Building a Keel - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-03-2008 Thread Starter
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Building a Keel

Me and some friends want to build a wooden ship probably a sloop but we have no idea how to do this properly. We were wandering how to build the keel since it is the backbone of the ship. If anyone could give us some links or could post a how to guide it would help alot.

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post #2 of 5 Old 04-03-2008
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There is a good forum for construction and building:

Boat Design Forums

You'll probably get some hilarious responses here though, especially if you say you want to circumnavigate with this homemade contraption

I sail.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-04-2008
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It sounds like you may want to take a look at Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding, by George Buehler. Chapter 5 is titled, Keels and Ballast. My copy is ISBN: 0-87742-257-5. I think this book is great for boat philosophy as well. Go for it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-04-2008
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When you talk about the keel in wooden boat construction, the term takes on a number of meanings that are different from the way the word 'keel' might be used in glass construction. In wooden construction, the word keel can refer to the structural backbone that holds the two sides of the boat together and distributes longitudinal loads, or it can be the dead wood which forms fin which keeps the boat from sliding sidewards or it can be the cast ballast that serves to resist the tendancy of the boat to heel.

To learn to build any of these, I would recommend several books:

Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and West System Materials which discusses modern methods for building a boat including how to laminate a keel timber.

If you are contemplating traditional boat building techniques then I would recommend Boat Building: a Complete Guide to Wooden Boat Construction by Howard I Chappelle.

Good luck,


Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-04-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-04-2008
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You might try anything to do with Woodenboat mag, they have a forum, along with prints to different boats, some kits, books etc.

Glen-L marine is another, they also have many prints, kits and books too. I built an 8ball and Glen-L 12 sailboat as a teen. still have plans for the 8 ball. Step dad built a 21CB from a frame kit and plan setup. All three plans etc were well laid out with instructions and pictures where needed for
novices to figure things out.

Clark craft is another place like the above 2 also, with plans kits etc.

There are numurous other places with plans and kits, depending upon what size and style of boat/ship you wish to build.


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I drives me dinghy!
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