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Build the speedy "Stiletto"

By ARTHUR MIKESELL

With sleek SK streamlining and a super-speed


bottom, it's 16 feet of high-performance boat

HERE'S ONE OF THE BEST high-speed run- means from 3/4 in. to 7/8 in. All lumber thicknesses
abouts you'll ever see presented as a boat-build- under 1 in. should be considered net.
ing project. Use oak, mahogany or spruce if available.
It's designed strictly for speed, with a mini- Otherwise, substitute any species commonly used
mum of compromise. That broad flat bottom is in boat construction in your area. All plywood
built for quick getaway and maximum go, a com- must be at least exterior grade, and preferably
bination which makes this a top ski boat. On the marine grade.
other hand, if you want to fish, run a rough chop All joints should be glued with a hard-setting
or carry more than four people, better shop glue of the resorcinol or plastic-resin type. Fast-
around for something a little more tame. Stiletto enings should be hot-dipped galvanized or bronze.
is a frisky thoroughbred, not a workhorse. All frames are fabricated from 1-in. material
Construction follows stock boat-building rules. from dimensions given in the drawings. The
All lumber over 1 in. should be "four quarters" transom is made from 3/4-in. plywood with a
stock finished as full as possible, which usually motor board of the same material in the center

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runabout boats
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runabout boats

portion. A framework of 1-in. lumber is used at


the contact areas of side deck and planking.
The laminated stem is laid out from given
dimensions, using a batten sprung between the
indicated points to draw the contour. The breast-
hook fits on top of the stem and acts as a block-
ing to connect the sheer clamp to the stem.
The building form should be set on a fairly
runabout, continued level and smooth surface. Anchor the base mem-

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Bevel notches for both sheer clamp and chine Fair chine along the line from Frame No. 5
log so that they will fit flat when you bend to the center of the chine at the stem so
them over the framing the bow portion of planking will fit

The planking pattern cut slightly oversize When planning to fit butt joints in the for-
from wrapping paper helps when laying out ward bottom planking, wet the plywood to
the sides on the plywood stock prevent it from splintering

Motor-well knee fastens to the carling, tran- Motor-well bottom fastens to the bottom edge
som blocking and, for large outboard motors, of the well beam and to the side blocking,
blocking on the batten shown above being fitted in

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runabout boats

ber firmly so it will not move. Each frame is lamination with glue and apply the second, using
mounted bottom-side-up on the form, centered plenty of clamps or nails to hold the laminations
and spaced according to the dimensions noted in until the glue sets. From Frame No. 5 forward
the drawings. The position of the transom is ob- to the breasthook, a third lamination of the same
tained by installing the keel. size material is laminated on the inside of the
Align the stem with a chalkline exactly on the sheer.
center line and block it to the height indicated. The 1 x 3-in. battens should be spaced ap-
The full-length 1 x 4-in. keel is laminated on proximately as shown on the drawing, though
the inside with strips of 1/4-in. plywood to prevent you may vary the spacings slightly to allow the
splitting. These should be glued and fastened to battens to take a natural curve. The battens
the keel with nails. The position of the chine on should flow in parallel lines from No. 2 aft,
the stem is found by bending the member around viewed in profile.
the hull and allowing it to take a natural curve to All frame members must be beveled, or
join the stem. After cutting the bevel, fasten the "faired," to allow the plywood planking to fit flat
chine at the stem first and spring it around the against the frame. Approximately from Frame
notches, leaving it long at the transom so you No. 5 aft, the bottom planking will lap the side
can cut it to exact length after it's fastened in planking. Forward of this point a transition is
place. made where the bottom planking ceases to lap
The sheer clamps are built up from two lam- the side planking, and from this point forward
inations of 5/8 x 1-1/4-in. lumber set in vertically the side and bottom planking meet on the chine
from midships forward. Aft, they may take a in a butt joint.
twist for sufficient surface to fasten decking and Use a short length of plywood to check the
side planking. fairing, working from the transom forward. The
Bevel the notches as you did for the chine sheer clamp, particularly the forward section
member and fasten the first lamination to the close to the breasthook, will resemble a triangle.
stem and breasthook, then spring it around the The side planking is preferably full-length
hull, fitting it into each notch. Coat the initial 1/4-in. marine AA-grade plywood. If shorter panels

