Building the Eun Mara "Skerry"

Building frame

Eun Mara main

Skerry is being built in half of our double garage. The garage is "L" shaped, and the building frame occupies the longer leg of the L. The frame has been moved 6" to the left since this photo was taken, but there's still not much room to the right (port side). I think it should become a problem only when the last two or three strakes are being worked on.

There is a small permanent workbench just behind the frame (next to the rear roller door, which is just visible). However, I do most of the work in the other half of the garage, using a couple of portable work surfaces that I move into position when I'm in boat-building mode.

Grebe (my Tammie Norrie design that's mentioned in the background page) seems to be quite happy in the parking bay I made for her.


I made each mould from 10mm particle board in two mirror-image halves. When joining them I refered to the "Lines" plan to ensure that the width at the sheer was correct. Some adjustment was usually needed, partly from wobbly jigsawing, and partly (I suspect) from stretching in the paper plans.

I saved 6" on the overall height by making the building line the bottom of the 6" wide beams, rather than the top as is conventional. I'll have to bend over a bit when working on the shear strake, but that has been more than compensated for by ease of working on the upper parts. As I type this I've just completed the 5th strakes and have found the height to be very comfortable. (The alternative would have been to put the beams 6" closer to the floor, but that extra clearance makes it easy to sweep up under the frame, and I can also store bits and pieces there - especially timber.)


Another shot of the building frame.


Horizontal braces helped to steady things up between moulds 1&2, 2&3 and 8&9.

Note: In retrospect, these end moulds should have been much sturdier - perhaps by doubling up on the braces shown and adding some 45 degree props extending up from the frame to ensure the moulds remained vertical. (I think this is even implied in the design notes; perhaps I should have taken more notice!) The problem is the extreme tension that needs to be applied to bend the planks round to meet the stempost and sternpost. This tension causes the planks to press against the moulds and force them out of alignment. The pressure was far greater than I had anticipated.


The joins between the two halves of each mould helped in lining them up.


Centre-line and plumb-bob show that everything was spot-on on this day! (Over a few months I found that posts, and hence moulds, wandered significantly due to loosening of the bolts that were used to construct the frame and fasten on the supporting posts. I re-aligned everything just before I started on the backbone.)


The braces between stations 1, 2 and 3. (But see the Note above.)


A detail.


Another detail.