Whittier Dory Build

by Keay Edwards - town - country

So, I picked up my sander and began working on the dory again today after a year long hiatus. In short, what a mess. In some areas the epoxy coat wasn’t think enough and I have some moisture damage, not deep, but there and it’s just ugly. Mildew here and there etc.

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I have, for the moment, given up the idea of putting on a sail and dagger board. I am going to splash it as a row boat and call it done. I want this thing wet by summer by the latest. What remains? The air tanks, rowing stations, seating and paint.




The dory build is moving along. Usually I devote a bit of time each weekend to this. The last couple weekends were a wash as I had other obligations. So, back at it yesterday. The shape of the hull is really looking good. I built up and have temporarily installed the ribs pictured above. It turns out they are about an inch to high. This is what happens when you “make it up as you go along” and I am having second thoughts about the ribs anyway. I think the ideal way to go at this point is to remove the ribs and use them as templates for 3/4 inch exterior ply then glass them in.

Whittier Dory Build Progressing a Bit at a Time…

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I am torn though, there are some good materials in the ribs as they stand now, they just need to be trimmed a bit then glassed in. It won’t be as pretty as ply though.

Not counting the keel box, I expect another 15 hours in this before it splashes. I will need to order the oars and oarlocks and get it painted, but if I were to leave it as a row boat, it is totally doable. I just can’t help but think how nice it will be to have a sail though. After a long distance row, to be able to hoist sail is just too seductive.

Whittier Dory Progress to Date

Well, progress continues to be slow, mainly a function of my “making it up as I go along”. Lots of abortive steps forward and then back. Made some no longer needed notches in the bulkheads today, dammit! I notched them, laid the support boards (to support the seats) and then decided I hated them. Took up too much space. The bulkheads are more than strong enough, once again it looks like I may be overbuilding something. I bet this thing ends up being 150lbs when I am done. Maybe just a little too heavy to cartop or for me to easily carry. Hope it will be light enough for two.

I am thinking I will have to make some kind of wheels set (dolly) for launching from beach, river bank, etc.

Still, the benches are going in and that makes me happy. Keel box will go in soon, then final epoxy coat and paint. Then I will have to figure the sail and exact mast set up, though I am leaning toward a “leg o mutton” configuration as I have a windsurf mast and think I may be able to use that without putting holes in it or otherwise screwing it up. Mast is to be 16 feet tall, sail is 14 feet along luff.

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Keel is to be 3/4″ ply (I am using the PDRacer as a model for this, can always build up something fancier later).

Will be racing the next couple weekends as Santana 22 nationals are coming.  This will crimp build time, dang! ( just cause I seem to be making some progress finally).

 

 

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Knocked out some quick cheap oars today.  I just couldn’t bring myself to drop the money at the moment on some off the shelf units.  So, off to the lumber place and looking through a pile of 2 x 6’s for a couple without knots in critical places.  Roughed out the shape on the bandsaw and then did some judicious resawing the thin down the blade.  About a million (several thousand) strokes with the hand plane and I have something that looks like it was made with “stone knives and bearskins”.

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For all intensive purposes, summer is closed. One of the benefits of working in academia is that summer still means something. Though, for staff, this is not one of our benefits, we work all year. Still, summer saw time taken off, spending it with family and working on summer projects.

I took the Laker Kayak up to Oregon for some river time. Have to say, it is a bit nicer than the “Cheap Canoe”. I still think it is ideal with about 200lbs in it. I am tempted to cut the holes a little bigger for two light persons. With 300lbs+ in it, it rides with about 4″ inches of freeboard showing. Still not bad considering how small it is. It draws maybe a few inches it paddles along nicely.

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Laker Kayak with two people in a shallow pool connected to a creek.

Returning to the bay area it was plunging right back into projects. The Dory first and foremost.

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It is a priority, I want it done, I am doing detail work and …… sanding. I am just NOT in the mental mood to engage in too much sanding and sanding is exactly what all my projects need right now. That include all the bowls I am pushing to finish. I’ve been processing all the rough turnings I did a few months ago. Today’s project was to get through a walnut bowl I had turned too thin. It appeared to be pretty dry at the time and walnut is pretty stable through the drying process. The bowl was pretty oval, but worth saving. Sanding while oval sucked. It looked like if I rounded it out, my wall thickness might be as little as a 1/4″.

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Yes, tool marks, bummer.

It looks like it will be a beautiful bowl though. I just am going to take my time and get rid of my poor tool handling marks. Lot of stuff to get through though.

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Some of the blanks awaiting attention.

Walnut, Camphor, Maple and Ash Oh My! The finished box keeps getting fuller though.

Float Test Whittier Dory

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No posts in forever. Regardless, I think I posted somewhere that either I splash this thing or chop it up for discard. Too many projects, too much going on in life and profession, family time. So, screw craftsmanship and get it done.

Needed to do a float test, took it to my brothers pool and dropped it in. Though this boat is light ( and I could have made it lighter) it is too heavy to get on the cart by myself. Two men, no problem. Maybe it is about 100lbs. Found one pin hole in the bow, can use it as as, but would like it to be completely dry. Think this came from last year when I managed to catch about ten inches of water in the boat. The pressure found a little leak and now it is there somewhere. Sand, resin and paint.

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It is about as tippy as any little flat bottom boat. With me and a child, it draws about 4 inches. Leaving about 6″ to go in the dagger board box.

Dory Splashed

Finally, splashed the Dory. I have figured out a way to get it onto my truck with a little help, but not requiring two adults. This was a big step forward as I haven’t gotten the little trailer set up or registered yet.

So, with little to no fanfare we took it to Alviso and rolled it down the dock on a furniture dolly (need to make one with bigger wheels).

My initial thoughts, the oarlocks need to be more robust and the angle is off. 7 foot oars are a little too long and with a 70lb child in the bow, the stern of the dory is slightly out of the water which makes it spin. The bottom is currently flat, so once its butt leaves the water any wind has a tendency to push the boat around. Once I moved the “ballast’ to the stern, it rowed very nicely, fast, revealing that the keel box should be closed as water splashes up out of it when rowing at speed.

With this initial shake down done, I have a new little list.

#1, either put a skeg, rudder or shallow keel on it, so it tracks better.

#2, remount the oar locks so they have a better angle to the water.

#3, take 6 inches off the oars (at least).

#4, make an insert of the keel box when not using a sail.

2 Comments

  1. Great story, great write-up…inspirational for me… thanks for sharing this. I am building a sailboat from plans purchased from Duckworks, and am finally getting back to working on it.

  2. I love Dory boats as well, looks like a good job done – wish you well and fair winds and full sails.

    Dave – Sydney Australia

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