Monday, December 20, 2010

New Year = New dinghy

Well I have decided that another dinghy will be the project for the New Year. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when creating something tangible and it will be an excuse to get me away from the endless hours on a laptop. Before anybody asks, I am building this at my own pace whenever I have a free moment, so there is no schedule. There may be long gaps between posts

The design I have chosen is Oughtred’s Auklet. This is a diminutive Auk which has been acclaimed as one of his best tender designs. A pram, like his “Feather” would sit more comfortably on Roach’s deck but a stem tender swung it for me in the end. I feel a stem tender will be easier to row heavily loaded (which it will be with juts me alone in it!), and is much safer than a pram. Prams are notoriously bad at being able to reboard them from the water without them flooding – a case I can prove myself by trying this with ‘Rosebud’ which I built a couple of years ago. Lastly, stem tenders are far more beautiful that a pram. At 22 kilos she should be easily lifted aboard with the stem going one side of the mast. A couple of handrail bilge runners will add to safety when moving around onboard – this tweak is not in the standard Oughtred plans.

The dinghy has a simple lug sail plan, but can be built with or without a centreboard case. I have opted for the design without the case and will use a leeboard system instead. This leaves more room in the dinghy and also makes her lighter. I only foresee the occasional sail, so could do without the complications of building a centreboard case.

The build is 180 hours (or so Oughtred says). Let’s say 200 hours by adding twenty hours with all the logistics required to study the plans, buy the wood and make the building jig.
The picture if of the transom, which will be solid Western Red Ceder. There are two options in the plan, solid or ply. From experience the transom gets quite a hammering if using an outboard or sculling, so I have opted for the extra weight (and expense) and have a solid one.
So here we are with 199 hours to go....