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This 23-foot John Boat is a stable and fast

river craft capable of carrying great loads.

By John L a m m e r s

A NYONE who has ridden a John Boat similar to Tesiin on swift

and shallow river waters will not deny its advantages. It has
the stability of a flat-bottomed rowboat, handles with the ease of a
canoe, beaches like a landing craft and carries loads like a barge—
all with minimum power. It can be rowed, sculled or poled with
remarkable ease and a great deal of control. Because of its design,
it shines in rapids. The long and slender hull doesn't bob up and
down in the troughs—it rides a series of waves instead.
Tesiin was built four years ago and has been in use on Yukon
rivers since. With a Mercury Mark 6, it moves at speeds judged up

TESLIN carries four with room for several more. That's a six-hp motor!

128 Mechanix Illustrated

to 15 mph with light loads
and still has enough push
to freight heavier loads up-
stream in a 5- to 7-mph
current. A speed demon is
in for a real thrill if he uses
up to 25 hp. He need only
be sure to have enough
weight in the bow.
Construction is simple.
The main point is to cut
the frames accurately. All
dimensions and bevels are
set forth in a table keyed
to letters and frame num-
bers on the drawings. Start
with frames two through SCOW-TYPE lifted bow crests the waves, is good for
12, shaping the bottoms beaching. The hull crests several waves, rides level.
first. Mark dimension A on the center- establishes the fore and aft taper of the
line of the bottom side of the 2x3-inch hull. Using a miter gauge set to the
stock. Note that dimension A does not proper angle with a protractor, mark off
determine the maximum width of each this bevel at each end on the bottom face
bottom piece—the pieces are wider at so that the lines pass through the ter-
the top and extra length on each end minal points of dimension A. All bevels
should be allowed for the maximum should be measured from the forward
width established by angle C. sides of the frames. The table shows that
Bevel D, on the ends of each piece these angles vary from above 90° toward

BOTTOM curves up at stern, too. Room and stability make boat fine for group fishing.

the bow to below 90° toward the stern.
include a bill of materials, complete Thus the bevels will always be in the
text and photos. Send $3 to MI Plans right direction even though they are all
Service, Fawcett Building, Greenwich,
Conn. Specify Plan No. B-242, Teslin. measured from the forward face.
Angle C [Continued on page 136]
Build Teslin
[Continued from page 132]
establishes the flare of the sides. Mark it
on the forward or aft side of the piece, de-
pending upon the maximum width estab-
lished by the bevel D lines. When all the
pieces are marked, they can be cut at angle
C and beveled at angle D.
Bevel E establishes the rise of the bottom
at the bow and stern. Note in the table that
E is 90° for frames two through five, mean-
ing that these frames actually have no bot-
tom bevel. Again, measure the bevel from
the forward face.
With the bottom pieces shaped, cut the
stringer notches in the bottoms of frames
two through eight. These notches are nine
inches on centers, each centered 4-1/2 inches
from the centerline of the boat. Next cut
notches for the half-lap joints with the side
pieces, making sure to allow for the bevel
on the sides.
Cut the side pieces an inch or so longer
than indicated for proper fitting at the
joint with the bottom and to facilitate fit-
ting of the planking later. Next notch each
piece for the joint, cut off the surplus wood
at the bottom, taper each to an inch and a
half at the top and plane it to the correct
bevel on the outside (bevel D). Then the
frame members can be glued, clamped,
bored and bolted together, making sure
that the bolts aren't in the area of the chine
notches yet to be cut. The chine notches are
marked with a piece of 1x2-inch stock and
cut after assembly. Note that the widest
side of the chine faces up.
Frame one is a special and construction
of the bottom piece is shown in a three-part
drawing. Two sides of the 4x4 fir stock are
first beveled lengthwise at an angle of 132°.
Then the angles at each end are marked
and the cuts are made. Last, notches are
cut to receive the side pieces and inch-deep
terminal notches for the chines and string-
ers are chiseled out.
The sides of frame one are beveled,
notched and installed in the same manner
as the other side pieces, except that longer
carriage bolts are used. The bow plate is
then cut to cover the front, allowing for
the bevels. This plate is fastened with
waterproof glue and l-3/4-inch, No. 8 flat-
head screws spaced three inches apart.
The edges are then beveled the same as the
136 Mechanix Illustrated
Build Teslin
side and bottom members of the frame. ure and mark the width of each frame at
Frame 12 is used to outline the pieces each location. With a long batten bent
for the laminated transom. One side of around the marks just made, the outline
each piece of plywood is roughened and of the bottom can be drawn. Then draw
they are joined with waterproof glue and parallel lines, one each side of each cross-
the indicated screws. Then the lamination line, to establish the thickness of the
is glued and bolted to the frame. Beveling frames. The bottom is next cut out and
the edges to the same angle as the frame turned over so that all markings can be re-
completes this part of the job. peated on the other side. Keep the excess
The first step in preparing the chines can wood for use as gunwale caps.
now be made. If you can't get long enough The building form is 24 feet long. Secure
pieces, join them as shown. One side of it to three or four sawhorses, making sure
each chine is beveled at the same angle as it is level. Then hang frames four through
frames two through seven (122°). Then, ten upside down on the form in sequence,
when the chines are later installed, most spacing them two feet apart. Place the
of the beveling has been done and the rest stringers in the notches of frames four
can be done on the boat. through eight and, beginning at eight, se-
Now lay out the plywood for the bottom. cure them to the frames. Use Kuhls Avio
Use an 8- and a 16-foot sheet with a butt Liquid Marine Glue and one 1-1/2-inch, No.
block glued and screwed across the width 10 flathead screw in each joint, being care-
between frames eight and nine on the in- ful to keep the exact spacing. Next apply
side. The butt block should be at least ten Avio glue to the chine notches of frames
inches wide. Next draw a line down the four through ten and clamp the chines se-
middle and make crosslines every two feet, curely to these frames. Do not fasten them
marking the frame numbers. Then meas- at this time. [Continued on page 150]