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are used, locate the butt joints between frames. The deck battens and the strongback are
The contour of the planking is obtained by notched into each of the beams. The battens end
laying the panel against the hull side and tem- up against the sawn batten, while the strongback
porarily holding it in place with screws or clamps rests on top of the breasthook. Add pine blocking
while the shape is roughly marked around the on the breasthook to provide a solid bearing from
contour. Remove the planking and cut to shape strongback to sheer.
with a fine-tooth hand or power saw. The only Deck framing must be faired as you did the
place close fitting is required is from the transi- bottom and sides. It will be necessary to fair the
tion point forward. All other edges may be left batten for the side decking, but little if any fairing
long for trimming after the planking is fastened should be required for the forward side decking.
permanently in place. The fore decking is put on in two parts and
The bottom planking is 3/8-in. plywood; pref- butt-joined over the strongback. Fastenings are
erably full-length, though shorter, butt-joined required only around the outer extremities of the
panels may be used by fitting butt blocks between panels.
the bottom battens. The transom is gusseted to the carling with
Fit the bottom as you did the side planking. 3/4-in. plywood knees fastened to the carling and
Roughly mark the stem area and cut away as blocking on the transom. A 2 x 4-in. brace
much material as possible to make the bend extends between these members across the tran-
easier. To fit the butt joint at the side planking, som and is fastened to the gusseted knee as well
start at the transition point and fit progressively as the center knee and transom.
forward to the stem. After coating the initial
panel with glue and fastening it in place, trim modifications for big motors
the planking flush with the stem from 12 in. For motors in excess of 65 hp, extend the
forward of Frame No. 5. 3/4-in. knees from the carling all the way down
The second half of the bottom planking will to the bottom battens. Fasten 1-in. blocking on
butt-join the first panel along the keel aft of this top of these battens and use screws to secure the
point. Forward of this point the second panel knees.
will lap the first. After planking the bottom, the The control console between the seats must be
hull should be righted and blocked level. tailored to hold the gas tank which you plan to
The carlings are 1-in. longitudinal members use. The built-in tank measures 6 x 12 x 24 in.
that form the side extremities of the cockpit. and is made of 20-ga. terneplate.
Crown each one to follow the contour of the side Seat treatment is a matter of choice. In the
frame members. prototype a semibucket seat was made by ex-
The coaming fits inside the carling and is tending uprights at the side portion of the seats.
notched up between Frame No. 1 and the tran- Upholstery was installed by an auto customizing
som so the side of the motor well can be fastened shop.
to the lower 1-1/2 in. of the carling. This member A cast-aluminum skid fin approximately 5 in.
also forms the cowl, which is the raised portion deep is located with the front edge at Frame
of the forward deck. The decking in this area No. 3. Fasten in place with eight 1-1/4-in. No. 8
rabbets into the coaming. screws.
All screw holes and minor imperfections
dash beam after decking should be filled with a hard-setting putty. Fiber-
The beam at Frame No. 6 is fastened to block- glass covering is optional, and if used, should be
ing on the inside of the sheer clamps. The dash a single layer of 6 or 8-oz. cloth double-lapped
beam at No. 4 and the intermediate beam be- at the seams. All plywood surfaces not fiber-
tween Nos. 4 and 5 have the same contour as glassed should be coated with a plywood sealer
the No. 5 deck beam. These beams are fastened and given adequate primer, sanded between
to blocking on the coaming. The dash beam is coats, to hide the grain. Finish with a minimum
fastened in place after the decking is installed. of two coats of a good marine enamel. All sur-
The sawn batten extends from the No. 5 deck faces to be given a natural finish should be
beam to the breasthook. The batten is used as a stained (and filled, if required) to the desired
backing member for the junction of the side and color and given a minimum of three and prefer-
forward decking. (Optionally, this batten may ably five coats of marine varnish.
be made from two laminations of 3/4 x 3/4-in. ma-
terial sprung into position around the hull.)

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