Keelson fit and ready to be drilled for bolts
Keelson fit and ready to be drilled for bolts

The first construction step was to start gathering timbers for the the backbone, which consists of the keel, keelson, stem, sternpost and deadwood. In 2004, seven white oak logs, up to 22 feet long, were delivered to my yard. Dick Plog sawed them with his Woodmizer, 7″ thick for the backbone plus some side cuts of smaller dimensions. Family and friends helped stack them for drying. The 3 timbers for the keel and keelson weighed over 1000 pounds each . Thanks, Chris, Joel and Ron!

Air drying typically takes one year per inch thickness. In 2011, the timbers were rolled into the barn through a small door cut in for that purpose. Thanks, Josh, Ian and Matt! They were heavy – the longest keel timber weighed over 750 pounds (it lost a few hundred pounds during aging).

Here is a 4 minute video of the keel laying party in June 2012:

(NOTE: For latest work on the boat, check the Deck page.)

The pictures in the gallery below show and attempt to explain some of the details of backbone construction. Most photos are captioned to explain the process.

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.

Comments on either the website or the boat will be greatly appreciated. You can contact me (Mike Danesi) at