With the bottom planks , and keel removed ,
the next step is to make new stem and stern posts .
The photos of the old stem and stern post show evidence of a
previous attempt to squeeze some miracle goo between the planks
and the stem . In most boats that I've looked at , the stem usually
looks fine on the outside where you can see it , but the real problem
is on the inside when the wood wont hold the nails any more . Another
interesting feature is shown on the photo at the right . Water is
naturally drawn by capillary action between the joint formed where the
keel meets the stem and would eventually turn into an annoying leak.
The cedar dowel inserted into the joint is called a stop water , and
if it gets wet it swells up , expands and stops the leak . I
sometimes get asked to change just the stem in a boat without doing
any plank or keel work . ----I won't do it . Mainly because there is
no way to put in a stop water without having at least one plank off .
It might not leak for a couple of years without a stop water , but
miracle goo and a tight fit or not , things eventually move .
when a leak does start in a place like this there is no way to stop it
After fitting the keel to the new stem and stern post , the new
cedar garboards are steamed in a steam box for about half an hour then
temporarily clamped in place on the boat to set the twist in the ends
. After they have cooled for about a day they will be ready for final
fitting and fastening .