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Nika Naked

February 1, 2022 in Uncategorized


The hull of a boat looks pretty naked when the engine, seats, floor boards and all the fittings are removed. There isn’t much left to remember the glory of a boat like Nika. This is Nika in its most naked form.

Nika is staying at Rob Gerigs’ shop, known as the Boat Builder, to receive some much needed TLC. She will receive hull servicing such as new stringers, stern and stem renewal among other freshenings.

The hull of a wooden boat has to put up with a lot of pounding. There are no shock absorbers to cushion the blows with each wave. Structures like the stringers and ribs have to be designed and constructed to take the stresses of the engine, the drive shaft, prop torque and the dynamics of water around the hull.

Displacement hulls, especially utility designs with smaller engines, get off pretty easy compared to higher performance boats. Built with lapped planking and ribs, they are more like canoes.

With a boat like Nika, at 36’ of hull, keeping her hull stiff and true is a major challenge. At least she sports a displacement hull as well and expects to mostly plow through the water rather than fly over it.  The stringers run nearly the full length of the hull from the transom to the curves of the bow.  They may be solid fir or laminate to compensate for grain and possible imperfections.  Place holders are mounted to preserve their position in the hull.

By Tim Du Vernet

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