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by Ray Menard - Washington State - USA

I wanted to share a dory project with Duckworks that's filled my free time over the past nine months. Having been through a half dozen small boats over the years, some purchased, some built, I put my head to my own design that would fit a narrow set of requirements. A boat to row into places only a canoe could reach but usually out of their slow speed's reach, something light enough to car top, stable and safe enough to carry me through a building harbor chop with motorboat wakes and finally with just enough capacity to share with my wife as a passenger from time to time or hold a week's worth of solitary camping gear and photography equipment.

Francis S. Kinney's 12' dory was a start point, but I made many changes to reduce weight and tailor its purpose. A bit less overall beam, four inch wider bottom, lower freeboard but keep a sweeping and "sexy" shear line and add third chine to improve looks and predictability.

Most of the initial numbers were worked out in Gregg Carlson's Chine Hull Designer program than exported to Freeship for fairing and changes to improve the hydrostatics such as deepening the hull by an inch to bring the bow and stern just out the water when I'm rowing.

The boat was built from 4 sheets of Okoume 1/4" plywood, a clear white pine plank and some scrap red oak, Raka epoxy, fiberglass, paint and hardware.

Building went quickly. Built a simple square frame, cut out the plywood pieces, stitch and glued the bottom and side planks to the rabbeted stem, added the transom, filled and taped the chines, added gunwale and frames, and dry fit the seats. I turned the hull over to fill the gaps, applied 4 ounce of fiberglass doubled over the bottom and added the skeg and coat of paint. I turned the hull back over to add the spacers and inwales, wooden cleats and fareleads, painted insides the storage compartments, added seats-top and decks. Finally, I painted the interior and added the hardware including the oar locks and rubbing brass round.

The final boat has 42" beam, 12'6" long, includes about 200 pounds of dry storage buoyancy and weighs an honest 69 pounds (5 less than predicted). I started with a stock set of 7' oars, but might cut those down by a couple inches.

Wanted an easy care, mostly work-boat finish, but decided to build in some of the more artistic features, such as Welsford's type of doubled curvy plywood seats and some colored pencil art on the deck support beams.

I'm happy with the results, and it has already carried me to some excellent fishing, on several pleasant afternoons with my wife, and nice quiet afternoons of exercise, nature watching and taking photographs. It's not a boat for standing in, a bit less initial stability than most canoes but generous reserve stability that's taken me across Puget Sound in a 20 knot wind and heavy chop few single canoes would dare-a reasonable compromise for my purposes

I kept good notes and took lots of pictures during the design and build, some blogged here. I loaded more web-size pics here. Over the next few months I'll put my notes together into an usable set of plans if anyone else wants to build a Sundew Dory. Sundew is the small carnivorous plant that loves marshes and wetlands. 

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