Doris the Duckworks Dory


Doris the Duckworks Dory
free design by Gavin Atkin

See: Doris goes sailing

Free for Duckworks subscribers exclusively, here’s a great small boat for the first or second-time builder who likes dories, slender boats that typically row well and carry loads well.

The zipped folder (download above) contains everything you need to builid this boat, including four DXF drawings, a .hul file, five gif drawings, various photographs, and building instructions.

‘Doris’ is a 16ft plywood dory, but don’t imagine that it is yet another re-working of the famous – and notoriously tippy – Bolger Light Dory/Gloucester Gull model.

For Doris has a couple of secrets tucked away:

•Substantial built-in bouyancy will ensure that there’s a lot of boat to hold on to in a capsize, and give you a good chance of re-entering and baling out.

•A slightly wider waterline beam and removable under-thwart sand or gravel ballast in bin-liner style bags. The waterline and ballast combine to make the boat a little steadier on the water, which many people will appreciate: existing Light Dories are more than capable of scaring youngsters and beginners at rowing, but with her ballast in place Doris will frighten nobody.

Of course, for a livelier ride, a compentent boat user will be happy to work without the ballast.

detail from plans

Doris is constructed quickly and easily using the stitch and glue method, and takes just three and a half sheets of 1/4in 48 by 96in ply.

The plans are in Imperial-friendly inches and fractions.

Stage 1

The first task is to cut out the main panels by plotting a series of coordinates on the plywood material: you then drive pins into the plotted points, bend a flexible lath or moulding around the pins, and draw around the resulting shapes. At this stage you also need to mark the positions of the frames.

Stage 2

detail from plansScarf the bottom and side panels on both sides using epoxy and tape, weighed down under plastic sheeting to make smooth joints.

Stage 3

Stitch the sides and frames together using cable ties, and then, with each end of the boat supported by a trestle, stitch the bottom into place. After just a few hours of work, at this point she’ll start to look like a boat.

Stage 4

Epoxy taping of all the seams, followed by optional epoxy and glass cloth on the bottom. Then tape the skeg into place – with good fillets each side there’s no need to cut any joints to fit this component.

Stage 5detail from plans

Boat carpentry: assemble and fit the buoyancy tank tops, make and fit the second thwart support, run up your fancy gapped inwales and breasthooks. Cut that handsome dory-style oar lock in the stern.

Stage 6

Finish to taste, and launch…

If you like the water, this is a boat you will always be able to enjoy: capable and quick, it rows so well that you won’t miss the lack of an outboard. You’ll be able to travel further under oars than you may have previously imagined, and you’ll feel secure and very close to nature.

Gavin Atkin, March 2003