fashioned tool that most boatbuilders probably don't own -- a power router will also work here.

Notches can also be cut using a circular saw, table saw or radial-arm saw.

Transom and beam installed.

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