Construction of the hull starts in August 2005.
This is the Jespersen boat building shed on Harbour Boulevard in Sidney, Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. Sidney is a nice town with a lot of used bookstores Jespersen's is a ten minute ride from the airport.
The keelson is being laminated on the shop floor. Normally the first thing a builder would do is loft the plans, that is make full size plans on the floor of the shop from the small plans received from the architect. Nowadays the designer provides full size drawings on mylar so little lofting is needed.
The hull is built upside down. This makes it easier to work on because you can walk into it and stand on the level floor. Here the keelson is hanging from the ceiling while a temporary frame is built for the deck.
The deck and hull will have a foam core for insulation and strength. All the laminations are vacuum bagged. They place blue bubble wrap over the foam or wood, stick in a hose from the compressor and suck all the air out. It applies even pressure over the entire area making a perfect glue lamination. Jespersen has made laminated wood hulls for many years but this schooner is the first with foam core. Eric Jespersen thought it worked well and made the best hull.
A set of temporary frames or stations are erected and the keelson is lowered onto them.
On top of the frames are placed fore and aft ribbons for fairing the hull shape. The frames and ribbons are temporary. The hull will be built of layers of thin cedar so the underlying support for the cedar must be fair and fully supportive.
The first layer of cedar hull material is laid down. It runs fore and aft. This is the layer that will be visible from inside the final boat. The next two layers will be at sixty degree angles to the first. You can think of a cold molded wood hull like a piece of high quality plywood constructed in one piece in the exact shape of the hull. It is strong, light, and has none of the downsides of traditional wood construction or even fiberglass.
After the first three layers of the wood, a layer of foam core is applied and again vacuum bagged. In addition to the strength, the core provides sound and temperature insulation. The latter is important to prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the hull.
A set of wood stringers are inset in the foam and faired. The stringers provide a place to staple the next three layers of cedar while they are glued in place.
On the right of this photo (port side of boat) you see the final layer of cedar. It goes fore and aft like the first layer. The final hull has three layers of cedar, 3/4 inch of foam, then three more layers of cedar.
When the final plank of a hull is laid it is tradition to serve all the workers a bit of whiskey. Thus the last plank is called the "whiskey plank". From left to right, enjoying their whiskey, are Rob, John, Eric, Michel (back), Norbert (front), Sean, Kevin, Chris, and Mike. You can meet the builders in the "People" section of this website.
Although the laminated hull is beautiful, the cedar is soft and susceptible to damage. So a layer of glass is applied over the entire hull exterior. The transom is built separately and will be left varnished.
Here is the final hull with glass. Notice the stem is missing.
Here is the stem! Like most everything else, it is a lamination.
The finished stem waiting to be installed. It is a piece of art. To its left is the deadwood for the keel. Both are hanging out next to Eric's six meter undergoing restoration by Eric's dad, Bent.
Although the hull is finished, they build as much of the interior as possible with the boat still upside down. Here you can see the two lazarette boxes and the cockpit being constructed.
The bulkheads are going in. What looks like a shelf on the left is underside of the deck and the cabinsides. Remember everything is upside down. The crew installs the floor timbers, engine mount, bulkheads, etc. up until "rollover day". It is approximately five months from start to rollover day.