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

by Roy Heberger - Boise, Idaho - USA

BOW EYE – September 4, 2004

I’ve been unable to locate a bow eye with a shaft long enough to go entirely through the false stem and the stem and protrude a sufficient distance to accommodate a washer and nut.  One consideration for using a machine eye-bolt is to purchase one as long as I can find, drill a through hole from the outside, and on the inside expand the hole using a chisel bit so it can receive the washers and a nut and a socket wrench.  That may work to have a recessed hole inside.

FINISH PAINT – September 12, 2004

The thinner arrived last week, so I began the process of applying the finish coats of paint to the outside of the hull.  I have applied three coats of Interlux Brightside (thinned to 90% with the Interlux 333 thinner) to the bottom and garboards.  The last coat went on Friday, 9/10.  So I have put out an e-mail request to “The Guys” to stop by here on Monday at about 4:45 p.m. (before going to Harry’s of Hyde Park for Guy’s Night Out) to help flip the boat.  It is ready for carpentry inside the boat, and I’m excited about that.

FLIPPED THE BOAT – September 13, 2004

A bunch of the “Guys” (the once-a-month, beer swilling group of mostly biologists and all not Republicans) came over at the promise of good micro brews to help me flip the boat over. All I needed was about five Guys to show up, but ten or more showed up at the promise of good beers/ales.  We turned the boat over with little effort and no mishaps.   I “misunderestimated” the number of Guys that would show and so the 3/4th case of micro brews disappeared very quickly.

Right side up, I like the lines of the boat even more than I did on the lofting board and with it still upside down on the building jig.  I took some photographs and insert names of all those who became a part of this boat-building project.  They are: Ray Frechette, Pat Haas, Bob House, Fred Partridge, Bill Hanson, Bill Mullins, Jim Keating, Mike Kockert, Alan Sands, and Don Anderson.  Thanks Guys!


Yesterday, I added fiberglass tape to the inside scarfs of the bottom and the planks, and today I used epoxy and wood flour to add fillets to the inside of the chines.   I added fiberglass tape to all of the fillets.  Yuck work!  I look forward to some creative construction next, but have yet to add fillets to the futtocks and ribs, especially at stations 2 and 5 where the bulkheads will be.

FILLETS – September 16, 2004

I fitted and glued knight’s heads to each side at the bow.  The clamps are still on as I type this in the evening.   I then completed the smaller fillets at the ribs, futtocks, and keelson and coated the inside of the hull in epoxy.  As I look ahead to the additional epoxy work (coating, gluing, and fiberglass) I wonder if I will have to order a forth set of West System resin and hardener. 

CABIN TOPS & SHELVES – September 18, 2004

I screwed the cabin ribs to station 1 and the top supports to stations 1 and 2.  I screwed the cabin top supports to stations 5 and 6.  Then I added shelves to the fore and aft cabin areas.  To help secure loads in a chop, I angled the shelves in the fore- and aft-cabin areas toward the stem and transom, respectively.  I may have to add netting to keep stuff there in rough weather.  The work is still unpainted and unglued.  I’ll save up the glue work to do at the same time.


The Sheer

While the sheer line was on the original lines plan, in the table of offsets, and on the lofting board as well, when I cut the marine plywood to obtain the garboard and sheerboard planks I cut outside the lines – too much perhaps.  But I wanted to be in a position to have to remove wood rather than put it back, so I erred on the side of caution.  I had planed the top of the sheer plank toward the sheer way before I added fiberglass, but had left bare wood.

Today I sprung a baton from stem to stern and clamped it in place at the sheer on both sides of the dory.  I drew a pencil line to indicate the true sheer line letting the baton; the joint locations where cabin and sheer plank ribs meet at stations 1, 2, 5, and 6; and markings of the sheer on the ribs at stations 3 and 4 tell me where the line should be.  Using my low-angle block plane, it was relatively easy work to plane off the extra wood, and I can plainly see the difference now having done the work.  I have a clean set of sheer lines on this boat.


I constructed the beginning of a landing on which the aft cabin top will be secured to fit on the transom above the topmost brace.  The trick was in figuring the correct angle for the top of this brace.  I used a baton describing a fair curve to do that.  Now that I have the angle, on Monday I will add to that using a beefy, RBC 1” X 4” as a cleat across the forward side of the transom.

I made a plate of white oak on which the forecabin roof and sides will fasten near the stem.  It straddles the narrow portion of the stem.  Under it I plan to add additional wood for fastening the bow edge of the cabin sides.  The bevel angle will be interesting.  I sprung a baton to come up with an estimate of what it will look like.  If from the bearding line I strike an almost vertical bevel at nearly the same angle as that of the stem forward of the bearding line I will be close.  I’ll need to go slowly as I have a substantial investment in time and materials.  I don’t want to remove wood that needs to be there.  This will act much like a breast hook – adding stability to the sheer planking at the stem.

SEAT RISERS – September 24, 2004

They are not conventional, these seat risers.  I did not put a lengthwise seat riser below the inwale on this boat.  It looked cumbersome to do so.  There is more than a little bend to the planking amidships.  So, I put RBC cleats suspended crosswise from rib to rib at stations 3 and 5.  To get the proper elevation I went back to the lofting board.  I also used the lofting board to mark and cut the angled ends of each cleat.  To these cleats I have run four, parallel RBC “seat risers” between stations 3 and 5.  They will support longitudinal thwarts and cross thwarts that will be a combination of permanent (dagger board trunk, aft end of cockpit) and movable (elsewhere in the cockpit).  I have yet to think about support for the mast step, and will do some homework. 

TEAR IT OUT AND PUT IT BACK – September 30, 2004 (Mom’s Birthday)

It is Thursday.  On Monday I attempted to install the inwale.  As with the failed false stem, when this went it scared the living shit out of me.  Ha!  It broke just aft of Station 4 having been c-clamped at each rib along the shear from the stem.  I almost gave in to jury rigging something but resisted.  Training and good boat-building books help with preventing that sort of thing I guess.  I’m still pondering the problem.  My boat is wide for its length, the curvature formidable.  While marine plywood can make the bends, it may be too much for planks.  I may resort to using marine plywood planks for the inwale and a portion of the outwale as well.  I’m contemplating hardwood laminations (oak or RBC) for the outwale (rub rail). We’ll see.

Tuesday I tore out both of the shelves and their supports, the transom cleats, seat risers, and the cabin beams and their respective gussets at stations 1, 2, 5, and 6.  They were a jumble at the bottom of the boat, so early today I organized, labeled, and applied a coat of epoxy to everything. I glued and screwed the beams and their gussets to the ribs.  This evening I removed the temporary screws in the gussets and replaced them with brass, and I reinstalled the shelves and transom cleats.  It’s late, so the seat risers will go in on Friday.  I like the looks of the brass screw heads in that dark RBC.

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



  1. Perto “Bow Eye.”

    No doubt you’ve solved this one by now. If not, just get a two-bolt pad eye and run two extra long 1/4″ bolts thru the stem. Back it up with all the washers you need. Dan, Almostcanada.

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