Erectile Function, it's just like the medical condition ED, but completely different. It does involve an erection, of sorts, but as it relates to boat building.
After having built a pair of backbones for our very own Wharram Narai MKIV last year, and allowing them to languish on the building platform while we continued to complete the building of the Wharram Tiki 38, it was finally time to begin construction of the port hull. I was excited to get started on our boat after many years of waiting...wondering, not knowing if I might perish long before I had the chance to live on the water once more. Once again on a boat built of my own hands, with the support of my family.
I am not sure when this Classic Wharram Narai design and its subsequent plans were created, but I am going to guess in the mid 1970's with later updates in the early '80's. Compared to the more modern Wharram Tiki series and their more detailed plans, the Narai plans are quite simple and leave much to be desired for the uninitiated. Some basic knowledge of building things of wood is required.
Wood moves. - Chuck
The problem starts with the building floor. By requirement it is made of wood, and it impossible to keep perfectly level in all directions. Why? Because wood moves. When erecting bulkheads, they must be squared/leveled in 6 directions, accounting for height above the floor, square to the reference lines, plumb in tilt from vertical, plumb in lateral rotation, square to the backbone horizontally, and square to the backbone vertically, all at the same time. Nothing in the plans tells you how to do this. Only experience will tell you. And because the building platform is not 100% level in all directions, each bulkhead must be squared individually. But that is another story.
For the purposes of a complete erection, I simply needed to stand up two main bulkheads and temporarily fix them in place so that I could drop the backbone on them. For me, this involved a lot of bracing. I first had to decide on how high I wanted the bulkheads above the floor. If I put them too close to the floor, it would be impossible to get inside to do clean-up work when the hull sides are permanently glued in place. Too high and I would need to build scaffold to work. I settled on 18" and made legs for my two main bulkheads.
Once the riser legs were attached, I stood the two bulkheads up on the newly darkened and visible reference lines on the building platform and nailed on some temporary bracing. Satisfied that they would stay in place with some minor rough treatment, it was time to drop the backbone in place. I had previously measured the required height for the stem and stern posts to sit 18" above the floor and cut them to size. My wife assisted with erecting the backbone and it dropped into place more easily than I had expected.