Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

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01 December 2021

Velocette part 6, the building jig with a little help from my friends

20 November 2021
Russ Whitford
It is amazing what one can find on the internet. I have been looking at reproduction, mahogany runabouts and race boat for years. The Crandall Flyer remains one of my favorite designs. I have even accumulated some mechanical parts to modify an Alfa Romeo engine for use in such a boat. My searches brought me to www.danleeboatbuilding.co.uk. Dan shows a similar design vintage race boat, Rocket, that he has built. Dan has a unique method of cutting the wood parts out with a CNC mill and using a CNC jig to accurately assemble frames. It got me to thinking about using these techniques to help build Velocette.

I discussed the project with Dan and he agreed to do the CAD design for the building jig. Dan took the CAD files for the boat and pulled off the sections, much like I did for the model. But Dan configured the sections and assembly rails to make an “egg crate” style building jig. It was designed to be CNC milled out of 1/2” MDF. All I needed was to find someone with a CNC router to cut the parts out.

A sailing friend mentioned his friend, Chris Freymuth, had a CNC router table. Yes, Chris would cut the parts out for me. I visited his shop in Grafton, WI with several sheets of MDF and 1/2” marine plywood on top of Showflake. Chris was recovering from knee surgery but still expertly cut out the parts. The bulkhead #6 where the boat splits would be two pieces of 1/2” marine plywood along with the transom. They would remain part of the boat when removed from the jig. Kind of hard to describe but pictures will help.

The only thing I needed to do was assemble the “puzzle” of MDF and plywood pieces on a straight, flat surface. Then I could build the boat. From Facebook Marketplace, I bought a section of that shuffleboard game often found in bars. This is an incredibly heavy hunk of hard maple, even heavier than a section of bowling alley. It provided the straight, flat surface needed. I used a laser level to check the assembled jig.

So far I didn't even have to lift a tool and I had a jig or mold set up to build the hull. Not only was it easy but the jig was perfectly fair and smooth. Computers get it right!

From Home Depot, I was able to find some Western Red Cedar that surprisingly had no knots! I bought a dozen boards and a bargain price. Lisa and I set up the table saw with a special, thin blade and cut it all into ¼” strips.

Now all I had to do was complete the bathroom remodeling project before I could start construction.
Comments
Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Pearl, our Toy Fox Terrier
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Uproar FULL ON in the North Channel! Picture by Rick Pask.
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