Monday, May 25, 2009

Day One of New Dinghy

Interpreting the plans
Lofting the dinghy on the floor. I managed to survive a sustained attack from mosquitos.

Look how damp the paper is! Here I am roughly marking out the nesting of the shapes to make best use of the plywood.

Well have started on my little pram dinghy here in ES. Day one of the build was spent running around town looking for the plywood. In the end, I found some Cedar ply, which is much better than the shuttering ply, but at $35 a sheet it ait cheap specially as it aint WBP – the hull will be encapsulated anyway so I am not worried. The dinghy should be made from 3 and ½ sheets of ply, but as they don’t do half sheets here we are talking 4 sheets.

Yesterday I managed to loft ¾ of the build onto the plywood. Well the plans don’t call it lofting, it is more like tracing, but as it is very damp in the rainy season here, and the fact that paper can expand by as much a 2% I decided I would loft the larger sections to avoid dimensional problems.

Having had a look at the lofted plywood sheets carefully I have decided against moving the dagger board case. The boat is simply too small to start making changes like that. I will make a simple false seat in mahogany that will hinge over the top the of the existing thwart, thus allowing a dry bum. Other modifications will include a wheel on the base of the skeg for moving it around, and I quite like the idea of making two holes in the bow in order to slot the oars in to make it a bit of a barrowboat. I will also redesign the daggerboard to make it much deeper given the extra 20sq ft of sail area of an acorn lug sail that I brought out with me.

The 20 hours suggested build time looks very ambitious to me. I already spent 3 hours lofting when the plans suggested only 1 hour. I am not worried though, we should speed up as soon as we have something resembling a boat.

Costs are slowly creeping up. Even on a budget, it is hard building a budget boat. The epoxy was $160, the ply $100, fittings and stuff brought from the UK a further $100. The plans were $50 and another $50 to make a set of copies on a architectural plotter. So we are at about $500 already – and have nothing the resembles a boat yet. The $1,000 Walker Bay dinghy that was for sale in Guatemala looks like a very good deal now – nevermind. It does not have the same sense of satisfaction as building ones own!


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