Nick Smith makes more progress on his latest 16ft West Country style clinker motor launch

Salcombe-trained traditional boat builder Nick Smith has sent over more photos of his progress on his increasingly pretty current project, a 16ft clinker motor launch named Mona Louise. Here’s what he says:

‘The sole boards are finished and are now being coated up, Douglas fir with grey Danboline paint. Aft locker shelves have been fitted, and as you see old style bow sheet inside the for’ard locker. It’s NOT plywood but khaya planks and ledges copper nailed, and then on the underside is ‘layed over’ (this is Devon-speak – it’s also colloquially known as ‘clenched’ in some places) .

‘I collected the custom-made stainless skeg this morning, so fitted that. It takes the bottom rudder hanging in way of the propeller thrust, and also allows any submerged rope to run past the keel and not get snagged on the prop – that’s the theory anyway.

‘Then I fitted the top pintle , dropped-in the rudder straps and offered up my standard rudder template and transferred the information from boat to template.

‘Then I faked up the tiller length and position too. Happy with that, I machined up the sapele for the blade and cheeks, lined out the blade and glued it up. Tomorrow I’ll release it, work it up, fit the straps and cheeks and start the tiller.

‘The khaya engine box sides have been glued up , so that’s another imminent job too. I’ve also fitted the exhaust and waterlock, and the control cables and built the gear lever panel.

‘After that, the next task is to remove all bits so that I can access the painting of the bilge and varnishing of the inside. The side benches are fitted and will be removed for varnishing also.

‘I’ll remove the bracing this week and cut off the ears on the transom, so that I can then fit the rubbing strakes and whiskers, screw on the keel band and the stem band.

‘The fuel tank is yet to go in, but the sea cock is done.

‘On other jobs; the forward davit lifting eye and strut are yet tio be fitted as is the foredeck cleat and fairleads, the float pump and all wiring, battery box, and another five coats of varnish! It won’t take five minutes… ‘

For more posts relating to Nick Smith’s boat building work, click here.

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