Here is a picture of a 4 X 8 foot sheet of "Good on both Sides" plywood. I did not primer these sheets, I used  1 1/2 sheets, on this skeleton. However, I highly recommend priming your ply as your very first step as versus doing so after cutting/butchering them out. Prime the edges of the parts prior to your final fitting session.

You traced the pieces onto the plywood, making sure you labeled the parts as you traced. . .Port, stb, top, bottom, forward, aft, very important to do. After the parts are cut out, lable them with a marker, both sides. Otherwise, the parts will not fit together. . .it's a drawing and so the parts only fit one way-


Temporally screw the frames together as you stack and "square them as best you can. I use 3/4 inch screws so they don't stick out the back side of the frames. Since you labeled both sides of the frames, you won't have any trouble stacking them in the correct order for trimming and fitting.

Here is a picture of a 4 X 8 foot sheet of "Good on both Sides" plywood. I did not primer these sheets, I used  1 1/2 sheets, on this skeleton. However, I highly recommend priming your ply as your very first step as versus doing so after cutting/butchering them out. Prime the edges of the parts prior to your final fitting session.

​Ok. . .now you have a stack of parts. Before you start messing around with them, the 1st step is to "Mock Up Fit" your tug's skeleton. (Start thinking about your "Running Gear" and steering setup installation.)

Really, first you fit the parts together. File, hack saw, What ever it takes, slide the parts until they fit together enough for a trial fitting. They will be sloppy, out of angle, and just sort of a messy fit. This is cool. . .you will see why in a couple of days. Make sure the parts fit together first so you don't have to "fight" them too much as you progress. Again, just make them fit. . .and then take them all apart for the next phase of fitting. They fit quite well after the next phase​.


 ​I establish the beginning point that the frames all adhere to. . .the foundation place for all the fittings - the top of the frames where they attach to the underside of main deck.

Now it's time to attend to the bottom edges of the frames. You may have to take each one apart to grind along the scribe lines you are going to draw and then screw it back into place. You will figure it out alright and your hull bottom will be a nice bottom, no pun intended.

OK, time to get the "Main Deck" piece ready to accept the frames. Use a straight edge and draw lines on the top and bottom of the "main deck" where the frame tops will be. 

How to Build Your Tug's Skeleton

Using my set of 7 "Tracing Drawings" designed so that you can, using "Carbon Paper", trace the drawings onto 1/2 inch plywood, two sheets, you will have your "Skeleton" like the one pictured below.  In fact, you can start right now building your tugboat in your mind's eye. . .go ahead, create your tug skeleton. Just email me, Michael, 2tugboats@gmail.com and ask for a free PDF, #1 of 7 the keel, and take a look at one of my tracing drawings.


Email Michael Anytime

2tugboats@gmail.com

Posted here is the best help I have gathered about "Planking" your tugboats's hull. When I need ideas for building my tugboats, the first site I visit and ask tugboat building questions is the free, "Model Tug Forum.com",  just a tip. . .friendly tugboat building. The pictures here are from myself and several "2Tugboats Newsletter" member's shops. I thank them very much for sharing their tugboat building efforts.

To begin,above, I line up the frames by using a scrap piece of 1/2" ply for starters. Then, I make the rough edges of the top as close to the same as I can. These tops, where they come up against the bottom of the "Main Deck" will be the start point for making all the pieces line up just fine.

Email me anytime for a free drawing plan of the keel, PDF #1 of 7.  Michael, 2tugboats@gmail.com    01/18/18

Ok, now it's time to grind the sides and make them true; just split the difference. . .then the temporary screws can come out that are holding the frames together.

Ok, walla - one fine tugboat skeleton -  Congratulations. . .now that you have your skeleton it's time to move on to "How to Plank Your Hull". . .that is, assuming you have made your ballast box bins, battery boxes, mounted your motors, installed your propeller shafts, and steering gear, it is time to cover the outside of your hull.  Yes, the plot thickens. . .One last note here, below is the "prep work' prior to actually starting the planking. . .just some ideas for you-

Drill the pilot holes a hair bigger than the threads on your galvanized deck screws, 1 1/2 inch ones will be fine. The picture says 1 1/4 long, use the 1 1/2 inches.Time to temporary-screw the works together. Put 3 or 4 screws through the pilot holes in the "main deck" and attach the keel. Be sure to 'pilot hole" the edges of the frames or you will split them. . .very bad. Pilot holes for the edges of the ply should be the size of the screw's shaft minus the threads. . .not too loose and not to small-

Welcome Aboard 

Now it's time to attend to the bottom edges of the frames. You may have to take each one apart to grind along the scribe lines you are going to draw and then screw it back into place. You will figure it out alright and your hull bottom will be a nice bottom, no pun intended.