Keel, stem and sternpost

Here, you can follow the process involved in building a 29 foot eel drifter

Click on the photos to enlarge them...

The eel drifter has a plank keel, i.e. the keel is wider than it is high

Here, the keel is complete and the opening for the lee board can be seen in the middle of the keel.

The stem is also made from an oak plank. This plank has been specially selected, because it had the same shape that the finished stem should have. 

The line that the rabbet in the stem should follow is drawn up using a thin fairing batten, a type of flexible ruler. In this way, it is easy to draw both crooked and even curves.

The rabbet is a notch or channel in the stem. The planks will be adjusted to sit fast in the rabbet, before being attached with ship's nails.

The rabbet can just be seen along the inner edge. It will be carved deeper when the planks are fitted.

The sternpost is specially designed and is different to that on the old drifter, which was 'only' built as a sail boat. This boat will also have an inboard motor and therefore provision must be made to allow an axel to pass through the sternpost, and there must also be room for a propellor. 

Simon adjusts and planes the surface. 

An adze is used here to ensure the correct thickness of the sternpost, which is thinner on its aft edge than it is on its forward edge.

The keel, stem and sternpost are ready. Now the stem and stern must be attached to the keel using knees and bolts.

The sternpost-knee is attached to both the keel and sternpost using four bolts. The bolts have a washer on the inner face, allowing them to be tightened.

A hole must be drilled through the knee and sternpost for the axel leading from the motor to the propellor. 

The forward knee is also secured with four bolts. They are given a protective layer to prevent rot and other problems.