Auk—Fifth Strake

bending the fifth strake


This Boat

bending the fifth strake,
where the hull
begins to rise steeply
to the sheer—
eight pairs of strakes, each
tangent to the curve
of the transom,
the curves swelling amidships,
straighter curves forward—
shaped by centuries,
Iain Oughtred’s design,
and the care and mistakes
in the making

This train don’t carry no gamblers,
this train…

This boat don’t carry no liars,
this boat

honors the waters,
the beautiful crossing

Auk scarfing

Some of the Auk’s planks are longer than eight feet and can’t be cut from a single sheet of marine plywood. A scarf joint attaches lumber end-to-end. The recommended ratio of length to width is 8:1, so the Auk’s planking, which is 1/4″ thick, requires a beveled joint that is 2″ long. Stacking the planks and stepping the upper one back 2″, establishes an angle for the plane. Drawing a line 2″ back on the topmost plank shows where the bevel should end.

scarf set up for planing


Here is the joint partially planed. The bottom plank is supported to its end from beneath.

planing the scarf


gluing the scarf


Once the two pieces have been beveled, the topmost is flipped over and glued. The glued joint (epoxy) is stronger than the wood, although not as flexible.