Throughout these instructions the
word metal may apply to either steel, aluminium or copper-nickel. There will be variations
between the handling of the various materials and these will be drawn to your attention as
necessary. You will need to read and absorb all these instructions BEFORE you start the
assembly of your kit. These instructions are intended to introduce you to building from a
kit but are NOT intended to replace good metal boatbuilding practice. If you are not
already a competent welder then please seek assistance.
Few of you will understand (or want to know!) the huge amount of work that is required
to turn any boat plan in to a cut-to-size boat kit. Every part has to exactly match that
of its neighbor, the slots need to be exactly in the correct locations and everything must
fit perfectly together to enable you to complete the assembly of the hull, deck and
superstructure with the minimum of problems.
The first thing to realize is that the kit differs in many ways from the methods you
would use to build a metal boat from scratch. Most metal boats built from scratch are
most boats built from cut-to-size metal kits are built upright. Not
only is this a more appropriate way to assemble the kit but it saves cost and
inconvenience of having to turn the hull.
To make sure that you take notice of one very important piece of advice, we will state
it here as well as at the appropriate time: You must tack weld the complete hull deck and
superstructure together before you run any final welds. Failure to observe this advice
will almost certainly ensure you will end up with an unfair boat requiring a considerable
amount of filler.
RECEIVING YOUR KIT: Depending upon your
location or delivery arrangements you kit may arrive on a flatbed truck or in a container.
You should be aware of these arrangements before the actual date of delivery so you can
make the necessary preparations to receive your kit.
The kits are normally packed on pallet(s) and can be lifted off the transport using a
small crane, front-end loader or similar equipment. You may find it more convenient to
"drag" your kit from the truck or container using a pair or planks as a ramp.
Once you have unloaded your kit you must make provision to keep it covered until assembly
You should go though the kit and identify each part or group of parts so you can store
these in the order that they will be required. Due to the requirement of packaging for
transport it is impossible for the kit manufacturer to stack everything in the order you
will be using the various parts
you must take care of this. Later in this text we
will suggest the order of assembling your kit so you will be aware of which parts will
need at each stage. If you do not find a particular part at this stage there's no need to
panic, there will be so many pieces that it will be easy for you to overlook one or two at
this stage. If after several checks you find one or more parts missing then do contact us
so that we may put the matter right.
The first item you will
need is the setting up jig. The transverse profile jigs will be supported by the metal
"castles" that come as part of your kit. The setting up jig is intended to get
the assembly of your hull started and the jig is NOT INTENDED TO SUPPORT THE BOAT during
the entire building process. After you have both sides of the bottom plates tacked
together you should consider adding extra support and bracing to the structure.
Do not attempt to fully weld the plates into one length on the floor. The plate joins
should be only tack welded in three locations, one weld at each of the ends of the join
and one in the centre. These tacks should be no more than half inch or 12mm long. If you
weld the plates on the floor you will end up with a "hard-spot" in the hull
Some plates will need to be beveled before tacking in place or you may prefer to make
the bevels after you have tack welded the plates and just before running the final welds.
In all cases good metal boatbuilding practices will prevail.
In most cases you can start by laying
the bottom plates in the transverse profile jigs and with the aid of the
"castles" position the plates so that you can start tack welding the hull
plating together along the centerline. You will next install the bottom sections of the
frames and webs in their correct location.
ALL HULLS: Once you have set up
the bottom hull plates and tacked these along the centerline together with installing the
bottom sections of the frames, the remainder of the hull structure will grow upwards. The
better equipped your workshop is with overhead lifting equipment the easier and more
smoothly your job will proceed. We do recommend that you read Bruce's book METAL BOATS,
which will answer many of the general metal boatbuilding questions that are sure to pop up
as you proceed with your project. Also, please remember that we are only a phone, fax or
email away and are only to happy to offer advice should you require it..
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