The drawing of the boat being completed, the moulds made from it and the bench and stocks being ready as previously described, the first step in the actual work of building, is the shaping of the keel. If the boat has no centerboard trunk, the keel is made of the same siding or thickness as the stem and stern, for its entire length, its depth below the rabbet being taken from the drawing and 1/4 in., the thickness of the plank, added. The keel may be made 1-1/4 in. deep, the extra depth, If more is required, being made up by a false keel screwed to it, which may be removed for shoal water, as shown in Fig. 11. In selecting the wood for the keel and keel batten, the layers should lie horizontally, as shown.
If for a centerboard, either of the usual form, or one of the patented varieties requiring a trunk, a flat keel must be used as shown in the plate, which represents the cross section of a flat keel and centerboard trunk. The width, for the length of the trunk, will be 3-1/2 in. on top, tapering to the size of the stem and stern at its ends, the depth or thickness of the keel being uniform, 3/4 in. to 1 in. throughout its length.
With the edge keel, a keel batten is necessary, as shown in the cross section. This will be 1/4 in. thick, and 1 in. wider than the keel, to which it is nailed, thus overlapping the latter 1/2 in. on each side, forming a rabbet for the garboards. If the flat keel is used, the rabbet is cut directly on the keel. The stem is next sawed out from a hackmatack knee, and planed up 7/8 or 1 in. thick, for an ordinary canoe, and the fore edge, rabbet and bearding lines marked on it, using the moulds made for each.
The rabbet line of a boat, marked a in the drawing, is the line where the outer surface of the skin or planking joins the surface of the stem, stern, and keel; the inner or back rabbet, b, shown by the dotted line, is the line along which the inner side of the plank joins the lower edge or ends of the same, and the bearding line, c, shown by a broken line, is where the inner surface of the skin joins the deadwoods, keel, stem and stern. The back rabbet is found by squaring in from the rabbet line, a distance equal to the thickness of the plank.
After the rabbet and bearding lines are laid off, the rabbet is cut, a piece of wood 1/4 in. thick and several inches long being used, applied to the rabbet as the cutting progresses to test its depth and shape. The rabbet is not cut quite to its full depth at present.
The sternpost in most canoes is made of a knee, the rabbet being curved as at the bow (see drawing of the Dot). but there is no good reason for so doing, unless the rake of the sternpost is excessive, as is now seldom the case, and a better plan is to make the sternpost of a straight piece, as shown, the rabbet forming a right angle or a little more, at the junction of keel and post. This piece is planed up, the rabbet marked and cut, as in the stem, and fastened to the keel by a 2-1/2 in. screw passing up into it, as shown, and further secured by a chock of oak nailed or screwed in the angle.
To fasten stem and keel together, a scarf is cut of the shape shown in the drawing, about 8 in. long, copper nails being driven through the keel and stem, and riveted over burrs on the top of the former. The keel batten is now nailed on top of keel, butting against the stem forward and the chock aft The bearding line is drawn in where it has been omitted across the scarf forward and chock aft, and the rabbet trimmed at these points and the frame laid on the large drawing, from which the water line is marked on stem and stern, and the positions of moulds, bulkheads, mast steps, trunk, etc., on both top and bottom of keel.
If a centerboard trunk is required, it must be put in now; being constructed as shown by the sectional views. The head ledges, forming the ends of the trunk, are of oak, 1-1/2 in. wide and as thick as the slot or opening, 3/8 in. for a thin iron board, and 3/4 to 1 in. for a heavy iron or a wooden one. The slot is first cut, 1-1/4 in. longer at each end than the required opening, then a groove, 1/4 in. wide and deep, is ploughed on each side of it for its entire length.
The head ledges are now fitted in place, projecting over the keel 1/4 in. fore and aft, to allow for caulking, and fastened by a copper rivet through the keel and lower end of each to keep the keel from splitting. The sides of the case, of dry pine, are 5/8 in. thick on the lower edges, each of which has a tongue on it to fit the grooves in keel, and 1/2 in. on upper edges. A thread of cotton lamp wick is laid in the grooves, the inner surface of the sides, as well as their lower edges, the keel and the head ledges are well painted, and they are put in place and driven into the grooves. Before the paint is hard the sides are riveted to the head ledges with 2 in. copper nails, and brass screws 3-1/4 in. long, spaced 6 in. apart, are put through the keel up into the sides, the holes for them being very carefully bored and countersunk into the keel. If the board is hung on a bolt, the hole for it must now be bored, as it cannot be done later.
