Posted by: Mike Randall | November 3, 2009

Sole or is it the Soul?

Two blog entries today!

We had a public holiday in Melbourne today for the Melbourne Cup. A day off for a horse race – go figure! Anyway I’m not complaining, I got a full day of boat building in and as usual I didn’t win a cent on the horses.

My mission today was to fit the sole and build a bench big enough to join three full size plywood sheets on. I could then use it for layout and to cut the planks.

First I trimmed the keel to stem join so I could dry fit the sole and check for fit. It was pretty good, maybe a few millimeters out on some stations, but spot on on others? Not much I could do about it so I figured I’d run with it as it was. I then prepared all relevant surfaces ready to glue the sole down.


Epoxy down ready for the sole


Screwing it down


Screw hold downs

I didn’t use many clamps for this job, mostly chipboard screws and a timber spacer wrapped in packing tape. Just before I left for the day I made sure to screw each screw in and out a few times to ensure it would come out. I’ll be replacing these with 50mm 10g stainless screws.

What to do for a planking bench? I didn’t want to buy any timber for this bench, but I didn’t have enough material to build it either – what to do! While having a coffee and admiring the newly fitted sole it dawned on me I was in a warehouse full of forklift pallets and there was also a pile of rotting office furniture out the back in the car park. The rest is history – well a bench at least.


The mighty pallet bench


Ready for planking


  1. GREAT !!!!
    It reminds me headache but what a satisfaction !!!

    Very good job Mike !
    Good luck for the rest of plywood.

    • Hi Fred

      Speaking of soles have you fixed the sole on Linotte yet?

  2. Shocking might have got up in the Melbourne Cup, but that’s not how you would describe what’s going on here. This is superb. The shape of the boat looks sensational. Also love the hunter/gatherer approach with the pallets and office furniture.

    Bought me a 9 foot Mal. Goes unreal. Look forward to a sesh with you soon.


    • Just like a giant stand up paddle board.
      Glad you’ve seen the light with the mal, got a few new twinkle toes move to pass on


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