The Last of its kind – May 2023

And now it works after all. After a break of a few months, I turn up at the shipyard at just the right moment. It’s mid-May 2023 and today the last of around 75 deck beams is being made. With their slightly curved shape, these are not only intended to give the hull stability, absorb weight and forces from the mast, but also ensure a load-bearing substructure for the deck. Another practical effect of the slight curvature is that the overflowing water from the deck can run off through the scuppers.

Straight lines and right angles are once again too “simple” for the boat builders, so once again they have to reach into their box of tricks.

1. The deck width is measured at the appropriate point, transferred to the lacing base or the template wood and divided into 8 equal sections.

2. On this base line, Axel now places the central vertical line with the height of the beam (now four equal parts on the right and left).

3. A quarter circle is drawn in the middle of the base line with the height of the bar as the radius and divided into four equal parts using a compass over three bisectors.

4. Also on the base line – between the center vertical and the intersection of the arc line – mark another four equal parts (height of the deck beam (radius) / 4).

5. Each point on this small part of the baseline must now be connected to the point diagonally above it on the quarter circle and the distance measured or marked off with a compass.

6 Now it’s back to the markings on the baseline: The boat builder also draws vertical straight lines on these.

7. From the center outwards, the masses from the quarter circle are now placed on them in descending order.

8. A straightedge is now used to connect all the points constructed in this way from one end of the base line to the marking of the deck beam height on the center vertical.

The procedure is repeated on the other side of the central vertical.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, this is a simple, quick, accurate and space-saving method for making a template for the molded gluing, even for larger boats.

Once the beam has been glued, the finishing touches have to be added. The new piece is inserted crosswise between the two sides of the hull. The frames of the future deck hatches must also be fitted between the deck beams in the same way. Further longitudinal struts provide additional stability, particularly in the area of the fittings.

Just like the hull, the deck should also be strong: the curves span evenly in all directions without “mountains” or “valleys”. This is checked again and again with millimeter precision using a straightedge.

Once the deck made of marine plywood has also been precisely fitted, Axel and his colleagues dismantle the entire construction in order to paint all the individual parts several times. Only after these seemingly endless individual steps have been completed can everything be finally put together.