Construction and Design Journal – 14ft Dory for Rowing and Sailing – Part 16

by Roy Heberger - Boise, Idaho - USA

MORE ON THE TRUNK – January 29, 2005

I added some RBC cleats to the bottom of the trunk, and, using c-clamps, I fastened (screwed and glued) the dagger-board trunk to the inner keelson.  Once fastened, I added free weights to the top of the trunk and let it sit.  Once again, I left the heater on all night.

I then cut off the extra material on the ribs above sheer line at station 4.  Then to the ribs at stations 2, 3, 4, and 5, I added beveled-RBC, horizontal cleats to act as supports for the side decking and coamings.  To these cleats I need to add additional support to obtain a triangle formed by an added strut, the cleat and the rib at each station.  That should provide a solid structure to which the decking and coamings are eventually secured.

THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS – January 29, 2005

I have learned that much of boat building is about making precision parts – in this case from wood.  All have varying angles, bevels, lengths, widths, etc.  It takes time for the thinking, design, drawing, measurement, re-measurement, and the making.  The required level of and attention to detail is incredible.  Building the solo dory prior to any training was not difficult. However, without the benefit of boat school and Richard Wilmore’s patient instruction in building the Grand Banks Dory, I do not think I could have tackled this project.  Just the concept of lofting – even though I have not had a lofting course – would have been too foreign to me to have been able to lift the shape of the frames from the lofting board to the boat.  I could have drawn the two views and developed the third on my own because of the years of drafting I took in high school and college.  But I could not have lifted those lines.  Nor could I have done the carpentry.  I’m thankful for the time at boat school and to those who made it possible.

Mast Glued
Second Mast

TRUNK AND DECK BOARDS – January 30, 2005

Early this morning, when I checked, everything looked good.  It had stayed about 60 degrees F all night with the heater on in the “boat shop” at about two-thirds capacity, and the epoxy was well set.  I took the weights off the top of the dagger-board trunk and unclamped everything so I could get a better look at it.  I added an aft cleat at the top that will also function as a seat riser, and to that I fastened two cleats – one on each side of the dagger-board trunk near its top – for further support.

Once that was done, I tackled the aft set of deck boards.

DECKING/FLOOR BOARDS – January 31, 2005

They are done – cut to shape, sanded, fastened, trimmed, cut in half, and installed.  I’m glad I took the extra time with them.  I will have to decide on paint v. varnish. 

LOOKING AHEAD – February 1, 2005, and again on February 10, 2005

I made two lists of “To-Dos.”  That really helps to organize my thoughts and set about doing the next set of tasks.  The lists are included in the Appendices.

SCANTLINGS – February 12, 2005

I removed the clamps from the new ribs at station 3 and used them to add additional RBC support on the forward side of the ribs where the cabin and sheerboard ribs are joined.  I drilled holes in the gussets joining the cabin ribs and beam.  You never know that such a hole may come in handy through which to slip a line.  All such gussets are so drilled.

I added a cleat in place of two, horizontal knees at the transom/sheerboard.  It is screwed and glued to the transom and sheerboard.  While working with epoxy, I screwed and glued the previously-made transom cleat and filler.   These will act as the seat for the cabin roof at the transom.

I also made and fastened a breast hook at the stem and sheer, so that’s done.  I may have mentioned that previously.

Next – sanding, bulkhead installation (need to cut the openings first), cleaning, surface preparation, and painting.


I have been working…well, I have!  There are more digital pictures to prove it.  The bulkhead hatch holes are cut and the bulkheads installed.  Both are epoxy coated.  The aft bulkhead was supported vertically just about midline with an RBC plank at the centerline inside the cabin.  The forward bulkhead has a frame of RBC for its opening.  The aft bulkhead has a backing plate for its hatch, so when the hatch closes it abuts against something.  The side decks are made, longitudinal deck/sheer supports that join to the ribs and are a substitute for inwales are made, and deck/sheer supports are made to fit between stations 3-4 and 4-5.  All the labeled, loose parts are coated with epoxy.  They are spread all over the garage…er…I mean, boat shop floor.  I have made a separate chronological “To-Do” list that should take me from now until construction is completed on everything.  I’ve made the two, scarfed, white-oak planks for the rub rails.  They need planning at the scarfs and shaping (tapers) at the stem and transom ends.

Mast Seated


The inside of the boat has two coats of epoxy undercoat and one finish coat.  I painted the hull only, not the ribs, futtocks, gussets, and bulkheads, which are varnished with a locally available spar varnish.  All of the various parts (shelves, bottom boards, hatch cover, etc. are varnished as are the seat risers and thwarts.

I have installed the aft hatch cover using the brass fittings I acquired at the marine supply store in Newport, Oregon in March of ’04.  I have an extra set of brass fittings left over (two hinges and a hasp), since I decided not to enclose the forecabin. It would be a shame not to use them.  Guess another boat should be planed.  Alternatively, if at some point I choose to build a motor well in this boat, a likely place for it would be in the aft cabin.  The hardware would then be used for a top access hatch.

The seat risers are reinstalled and the thwarts fastened.  I’ve added RBC to the sheers (screwed and glued) to support the side decks and to stiffen the boat elsewhere.  Using RBC, I’ve made ¾” x ¾” runners (cabin chine logs of a sort) that define the outside/upper cabin lines.  They seat at the breast hook and at in cut/chiseled notches at each of the frames from 1 to 3.  They are glued and screwed and clamped at the breast hook and station 1.  At stations 2 and 3 they are clamped and glued.  They define the forward cabin’s shape, and will be very useful in determining the shape of the sides and top and for fastening that plywood.  I plan the same work for the aft cabin and have added additional RBC to seat the runners at the transom.  While I will notch the station-6 frame, I will have to build RBC seats for station 5.

I’m seeing that I could finish this boat while it is still spring…perhaps.

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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