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Laker 14 Tunnel Boat Plans
Page Six
Deck Stringers

Invite a friend or two, turn the boat over, celebrate with an appropriate (or inappropriate) beverage, then shoo everyone out the door and let's get back to work.

If you are building the "racing" cockpit, start by completing the framing of the tunnel extension (where the tunnel plank extends aft of the transom).

The cleat shown is one inch wide and is as tall as, and cut at an angle to match, the upper edge of the tunnel side.

Water that flows back to the motorboard will drain through the half-sized limbers in the short battens, through the full limber into the tunnel extension, past the battens that don't quite reach the aft cleat and will drain out through a hole through the tunnel side that you will drill later.

For the "racing" cockpit, there are two stringers that run along the top edge of the tunnel sides.

The side-by-side cockpit uses only the outboard stringer.

The inboard stringer is set flush with the top edge of the tunnel side from the tunnel extension to bulkhead three where it begins to dip below the edge and descends to the bow beam.

A small notch will need to be cut to fit flush with the bow beam.

The outboard stringer follows the edge of the tunnel side for its entire length, from the transom to the sponson tip.

The outer deck batten also extends from transom to sponson tip.

Though only 1/2" thick, the 1.5" wide outer deck stringer proved highly uncooperative when I tried to bend it into the sponson tip.

I solved the problem by slicing the stringer along its centerline from the sponson tip to bulkhead three, at which point it became very tame.

Small blocks glued to the back of the stringer between bulkheads helped hold the two halves flush, and made beveling easier.

Ideally, the inner deck battens ("racing" cockpit only) would land on the bow beam midway between the carlin and the deck stringer. But the exact placement is not critical.

The carlins ("racing" cockpit only) undergo a fairly severe compound bend from bulkhead three to the bow beam, with particular stress experienced at bulkhead two.

I secured the carlin in its notch at bulkhead two with a 12" bar clamp. As soon as they were glued in place, I added glue blocks, cut at the proper angle, to both the fore and aft faces of the bulkhead.

Furthermore, I added a scrap of deck stringer glued to the underside of the carlin and the deck stringer, just to make sure it was secure.

I left the clamps in place for a couple of days to make sure the glue was fully cured.

Shown at the tunnel extension: The carlin, nearest to the camera, is cut away a little on the underside to mate with the tunnel batten and lie flush with the aft cleat.

The deck batten, on the other hand, needs a shim underneath to become flush with the cleat.

The deck stringer is cut away like the carlin to fit flush with the tunnel side and the aft cleat.

A second layer of plywood is added to the extension of the tunnel side.

You will see that my deck batten and deck stringers are notched into my outer transom. This would not usually be the case. However, after turning over the hull I discovered that I had drawn my inner transom incorrectly -- the sides corresponding to the pad and lower side were just fine, but were a ways off at the upper side and deck. I corrected the problem when I installed the outer transom, but had to include notches for the aforementioned longitudinals.

Because of the exposed stringers, but also because the transom beam was in the way, I elected to add cleats to the outside of the transom.

You will also see here the holes drilled for the sponson and tunnel extension drains.

The completed tunnel extension drain hole. I initially drilled a 9/16" hole which I filled with thickened epoxy, then re-drilled to its final 3/8" size.

For the sponson drain, initial hole was 1" and the final is 5/8".

This method provides a neatly drilled drain that completly protects the wood it is bored through.

Now might a good time to seal the interior surfaces of your hull. Epoxy is always a good choice. Spar varnish, exterior grade polyethane varnish or exterior grade paint will also do the job.

Pay particular attention to the area just inside the drain holes where that last little bit of water will always remain until it can evaporate away.

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