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doubling plates?

I have recently seen a riveted iron boat which is clearly a Bantock although no details are available. Along both sides extending down from the waterline to the hard chine there are a series of what, at first sight, appear to be doubling plates riveted to the shell each about 500 mm square and of the same thickness as the shell. They are not all exactly the same shape as they have different corners. There is a square hole in the shell behind each of the plates which has been deliberately cut. Can you tell me what they are and why they were fitted? It has been suggested to me that they were where wooden footings together with an elm bottom were once fitted. If that is so how was that done?

Asked by: JEFFREY WOOD  | 11.00am, Friday 10 May

WW says:

This sounds like a late all iron Bantock, rather than the early variety which had the bottoms and base of the sides made from wood; the knees were forged to fit around the wooden bottom strake, and are sometimes left when steel has replaced the wood.
The plates are repairs to the hull behind the knees which provide the support. As the hull gets bashed, the plates attached to the knees get worn because they become the widest points along the hull. Rust builds up between the knee and the plates, pushing the joint apart accelerating the wear.
A common repair is to cut out the thin plate behind the knee and replace it. The easiest method before welding was available is to rivet a plate over the hole and then the knee can be re-riveted to the new plate.

Rupert Smedley  | 11.45AM, Monday 13 May

Readers say:

Thank you for that, Rupert. You have confirmed what I was taught when I was an apprentice but, until now, I had nevert heard anybody else answer the question.

JEFFREY WOOD  | 10.06AM, Wednesday 15 May

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