I spend quite a bit of time reading though Duckworks Magazine,
often while chewing though my cereal in the mornings. It was
on one of these such mornings that after clicking on a few links
and doing a search or two that I happened upon a website, called
I was rather taken by one particular design of his, the Portuguese
Style Dingy, so much so that I found myself at
the timber yard a few days later.
This is the third plywood and epoxy boat I have made and by
far the simplest and quickest to construct one of them all.
For the reasons I stated above I just had to make it, and it
doesn't look half bad either. The last one I
made was a John Welsford designed Trover,
which I recently added a 25hp Yamaha to, in replace of the old
15hp. She hands it well, with a big performance increase. I
took a short video and posted it on YouTube, see it HERE.
At full speed with no weight up front she will bounce a bit,
but I think that adds to the fun. But put a second person onboard
and that disappears.
Back to the dingy; I was only half way into the building process
when a neighbor came over and noticed her in the workshop and
said "That's just what I need, name your price". I
was quite shocked, I hadn't had anyone offer me money for something
I'd made before, never mind something only half built. I though
I'd best wait until I'm sure it floats, before I look at selling
it or building another.
I ended up epoxy coating the whole boat, taped up the seams
and also used some spare cloth to fiber glass the bottom. Maybe
a bit “OTT” for such a small craft. So she's turned
out pretty tough, with epoxy, two coats of undercoat and three
topcoats. I made the seat a little higher, but I liked the idea
of the central split seat arrangement. So I used some 12mm ply,
with a reinforced strip of 40x40mm underneath. It works well;
it also gives you something to hold onto when you’re lugging
it to and from the water.
I tested the boat in the duck pond over the weekend; she handles
well and darts around the pond with ease. It's a small, light
boat so as expected it's very sensitive to weight distribution.
Although saying that you'd have to lean over the side a fair
distance to make her fill with water. As the plans suggested
I left out the skeg, and really I’m not sure it needs
one on a boat this small. She’s going to be a useful little
boat and I don’t really want to part with it right now.
It looks like I’ll be making a second sometime soon!