Overlap of middle and forward clamp pieces at the aft end of the raised cuddy deck
Overlap of middle and forward clamp pieces at the aft end of the raised cuddy deck

The clamp is a major structural member. It runs on the inside of the frames, just under the deck beams, which sit on top of it. Its cross section is 2 1/2″ x  6 1/2″ in the midsection of the boat, tapering to 1 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ at the stem and sternpost. It must be steam bent in the forward and after third of the boat.  This was the first steam bending required for the boat. Since Lion has an 8″ step in her deck, the clamp does also. The upper (forward) clamp overlaps the lower clamp by two frame spaces and the two sections are fastened together at the overlap with 12″ lag screws driven vertically through both pieces. The clamp is fastened to the frames with 1/2″ carriage bolts, one in each frame. Material is white oak.

Thanks to Chris, Josh, Gina, Ian, Mike, Joel and Dennis for their help bending in the clamp pieces!

The clamp runs all the way from stem to sternpost. It is made from 3 boards. As mentioned above, the forward board runs above and overlaps the middle board. The after two boards  are joined with a hooked scarf. Both the forward and after boards required steam bending. The middle board was 21 feet long. With a cross section of 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ it was way too big to move to the steam box. Fortunately Lion‘s midsection is pretty straight, but the forward 8 feet of this piece has quite a twist which needed steaming to accomplish.  A different steaming method was needed, and Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde provided the answer – channel the steam into a plastic tube surrounding the piece. You can see his video here. My version of Louis’ method is shown in the following video. There are a also a few photos of the process in the gallery that follows.

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

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