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Build Teslin
[Continued from page 137]
The bottom planking is now placed on bottom in the process.
top and clamped to the seven frames. Then The side planking, preferably in one
pilot holes for l-1/2inch, No. 10 flathead sheet, is simply clamped on and the outline
screws are bored through to each frame at is marked according to the dimensions.
three-inch intervals. On each side, one of Two shorter lengths may be used if the
the holes passes through the chine as well joints are reversed on either side. Just back
as the bottom so that the screw will secure up the joints with butt blocks between
both to the frame. The bottom is then tem- frames. Avio glue is used at all contacting
porarily secured to the frames with a few surfaces and the sides are fastened with
screws in strategic locations so that it will 1-inch, No. 6 flathead screws every two
not shift. Next, pilot holes for 1-inch, No. 6 inches along the chines. Along the frames,
flathead screws are bored through the bot- 1-1/2-inch, No. 10 screws are used three
tom into the chines. They're spaced two inches apart.
inches apart between frames. Then the With the sides on, the inwales are
bottom is removed and Avio glue is applied clamped in place (bevel the frame sides so
to the frames, chines and stringers. The they he flush) and holes are bored for the
bottom is then replaced and fastened. bolts. Then the two crosspieces, one at
The assembled part of the boat is now frame one and the other at the end of the
lifted (with help) and turned upright on deck, are shaped and fitted. Next the in-
the building form. The bottom from frames wales are removed and the rear crosspiece
four to ten is screwed right down to is fastened between them, using water-
the building form between frames. The proof glue and two 1/4x3-inch lag screws
holes made in the bottom to establish this and washers each side. The inwales can
rigidity are later filled and covered over then be installed permanently with the
with Fiberglas. bolts. Countersink the bolt heads on the
The next step is to secure blocks of outside so that they're flush with the sides
building form width and proper thickness and cut and round the ends inside. Lag
at stations 1, 2, 3, 11 and 12 on the build- screws are used at the bow and stern, with
ing form. They fix the upward curve of the the screws at the bow passing into the
bottom fore and aft. Frames one, two and crosspiece installed at this time. The gun-
three can then be secured to the stringers wales are then installed with waterproof
and bottom in the same manner as the other glue and screws every three inches.
frames. The screws, of course, have to be After chiseling out notches for the deck
driven outside the blocks which establish battens, the plywood deck is installed with
the rise. Screws in the area of the blocks waterproof glue and 1-inch, No. 6 screws
can be driven later. The same applies for spaced three inches apart. The gunwale
frames 11 and 12, though the stringers are caps are fastened in the same manner. A
not involved. Be sure of frame alignment. drip rail on the deck finishes it off.
Then temporarily nail battens from frame No seats were installed in the boat but
to frame along the insides of the side mem- risers may be screwed across two frames
bers to keep them aligned. on each side if permanent seats are desired.
Now bend the free ends of the chines in The bottom is flat, covered with Fiberglas
and cut off any excess beyond the notches which extends five inches up the sides, bow
in the bow and transom frames. Then and transom. A drain plug is installed be-
clamp the chines in place and bore pilot tween frames nine and ten. Oarlocks go in
holes from the bottom for the one-inch the gunwales between frames four and
screws between the frames and the inch- five. For average loads, the distance be-
and-a-half screws into the frames. Remove tween the transom bottom and the bottom
the clamps, brush Avio glue along the of the transom cutout may be two to three
chine bottoms and into the frame notches inches less than the transom height recom-
and then secure the chines with the screws. mended for your particular motor. It's best
Finish off the chines by planing them to to experiment under power and build up
the bevel of the frame sides, beveling the or cut down the opening as required. Any
150 Mechanix Illustrated
alterations may then be covered over with
Neither a keel nor runners were put on
the bottom of the hull because either would
add drag and make it harder to get off sand
bars or snags.
For a finish, all the bare wood is coated
with Firzite. The hull gets two coats of
marine enamel. The bottom gets two coats
of anti-fouling paint if the boat is to be
used in salt water. Last, a pre-finished ply-
wood floor is screwed down on the frames.
Then you're set to cruise down—and up—
the river. •

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