Lofting is the process of converting the plans provided by the designer into life size drawings allowing key components of the boat to be built. One of the key outputs for our type of build are the molds which provide the shape of the hull.
I can’t repeat the phrase generally used to describe the effect on the brain of going through this exercise because it’s very rude, but let’s just say it can do your head in. You draw out the boat in three different views on the one set of boards – from the side (profile view), from above (half breadth) and from end to end (body plan). It results in a lot of lines. The trick is to remember what they all mean when you come to the actual build.
We spent three weeks lofting. Fortunately there were three of us doing the lofting for Terror, and fellow students Sam and Wilbur, picked it up a lot quicker than me.
There is no better way of understanding how the boat you are about to build is constructed, and what will be involved as you go through each stage.
I should say here that Paul Gartside specifies two alternative construction methods for Terror – either strip planking or carvel. I chose strip planking because the boat will spend a lot of time out of the water on a trailer and this can cause shrinkage issues if you have a clinker construction. I’ll explain more about strip planking, a relatively modern technique used in building wooden boats, later in this blog.
Here are some pictures of the lofting boards, the wood shapes being partly made molds.
And here are the molds finished and stacked up in order. You can also just see the template for the centre board behind the molds, which was also produced from the lofting.