The moulds must now be fitted to their places, a small piece being cut out of each to admit that part of the keel and keelson inside of the bearding line, after which, if the boat is to be built with the keel down, the frame is placed in position on the stocks, secured by a few nails driven through the keel into the latter (which will be drawn and the boles plugged when the boat is ready to turn over), the stem and stern are plumbed with a plumb-line and fastened by shores from the floor or roof, the moulds put in position, adjusted by a center line from stem to stern, and also shored firmly.
If the latter method of building is followed, the moulds are screwed to the table, the frame laid on them and all firmly shored from floor to ceiling. Now a ribband one-half inch square is nailed along on each side, at the height of the deck, being fastened to the stem, stern and the moulds, and the positions of the bulkheads and ribs are squared up or down on to them.
To prevent any leakage through the scarfs, stopwaters are next put in. These are small plugs of dry pine, the holes for which are bored where the seam or joint crosses the rabbet. They should be bored between the inner and outer rabbet lines, Fig. 12, so as to be covered by the caulking, if in a large boat, or by the edge of the plank where the seam is not caulked, as in a canoe. This should be done at all scarfs, or where water is liable to follow a seam.
The rabbet is now completed by trimming it out with a sharp chisel, using as a guide, a strip lx1/4 in. and long enough to cross at least two moulds. This is held down across the moulds, one end being applied to the rabbet, and the wood cut away until the surface of the strip and the outside of stem and stern coincide.
The positions of the ribs are now laid off, as shown in Fig. 13, which represents the fore end of a canoe, set up on a building table or bench. The distance apart of the ribs will be 5 in., with an intermediate rivet through each lap between every pair of timbers Beginning at station 7 the spaces of 5 in. are laid off toward how and stern to within a foot of each end, and marked on top and bottom of keel so as to be seen from inside or outside when the plank is on, and also squared down on the ribband.
Perhaps the most difficult part of boat building, certainly the most difficult to make plain to a novice, is the planking. In order to obtain both strength and durability, each piece must be put on in such a way that it will bring no strain on any one part, and will not itself be forced into an unnatural shape, to attain which ends, though it may be bent or twisted, It must not be "sprung" edgeways or in the direction of its breadth, or it can never be made to fit properly. Although strakes are sometimes "sprung on" by experienced builders, the amateur should not attempt it, as the chances are that the framework will be pulled out of shape.
Before commencing to plank, the beginner can obtain an idea of how the planks must lie by taking a piece of board as long as the boat, 4 or 5 in. wide and 1/4 in. thick, tacking the middle on moulds 6 and 8 at about the turn of the bilge, and then bending the plank until it lies on all the other moulds, but not forcing it edgeways to or from the keel, The ends of course will come up higher on bow and stern than the middle, and if the piece be laid in a similar manner along the keel they will also be higher. The garboard streak, or that next the keel, will be 4 to 5 in. wide in most canoes; then marking off the width desired, 4-1/2 in., for instance, on moulds 6 and 8, the board mentioned above, having one straight edge, is laid over the moulds, its straight edge 4-1/2 in. from the keel and the ends bent down and tacked to each mould and the stem and stern, and a mark is made where the board crosses, showing the position of the upper edge of the garboard. By upper edge is meant the edge nearest the gunwale, in all cases, whether the boat is built keel up or otherwise. With some models it will be better to vary somewhat from this line, of which the builder must judge for himself, according to the circumstances of the case.
Next, to lay off the upper streak, we will take a width of 3-1/2 in. at midships, 2 in. at bow and 1-3/4 in. at stern, marking off these distances (Fig. 13) from the upper edge of the streak already marked by a ribband, and putting a similar ribband through these three points, bending it fair and marking where it crosses each mould. There should be six streaks on each side, so there still remain four to be laid off; to do which, the distance from the lower edge of the upper streak to the upper edge of the garboard on bow, stern and each mould is divided into four equal parts, making the planks all the same width on any given mould, though of course the widths on one mould differ from those on another, as the planks taper toward the ends, the girths at bow and stern being much less than amidships.
