Plank Widths

The following dimensions were measured from completed planks while they were still on the bench. These planks are made from a single length of planking stock. Since plank sections may be scarphed to achieve the overall length and curvature required, individual pieces narrower than those listed will suffice. (See explanation below table.)

LSW = Lincolnville Salmon Wherry (9 planks/side)
MDE = Matinicus Double Ender (7 planks/side)
DTW = Duck Trap Wherry (8 planks/side)

The number of planks given is traditional for thses three designs, but that doesn't preclude using more or even fewer planks. We build the DTW with 7 planks when using ply, 8 or even 9 when using cedar. If you're using sawn frames the number of planks is less critical. Using steamed ribs, you need to make sure planks are narrow enough that the rib doesn't bear hard on the middle of any plank...which is what can happen when too few planks are used.

Plank Number
16' LSW
15'-6" MDE
16'-0" DTW
Garboard (#1)
8” x 14’-6”
7” x 15’-6”
7” x 14’-6”
9” x 15’-0”
6.5” x 16’-0”
8” x 14’-9”
10’ x 15’-0”
9” x 16’-6”
9” x 15’-0”
11’ x 15’-6”
9” x 16’-6”
10” x 15’-6”
13” x 16’-0”
5.5” x 16’-6”
11” x 16’-0”
7.5” x 16’-4”
8.5” x 17’-0”
7” x 16’-6”
6.5” x 16’-6”
12.5” x 17’-6”
10” x 17’-6”
10” x 17’-0”
12” x 17’-6”
12” x 17’-0”

The manner in which these planks were measured shows the overall curvature. In each case, the plank was placed on the bench with the concave edge of the plank toward me and the ends even with the front edge of the bench. The first dimension is the distance from the bench edge to the highest part of the crown. That means that if you were making any of these planks out of a piece of parallel edged planking stock, it's width would have to be at least that of the first number.

The table tells you that 9th plank of the 16' Lincolnville Salmon Wherry (highlighted just above), would require a piece of parallel-edged planking stock 12" wide and 17'-0" in length. The lengths given allow some extra for the usual overhang at the transom that saws away after the plank has been fastened in place.

Bear in mind that the actual maximum width of each finished plank is less. The width of that same wherry sheer strake amidships is just under 5". That's why that particular plank could readily be scarphed together using two pieces about half that length and about 7" wide.The exception to that rule is the garboards, which are shapely but nearly straight overall, and quite wide in comparison to the other planks.
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