In 1993, I basically erected a skeletal structure, starting with the keel, stem, frames and longitudinals – and then plated it. I continued the work from 1992, erecting frames on the stem fore and aft. After some months, the boat’s skeletal structure was complete.
The next step was to lay on the plate. To keep the hull fair, it is important not to stress one side or another. Therefore, I laid the first plate mid-ship, along the radius chine. I had a steel supplier pre-bend 14 8X4 sheets of 3/16” plate. From these pre-bent sheets, using a masonite pattern, I cut out the necessary plate sections – one by one. I then installed them, tacking to the longitudinals (never welding to the frames). In the photos below, I’m mounting pre-bent plates with the help of Earle Hatt and Bob Bramwell.
In this photo, you can see that the radius chine portion is completely plated (not seam welded, only tacked in place) as I pose together with my ex-wife and children.
In addition to hull plating, I also had to weld in some structural steel to form the engine bearers. I used 4X4 steel posts, heavy enough for the job. I also sandblasted the inside of the keel plates, since I knew this would be very difficult later on.
Then, I assembled more plates, again shifting from side to side and from top to bottom, in order to prevent stressing the hull in any one area. By the end of the year, most of the hull plating was in place.