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Author Topic:   BW Joinery
Walleye Guy posted 03-02-2004 08:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for Walleye Guy   Send Email to Walleye Guy  
A question for you wood workers.
I noticed my project 15 sport BW's console uses simple joinery throughout and without glue. Is the reason to facilitate owner friendly repairs, flex of the hull, expense, or something else.
I have considered dovetails, mortise tenon, dados, etc. and marine type glue. But rather than mess it up I thought it best to consult the wisdom and experience of this group.
Happy Whaling:)
kingfish posted 03-02-2004 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Boy, if I ever saw a question with Tom Clark's name written all over it, this is it.

Paging Tom Clark...

Tom W Clark posted 03-02-2004 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The woodwork used on Whalers was of a fairly high quality compared to other manufactured boats. If you study the designs of the woodwork on the early classic Whalers as well as the owners manuals and sales literature, you will see that the wood parts were designed to be easily disassembled so they could be revarnished in the off season.

Remember that when Whalers first became popular it was the 1960s. Back then it was standard operating procedure to revarnish each season or two. The wood consoles and seating on those early boats was designed with that in mind, and it applies to the wood work in your Sport 15 as well.

Now as to the joinery itself, Whaler did use glue on some parts that were not meant to ever come apart, l like the louvered doors. But as many of us know, those parts often do come apart, especially if exposed to the elements for years.

Whaler was and is a big manufacturer of boats. Their woodshop produced an unbelievable amount of wood parts in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. In a production setting like that one would not expect to see anything more sophisticated than simple doweled joints, which is what Whaler used.

In the case of parts like the louvered door frames and the trim around the fire extinguisher pocket, these doweled together parts were then rabbeted after the parts were assembled, thus cutting into and exposing portions of the dowels. This is not such a great way to construct a joint, but it works, more or less.

I am actually thinking of building some louvered doors with proper hauntched mortise and tenon joints, but I have to admit this is a bit extreme. Of course having access to an 3-phase Oliver hollow ground mortiser makes it a considerably easier matter than trying to cut those mortises by hand ;-)

Walleye Guy posted 03-02-2004 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Walleye Guy  Send Email to Walleye Guy     


Of course!

Being a first time owner I had not considered the need to break down the console, etc. in order to re-varnish.

At the risk of bombarding this site with responses, based on your back ground, do you prefer teak over mahagony?

I am raising the console height by 5 inches. The console pieces in general in my BW are in poor condition and combined with the height change need to be replaced. I would pay the premium if teak has advantages that justify it.

Thanks again for your thoughtful response to my initial question. It opens the door for some design choices.
Happy Whaling:)


peetmin posted 03-02-2004 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for peetmin  Send Email to peetmin     
Tom- Have you seen the teak door kits available at West marine? They are not assembled, you can adjust the height and width of the door with a miter saw and then glue. The slots for the louverd slats are all in place. The louvers/slats would then need to be cut to size. The rounded edges on the louvers are already done. Could be a time saver.

I only glanced at them breifly, however it does appear to be of reasonable quality.

Regards, Pete

John O posted 03-03-2004 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Whaler used both teak and mahogany. I replaced the bottom portion of the trim on the fire extinguisher frame with mahogany (honduras) and it looks identical. I also raised my RPS with the 2 x4 bases of the same wood. I use Sikken Cetol which may help in blending the difference in wood color if need be.

I purchased this from a great shop called Harris Woodworking in Manchester CT 860 649 4663. They suggested the Mahogany over teak. Very helpful and cut and rough planned the wood for me.

Tom W Clark posted 03-03-2004 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

In the case of your Sport 15, the original wood was Philippine Mahogany. Teak is nicer and takes varnish just fine but the expense will by very high. Honduras Mahogany is a nicer choice then Philippine and there are other woods as well but I do not see the advantage in your case.

If you were going to oil the wood instead of varnish, then I would definitely use teak.


I have seen those kits. They will not work because you are somewhat limited to sizes that equate to the unit spacing of the louvers. Also, the Whaler louvered doors are NOT detailed the same as the generic teak louvered doors you see for sale at places like West Marine and others.

Whaler built their own and they did it better.

FLUKEDUKE posted 03-03-2004 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for FLUKEDUKE  Send Email to FLUKEDUKE     
Have to second you on Harris being a good source for teak and mahogany, of course it's got nothing to do with my son being one of their cabinet makers and getting an occasional "favor". They are a high end custom work shop that could reproduce any joinery Whaler ever used. Be glad to forward anyone's inquiries, just drop me an E-mail.


Walleye Guy posted 03-03-2004 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Walleye Guy  Send Email to Walleye Guy     

Tom & John,
Thank you both for your helpful information.
You're going to give me a better chance of getting
this done right the first time.

John O posted 03-03-2004 06:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    

While my 2 purchases in there have been small (both under $100.00) they spent time with me discussing my project and brought me out onto the floor to discuss the various wood options. After my first visit there I emailed the Pres to thank him and complement his staff. I bet the cabinets they turn out are A1.

John O

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