Construction and Design Journal – 14ft Dory for Rowing and Sailing – Part 9

by Roy Heberger - Boise, Idaho - USA

MORE FRAMES – March 4, 2004

I mounted frame 5a to the strong back, centered it, but did not true it as the stem and transom are not yet true.  Once they are true to the previously-braced and trued station 4, I will use the station lines to accomplish the former.

I fitted and glued the frames for stations 3 and 6 on the lofting board and added gussets to the forward side of the frame for station 2c.  I will add cross spalls to these frames and mount them to the strong back on Friday afternoon or Saturday.


Earlier, I have indicated that I designed the transom to be too narrow at the bottom.  I’ve been thinking about that.  One possible solution is to diverge from the plan only slightly by planning the sides of the transom and braces assembly flush and adding (glue and screw or clamp) a piece of the Brazilian cherry to that planed surface on each side of the transom/brace.  I would then develop the necessary bevels in the cherry.  From astern the cherry would not be visible as the bevel would remove the aft edge of the cherry clear down to the African mahogany I believe.  I will give this more thought.  It’s a risky business – these thoughts of varying from the plans on the lofting board.

I THINK I SEE A BOAT – March 5, 2004, cont’d

All of the frames are mounted on the strong back – trued and screwed to the keelson.  Tomorrow, I will put the bevels into the grooves cut into the futtocks.


I got up early to measure for the needed bevels in the grooves chiseled out of the futtocks to accept the keelson flush with the bottom of the futtocks.  As expected the groove in the futtock at station 4 did not require any bevel, nor did the one for station 3.  I beveled the groves in the futtocks at stations 2, 5, and 6.  The frame for station 1 will tie in to the base of the stem directly and has yet to be assembled.  Once the bevels were done I inserted the keelson into the grooves and checked for fit.  All looked fine, so I pried up the keelson again and slopped on some glue.  So now the frames are trued, glued, and screwed to the keelson/knees/stem/transom assembly.  The screws as on the frames are temporary and will be replaced with brass screws.  I’ve decided to insert brass screws in the gussets as well.  It will take about 120 of those.  Off to the hardware store.


I went back to the lofting board to fasten the garboard and shear-board ribs for station 1.  Recall that Station 1 has no futtock as the garboard ribs join the bottom of the stem and knee.   So the hull portion of the frame at station 1 is glued and screwed on the lofting board.

I added small gussets on some of the frame joints already trued, glued, and screwed on the strong back.

I beveled the bottom of the futtocks to match the inner keelson.  Now the bevel angles are set and the futtocks are exactly flush with the inner keelson.

I will take the day off to catch up with errands and to prepare for a wolf talk for a natural resources/public policy seminar at Boise State University set for Tuesday evening.


Having been talked out of using African mahogany for bottom planking by Bill Yancy at High Desert Hardwoods I focused on looking for a plywood source.  Bill suggested strongly that I did not want to use any kind of dimensional lumber to be sheathed in plywood for the bottom of the boat. As stated in the boatbuilding books, the lumber is just too dynamic relative to the plywood and would cause problems with changes in temperature and moisture even if saturated with epoxy.  Bill said that epoxy does not prevent moisture from entering what it covers – even varnished and painted epoxy evidently.  He urges using the stitch-and-glue approach for connecting the garboard to the bottom and the sheer board to the garboard.  I’ll think about that, again considering a tortured chine log.  But it simply boggles the mind to think about that turning and twisting chine log – to the point that it keeps me up at night.

Bill recommends Flounder Bay out of Anacortes, Washington as an excellent source of marine plywood.  It is listed in Robert Steward’s book, I have seen it advertised in WoodenBoat, and I found it on the internet.  I found no other sources regionally while searching the Internet under “marine plywood” – including in Portland, Oregon.

Much earlier I had done some rough estimates of my plywood needs.  I estimated that the net shipping weight would be about 240 pounds, but on using the information from Flounder Bay Boat Lumber it is likely 285 lbs net.  I have sent an e-mail to Flounder Bay to ask about shipping costs.  Given that Merine and I are to spend the third week of March on the Oregon coast, I am considering towing the drift-boat trailer over, and going to Anacortes to haul back the plywood.  That way I could haul 16-ft. sections, which apparently can not be shipped.



I verified and refined my earlier estimates of marine plywood needs.  Using some house sheathing scraps from enclosing the back porch I clamped them as I would plywood across the frames.  I made measurements of the necessary overlaps – especially at the bottom center of the garboard – and came up with the following information:

Measurements –

Along the chine —                         < 11 ft.

Along the knuckle —                     < 14 ft.

Along the sheer —                                     < 15 ft.

Bottom length at center —             < 10 ft.

Max width of bottom —                ~ 32 in.

Forward bulkhead —                     42” x 36”

Aft bulkhead —                             56” x 36”


Marine Plywood Panel Estimates –

Two garboards – 9 mm x 27 in. x < 14 ft.                  Purchase 1 — 5’ x 16’ panel

Weight: 74 lbs.                                                or 2 – 5’ x 8’ panels —      $313.88


Two Sheer boards – 9 mm x 14 in. x < 15 ft.             Purchase 1 — 4’ x 16’ panel

Weight: 74 lbs.                                                or 2 – 4’ x 8’ panels –       $313.88


Bottom – 12 mm x 32 in. x < 10 ft.                            Purchase 1 – 4’ x 10’ panel –

Weight: 59 lbs.                                                                                    +/-$230.00


Cabin sides – 6mm                                                      Purchase 1 – 4’ x 8’ panel —

Weight: 24 lbs.                                                                                          $ 98.81


Cabin tops – 6 mm                                                      Purchase 1 – 5’ x 8’ panel

Weight: 30 lbs.                                                                                    +/-$125.00


Bulkheads – 6 mm                                                      Purchase 1 — 4’ x 8’ panel

Weight: 24 lbs                                                                                          $ 98.81


Net weight is 285 lbs.  Total cost before taxes is about $985.00.  Add 5% ~ $1035.00, estimated. Ouch!

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7 – Part 8 – Part 9 – Part 10

Part 11 – Part 12 – Part 13 – Part 14 – Part 15 – Part 16 – Part 17 – Part 18 – Part 19


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