The Encapsulated Plank Method
At Peter Breen Antique & Classic Boat Co., we have pioneered the 'Encapsulated Plank' boat building method. In this method, a boat is constructed in the conventional manner ( solid planks on white oak frames/ribs), but instead of a caulking applied to the seems, epoxy is applied. This means that both stainless steel fasteners and thickened epoxy hold the boat together. After a hull is planked, it is encapsulated in & out in epoxy. This eliminates wood movement, and results in a maintenance-free wooden boat experience.
This method took shape out of years of observations of the problems that traditional and laminated hulls experienced over time. Simply put, a traditional "swelling" bottom has a life-span. Over the life of the boat bottom, repairs will need to happen more and more frequently as the water inevitably finds its way in, until the bottom becomes beyond repair. At the other end of the spectrum are modern laminated hulls. While these can be very strong, the problem is they are totally reliant on the glue joints, and their are many glue joints. When water inevitably penetrates one (or more) of these joints, that water spreads and de-laminates the whole boat. With no fasteners, there is absolutely nothing left to hold it together. In our restoration work, we have peeled bottoms off with one hand.
If one of our "Encapsulated Plank" bottoms is neglected (ie. left with water in it through winter months repeatedly), any moisture that penetrates one plank will usually cause a small crack. That crack, or at worst, that plank, can be easily repaired/replaced. Even with moisture penetration, screws continue to act as a failsafe and the lack of lateral laminations do not give it a pathway to travel along. In addition to this, a solid plank bottom has a dampening effect on noise. Laminated boats are noticeably louder, like riding in a drum. Peter Breen has dedicated his life's work to this method, and 65 pristine boats over the course of 40+ years proves the quality and durability of this boat building method.