I am an unrepentant Wood Boat Man. I like steel fine, and I can see the place for all other materials but given my druthers I’ll always go with wood. However, in larger sizes, if costs are an issue in most cases steel makes far more sense for a boat. The labor is far less and the materials themselves are less. It’s just that well, it ain’t wood.

I’ve written numerous times that there ain’t nothin new in boat design or construction and the same is true with this idea. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen steel keels and frames with wood planking.I’ve even seen a boat that was steel to the WL and wood up from there. But this idea shown here is how I’d do it.

The steel hull is welled up, then a 1/4″ x 10″ flange is welded to the sheer, angled up on the same slope the deck beams hit the sheer with. This isn’t as tricky as it sounds because the angle of the dangle doesn’t have to be perfect.

The deck beams are hung from this flange by two 3/8″ bolts. Note the top of the beam is notched a bit to fit the flange. The plywood is laid over the beams but is stopped 2″ inboard, allowing a “waterway” between it and the actual sheer.

There’s a few other little details I’ll tell you about if you want to do this when building one of my designs!