The whole reason for this being that we have at least three different concepts of what a “real” Briggs side-panel looks like. I want to come up with one that I believe in. So we have lofted up this boat off accurate lines we took off Briggs hull #33–one built in 1981 near the end of Briggs’s run of 36. We figure Briggs had it down to a science by then. Or not. They are all a little different, some a lot different. Is there one true Briggs? Not really. Of course I went ahead and threw in a wee tweak of my own–adding a teeny 3/8″ rocker to what is normally a perfectly flat center section of a Briggs. So this boat isn’t really a Briggs either.
Taking the blank over to the table we battened out the points and cut two finished sides with the frame intersections marked. It is now a free-form boat build. The strong back is no longer necessary, because with properly marked side-panels, there is only one shape the boat can assume. And the strongback, no matter how meticulous we were, will have variations between the two sides. At this point our two identical side-panels are more trustworthy.
And on go the sides.
Kate scarfing her side-panels.
Gluing them up, cutting them out.
Drawing on her frame lines for assembly.
Where was I? Right. Building the perfect Briggs again. The sides are on. And it looks fabulous. They usually do. For this one we meticulously computed the angles of the transom, stem, and frames where they meet the side-panel. Turns out the angles at the top and bottom often vary by up to seven degrees, due to the fact that the chine curve and sheer curve are converging at different rates and angles. Standard practice is to split the difference–if it is 20 degrees at the sheer and 14 degrees at the chine, cut the rib at 17 degrees–which more-or-less works on the ribs but can cause a bulge or a pinch–or both–at the transom and stem. This time we actually cut twisting bevels–or “rolling bevels” as they are called–in not only the stem and transom, as we did for the last few boats, but every frame as well. Turns out it’s a lot easier than we thought, and Janek was making short work of it. Did it matter? Kinda. The joints look truer, and the curves look sweeter. But I am biased.
It is hard to capture the essence of a rolling bevel in a photo, but you can sort of see it here, as the panel of plywood twists onto the stem.
Well, it looks just fine. So now we are steam-bending chines and gunwales, and clamping them to the hull to cool into the proper curves.
Once we have jammed the inner chine strips in, we mark the bottom, compute the screw placement, and spend a while cutting and drilling.