The planks being laid off, the next operation is to get the shape of the garboard, to do which a "staff" is necessary. This is a piece of hoard four or five inches wide, one-quarter inch thick, and as long as the boat, several, having more or less curvature, being necessary for the different strakes. For accurate work, especially where there is no help at hand, it is best to have two short pieces, each about one foot longer than half the boat's length. One of these pieces is cut roughly to the shape of the forward rabbet and fastened in place with a screw clamp, or a small piece of wood with a nail through it called a hutchock (l) Fig. 13. It is then bent carefully over the moulds as far as it will reach, and fastened to each with a hutchock. The staff should be of uniform thickness and quality so as to bend fairly, and is best cut so as to lie in the rabbet, though it need not fit closely. A similar piece is now fitted aft, lapping some two feet over the former, and the two are nailed firmly together, so as to preserve their relative positions when removed from the moulds. As the fitting of the garboard depends mainly on the manner in which the spiling is taken, great care is needed to prevent the staff springing or buckling in applying it.
When it is properly adjusted a series of marks are made with the rule and pencil on the rabbet line on the frame, and also across the staff, about two inches apart where the line is curved, as at the stem, and four inches where it is straighter along the keel. These marks are to insure the compasses being set at the same points in taking the spiling, and in transferring from the staff to the plank afterward, as will be understood later.
Now, with the compasses set to any convenient distance, usually from two to three inches, a circle is first swept on the staff, to reset them by if accidentally changed; then one point is applied to a mark on the rabbet line, as at n, and, with the other, a prick mark is made on the same line, at o on the staff. The compasses are applied in succession to each of the other points on the rabbet line and marks made on the staff, one line on the stem marked X X (m m) being called a sirmark, by which the plank is finally adjusted.
Before removing the staff from the moulds the position of each mould must be marked on it, as the breadths will be laid off afterward at each mould.
A board is now selected free from knots, sap or checks for the garboard. If it can be had planed to the thickness, 1/4 in., much trouble will be avoided, but where this is not possible, a board 3/4 or 1 in. thick is planed smooth on both sides, the staff is taken carefully from the moulds, laid on it and held by a few tacks, then with the compasses still set to the same distance, the measurements are reversed, placing a point of the compasses on the marks on the staff, and measuring out on the board. This operation, if accurately performed, will give the exact shape of the lower edge of the garboard.
The sirmark is now transferred to the board, and also the position of the moulds, after which the staff is removed and a batten is run through the spots, the curves on the ends being drawn in with the rabbet moulds. To lay off the upper edge, the breadths on the stem, stern and each mould, as previously marked off, are taken and transferred to the respective points on the board, an extra width of 5/8 in. being added for the lap, and a line drawn through them with a batten.
Some woods, cedar and oak especially, will spring or change their shape when a strip is sawed off one edge, and if this happens, the shape may be so altered that it will be very difficult to make the plank fit. If a straight line is drawn down the center of the board before sawing, and then tested after one edge is sawn to shape, it will show whether the plank has sprung at all, and if it has, a strip should be sawn off the other edge, leaving the board still a little wider than the finished strake will be, and then the plank should be laid off anew from the staff, as in the first instance, after which the edges may be planed up, with little danger of further springing.
If the board is thick enough to make two strakes, gauge lines are now run around the edges 1/4 in. from each side, the piece is laid on the saw benches, one end wedged flat between the two upright pieces previously mentioned, and it is sawn through, using the rip saw held nearly vertical, a few inches being sawn from one edge, then the piece being turned over and sawn for a short distance from the other edge, this process being repeated until the sawing is finished, as the saw will certainly run if used entirely from one side.
When the board is sawn in two, the pieces are each planed to thickness on the inside, after which the edges must be beveled to fit the rabbet. The best bevel for this purpose is made of two pieces of wood 3/8 in. wide and 1-1/2 in. long, one piece, 1/4 in. thick, having a saw cut in one end, in which the other piece, 1/16 in. thick, is slipped. The bevel is applied to different points of the rabbet about 6 in. apart in succession, and the angles transferred to the respective points on the strake, after which the entire edge is planed to correspond to these spots.
The second or broad strake will, of course, lap over the first, but at the ends the laps must diminish until the surface of both planks is flush with the stem at the rabbet. To secure this the adjoining surfaces of both are beveled off, beginning about 18in from each end and increasing in depth until about half is taken from each piece at the rabbet of stem and stern. This may be done with a rabbet plane or sharp chisel. The lower edge of the broad strake is left 1/16 in. thick, a rabbet being cut in the garboard to receive it, but the upper edge of the garboard is simply planed to a feather edge.. Before cutting this rabbet the width of the lap, 5/8 in., should be marked with a scratch gauge on the outside of the garboard as a guide for setting the next plank.
