The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.04.10 - Steaming Hot II part II

Having purchased a box of 500 No 8 x 2” screws (4 x 50mm) I set about getting the steaming going on the port side of the boat. Once that was going I screwed the starboard out-wale to the hull. Another milestone since this is the first part of the project that is not a repair or replacing something that Naiad already had. You might say that this is the first part of the the refit. The out-wale took 36 screws and all but the last one on 6” centres. Starting as I mean to go on, the screws were put into pre-drilled and countersunk holes for which I have the correct bit to put into a drill. Makes things easy and there’s practically no chance of splitting the wood.

Once this had been completed I continued with some sanding on the inside and then used thickened epoxy to create a fillet above ledge on the hull. You’ll see what I mean from the photos below.

After that is was wait and tend the boiler until the out-wale was ready to bend into place.

All in all and very good weekend of work. Now I need a rest!

The port side steaming away, the starboard side now screwed in place and the ends trimmed.


There are 36 screws on 6” centres.


Sounds like a lot but really it’s about the least you should use.


The epoxy fillet above the ledge on the hull. This serves three purposes. Firstly I ensures that there is no gap between the ledge and the rest of the hull…


Secondly it ensures that there is no abrupt change in the thickness of the hull which would cause a weakness in the wood…


And I can’t remember what the third one was!


The main advantage of the boil-in-the-bag method of steaming timber is that you can continue to steam the wood even as you bend and clamp it to the hull. When using the traditional steam box method, the wood starts to cool as soon as you take it from the box and it is then a rush to get the timber on the boat before it gets too cool. You can’t see it here but there is steam coming out of the bag and even at this end of the bag the wood is almost too hot to touch.


The boiler has been turned off and the timber will cool until tomorrow evening when I shall remove it from the bag and screw it to the hull. Assuming that I haven’t fallen asleep by then!