Steve’s Boat Building An amateur’s attempt to build a strip plank dinghy

Sanding the hull

Unfortunately, I could devise no fabulously easy way of sanding the hull, so I resorted to the (almost) traditional method of using enormous amounts of elbow grease. I did, however find that using Mirka sanding blocks with their Abranet sandpaper was very helpful in a couple of ways. Firstly, the blocks connect to a vacuum cleaner via a hose, and because the “sandpaper” is actually a very open-weave fabric, the dust is immediately sucked away. This eliminated the need to wear a face mask, and as I was sanding for about 2 weeks, I was very grateful for that small mercy.

The second real help was the use of the flexible Mirka sanding board shown below. By winding the bar at the top, the base of the unit curves. By varying the curvature for different parts of the boat, more of the abrasive was in contact with the hull. I initially sanded across the grain, i.e. from keel to topsides, and this quickly (I say laughingly) took off the corners between the strips. I then used a finer grit abrasive, again with the Mirka board, to smooth along the grain to finally get a very pleasing almost shiny finish.