All being ready, the garboard is now held in place, with the help of an assistant, each part of it being tried in the rabbet. to test the accuracy of the bevels. In doing this, the plank is not put in place for its entire length at once, but one end is tried, then the middle, and finally the other end.
The fitting being complete, the stopwaters in, and the hole bored for the centerboard bolt, if any; the garboard is fitted in place on the fore end, adjusted by the sirmark, the after part being held well up by an assistant, and one or more clamps are put on to hold it, then holes are bored and countersunk for the screws, which will be 5/8 in. No.5 brass, and the garboard is screwed fast as far as it lies in place.
In fastening such light plank, great care is needed to avoid splitting it; the pieces must be in contact before the screw or nail is put in, otherwise, if it is attempted to draw them together with the screws, the plank will usually split. Screws are only used at the extreme ends, where nails cannot be driven through and riveted, but along the keel the latter are put in. After the fore end is fastened, the plank is laid in place along the middle of the boat and nailed, every other nail being omitted to be put in after the timbers are in place, after which the stern is screwed fast.
If the operations described have been carried out correctly, the garboard should fit exactly without any further cutting, and the greatest care should be taken to do so, as if the strake does not fit at first, it is very difficult to make it do so by cutting it afterward. When both garboards are on, a spiling is taken for the broad strake; it is got out and put on in a similar manner, the staff, however, in this case being in one length. After the strake is in place and screwed at the fore end, it is fastened with clamps, and the positions of the nails, omitting all that will pass through the timbers, are marked off, using a thin batten bent around the boat, from the marks on the keel to those on the ribband, to insure the rows of nails being straight.
The nails for this work are of copper, 3/4 or 1 in. long. As the holes for them are bored, they may sometimes refuse to hold at first, in which case a block of soft wood, 1 in. square, is held inside the seam and the nail driven into it, the block being removed before riveting. It may sometimes be necessary to drive a nail through the plank into a mould, using a hutchock to hold the plank down, but this should be avoided if possible, as the hole will have to be plugged afterward.
To recapitulate, the process of preparing and placing a plank is as follows: First, to set the staff, mark it and take the spiling with the compasses, mark positions of moulds, plane both sides of board, remove staff, place it on hoard, nail it, spile off on the board, mark position of moulds on latter, remove staff, mark line of lower edge through the spots, lay off breadths at each mould on plank, leaving 5/8 extra for lap, line upper edge through these spots, saw out, plane up edges (if a thick plank, gauge edges, slit and plane insides), bevel edges, gauge upper edge on outside for lap cut rabbets at each end for next plank (on the bilge it will be necessary to bevel the upper edge of plank on outside for its entire length), put in place, clamp, screw fore end in rabbet, nail along lap, and cut and screw after end.
Where there is a quick turn to the bilge, it is best to use 1/2 in. stuff for each plank, hollowing the inside with a plane, and rounding the outside to fit the curve of the moulds. At the ends, where the laps are thinned down, tacks, 1/4 and 3/8 in. long, are used instead of nails.
The planking being completed, the canoe, if built with the keel up, is turned over on the stocks and shored in position, the keel being blocked to the proper rocker, then the ribs or timbers are sawed out of a piece of stave timber, 3/8x1/4 in., the upper corners are rounded off, and if not flexible enough to bend easily, they are put in the steam box or laid in boiling water.
The holes for the nails are now marked off by means of a wide, thin batten, which is bent into the bottom of the boat and adjusted to the mark on keel and also so that it stands upright; then a mark is made where it crosses each lap, and a hole bored in the middle of the lap with a 1/16 in. German bit. When all the holes are bored, the ribs are taken one by one, bent over the knee and pressed down into the bottom of the boat, then the nails, which have previously been driven lightly into the holes, are driven up through the timber, using a set to hold on the top of latter alongside of the nail as it comes through. The lowest nail must always be driven first, then the others in succession from keel to gunwale.
