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Mini Vee Race Boat Plans
Page Six
Outer Transom and Bottom Plywood


Plywood planking begins with an outer layer on the transom. This serves to strengthen this critical part of the boat, and to cover the ends of the stringers, and generally give the transom a more finished appearance.

I notched a large scrap of plywood and slipped it over the extensions of the coaming, then simply traced the outline of the transom.

Another view. You should be able to glue this piece on using only clamps, saving filling and sanding time later.

Bottom Planking

If you are using 8-foot plywood, you will need to join two pieces for each side of the boat. I can think of a couple of good reasons to place this joint near the bow, as shown.

The bottom line is it is just simpler this way. The forward piece has to bend around the bow and has to be traced along the stem and the sheer. It's easier to work with smaller pieces here.

You can join your plywood using either a scarf joint or a butt joint.

If you use a butt joint, use 1/4" plywood blocks on the inside surface and a strip of 3" or 4" fiberglass tape on the outside. Assemble the joint before gluing the planking to the boat.

If you you use a scarf joint, you can join the pieces before assembly, or you can join them in place, at the same time you that you install the plywood. For a good description of the plywood scarfing process, I suggest Tom Hill's book, which you will find on my Boatbuilding Books page.

Bevel the first bow piece along the stem before fitting the second piece.

Attach the plywood to the boat using screws (3/4" deck screws are my favorite) where you must, and clamps where you can -- or to the extent that you have enough clamps. Often weights can be used as well, particularly at the bulkheads.

Optional: If you are not planning to race your boat, and you expect to leave the boat in the water for long periods of time, you may elect to protect your hull (bottom and transom) with a layer of fiberglass and epoxy. Now would be a good time to do that.

First, clean up and round-over the joint at the stem. You may leave the plywood edge at the keel rough for now, then bevel it off after the fiberglass work is done. Later, the pad can be 'glassed seperately, or simply epoxy coated.

Also, you will want to keep the aft edge of the plywood bottom sharp, so that water will leave the boat as you pass over it, and not attempt follow the edge and crawl up the transom. Perhaps the best way to do this is to round this edge over so that the fiberglass can drape continuously from bottom to transom (it is difficult to get 'glass to go over a sharp corner and stay tight to the wood), and then build the edge back up with thickened epoxy and plane/carve/sand a new sharp edge.

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