As many ribs as possible should be put in before the moulds are removed, those alongside of the bulkheads, however, being omitted entirely. A nail must be put through the middle of the garboard and broad into each timber. After all are in, the boat is kept from spreading by means of cross spalls, pieces holding the gunwales together, and the moulds are removed; the blocks are then pulled off the ends of the nails, and the riveting up begins.
A copper burr or washer is slipped over a nail and driven home with a burr starter, an attendant outside holding the set on the head of the nail. When the burr is on, the end of the nail is cut off close to it, and the projecting part (about 1/16 in.) is beaded with a few blows from a light riveting hammer, the tacks at the ends merely having their ends turned down. After the riveting is completed the gunwales are put on.
These were formerly put inside the boat, being jogged over the heads of the timbers, but a stronger and neater plan is to put them outside, making them of a hard wood, preferably mahogany. The deck is screwed to them, and they serve also as chafing battens, protecting the sides. They should be about 1-3/4 in. wide at middle, 1-1/4 at fore and 1-1/8 at after ends, and 3/8 in. thick. A rivet is put through the stem and both fore ends, and another through the stern, thus strengthening what was formerly one of the weakest points of a canoe. Nails are also driven through them and the upper streak and the head of each timber and riveted, making a much stiffer side than the old method. After the gunwales are in, the cross spalls may be shifted if necessary until the curves of both sides of the boat are perfectly fair and symmetrical.
The bulkhead timbers will be sawed from hackmatack knees 5/8 in. deep and 1/2 in. wide. They must be fitted accurately to place in order to make a water-tight joint, to do which, a piece of thin board is cut to fit closely, the timbers being marked from it. After the timbers are fitted as tightly as possible by this means, a little dark paint is laid on where the timber will come, the latter is put in place and pressed down, with a slight fore and aft movement, and on removing it, the points where it touches will be marked with paint. These are cut away slightly, the piece replaced, and the operation repeated until the paint shows on the entire surface of the timber; it is then painted with thick white lead, pressed into place, and fastened by screws or nails through the planks at each lap and also in the middle of each strake, or if a wide strake, with two nails.
The bulkheads will be of white pine, 5/8 in. thick; they are placed on that side of the timbers nearest the end of the boat, and are riveted to them. A door is sometimes cut in the bulkhead to give access to the compartment in place of a deck hatch. These latter are to be avoided if possible, as they are never to be relied on as watertight, and being exposed to rain and waves, are apt to wet all below, while a door in the bulkhead, even if not tight, is only exposed to water in case of a complete capsize.
It is still customary in many canoes to place the floor boards directly on the timbers, giving a little more space below deck, but allowing the water to cover the floor if there is the least leakage or a wave is shipped. A better plan, shown in Plate IV., is to raise the floor above the garboards from 1-1/2 to 2 in., according to the depth of the boat, thus giving space below for ballast if desired, and also keeping crew and stores dry, even though there is considerable water on board.
The floor is carried on ledges, z z, 1-1/2 in. deep at the middle by 3/8 in. wide, fitted closely to the planking, and secured by screws through the laps. Small limberholes should be cut in each piece to permit the free passage of water. These pieces also serve to strengthen the bottom of the canoe materially. The floor boards, n n, are in three widths, 3/8 in. thick, of pine, the side pieces being screwed to the ledges, while the middle piece can be lifted out to stow ballast below. An oval hole in the latter piece, about under the knees of the crew, holds a sponge for bailing. The deck beam of pine, spruce or hackmatack - are marked out from a beam mould, which is made from the large drawing. The amount of crown to be given to the deck must be decided on by the builder. From 3 to 3-1/2 in. is not too much for a 30-in boat, as the space below, for air and stowage, is much greater than with a flat deck; the boat will free herself from a wave quicker, and there is nothing to be said against it. Before putting in the deck beams the timbers must be cut off level with the gunwale, and the latter planed down until the sheer is perfectly fair from end to end, the beam mould being used at thc same time as a guide by which to bevel the gunwales to suit the deck beams. The latter are spaced about as shown in the drawing, being fastened by a 2 in. brass screw through gunwale and upper streak into each end. The beams will be 1 in. deep and 1/2 in. wide. except the partner beam that supports the mainmast, which will be 4 in. wide, so as to take a 2-1/4 in. hole for the mast tube, and the beams under the butts of the deck, which will be l-1/4 in. wide.
Canoe decks are sometimes laid in but two pieces, with one seam only, down the center, but while this makes a very handsome deck it is necessary to take off the entire half deck every time that repairs or alterations are to be made. It is often desirable to open one of the end compartments, and to do this quickly the decks are now very often laid in six or more pieces, one joint being over the forward bulkhead and one over the after one. At these points the beams are made 1-1/4 in. wide and but 5/8 in. deep, each piece of deck lapping 5/8 in. on the beam. After the beams are in, ridge pieces are fitted down the center of the deck fore and aft of the well. They are from 2 to 4in, wide, according to the size of the masts, and 3/8 in. thick, being halved down into the deck beams and bulkheads and nailed to them. The holes for the mast tubes are now bored, the steps of oak are fitted and securely screwed or riveted to the keel and the mast tubes put in place. These are of copper or brass, the ends soldered up so that they are perfectly watertight. The upper ends are slightly flanged over the ridge pieces, with a little lamp wick and paint under the flange to make a tight joint. Plugs are sometimes put in the bulkheads to drain off any leakage, and the holes for them should be bored now, as low down as possible. The frame work of the well consists of two fore and aft pieces of spruce, v v, 3/8x1-1/8 in. sprung partly to the shape of the well, the ends nailed to the deck beams and bulkhead, and also of two curved chocks, r r, at the forward end, completing the pointed form of the cockpit. The side decks are also supported by four knees, y y, on each side, sawn from oak 3/8 in. thick and screwed or riveted to the planking, a brass screw 1-1/2 in. long passing through the gunwale into each, while the side pieces, v v, are screwed to the inner ends.
Before putting in the coaming, the decks, which will be of 1/4 in. mahogany or Spanish cedar, should be cut and fitted roughly to the outline of the well, the final fitting being done after the coamings are in. These should be of clear tough white oak, 1/4 in. thick. Their shape is taken by means of a thin staff sprung into the well, the upper and lower edges of the side pieces being marked on it. The pointed coamings now generally preferred are from 3 to 3-1/2 in. high forward, sloping to l-1/4 in. amidships and aft, the after end being either round or square. The coamings are riveted to the side pieces and the after piece to the deck beam or bulkhead, a piece of 3/8 in. mahogany, q, being fitted in the angle forward, to strengthen it, and also to hold cleats and belaying pins. The other fittings, described in the following chapter, such as side flaps, footgear, tabernacle, etc., are now put in, then the boat is turned over and the outside smoothed down, using fine sandpaper and a file on the nail heads; the stem band, of 5/16 in. half-round brass, is drilled and put on, the rudder braces are fitted and riveted fast, and sometimes bilge keels, which are strips of hard oak 3/8 in. square and about 4 ft. long, are screwed to the bottom about over the second lap, protecting the boat in hauling up.
The outside of the boat and the inside of well has now a coat of raw linseed oil, and the inside of the compartments, the bottom, under the floor, and the deck frame, is painted with white lead and oil, sufficient black being added to make a lead color. Now, the bulkheads should be tested, to do which the boat is securely blocked up a short distance above the floor, and each bulkhead in turn filled with water, the leaks, if any, being carefully noted and marked. After the ends are tested, the water may be bailed into the middle of the boat, and the leaks there marked also. When these have been made tight, the decks may be laid, the pieces being first fitted, and then the under side of them being painted, and the edges of the gunwales, ridge pieces and bulkheads being also covered with thick paint or varnish. While this is fresh the pieces of deck are laid in place and fastened with 5/8 in. No.5 brass screws, placed 3 in. apart, along the gunwales, ridge pieces, deck beams, bulkheads and side pieces of the well. In all the older canoes the screw heads were countersunk and puttied over, but it is customary now only to screw them flush with the wood, allowing the head to show. If puttied over it is difficult to remove them, and the decks will be more or less defaced in clearing out the hard putty in order to do so. After the deck is on, enough quarter-round beading of mahogany must be got out to go around the well, and also some half-round, to cover the seam down the center of the deck. These are nailed with half-inch brass or copper nails. The decks are next oiled, the mast plates, cleats, screw eyes, and other fittings screwed fast, the rudder, hatches, etc. completed, and all the outside of hull and inside of the well is varnished with some variety of wood filler, of which there are several in the market. This first coat is merely to fill the grain of the wood, and has no polish of its own. After it is thoroughly dry, a coat of spar composition should be given, and allowed full time to dry before using the boat.