Yesterday i started the build-up of “the next sailing dinghy”. The Dink has been a good little boat around the harbour, but within definate limits. i’ve snapped the mast once, and fittings are under constant repair in order to keep up with the hard usage. Just as with the Enterprise this past summer, when the wind pipes up, i worry more about the integrity of the boat than my own safety.
Well, the new dinghy is going to be another story… The standing rigging plan calls for 2 fixed stays, two running stays, and four shrouds, plus bowsprit stays, all on a 9′ boat! Ridiculous it may well be, but as tough as i can make it.
The dinghy is of unknown make (i’m still researching). It’s 9 feet overall (somewhere around 13 when i’m done), with a great plumb stem, full bows, and sweet sheer. The hull is fibreglass, with a wide laminated mahogany sheerclamp and mahogany breasthook and quarterknees. Much of the existing woodwork has gone bad (bugs and rot), but the good bits are very good. The ‘glass centerboard trunk is flimsy at best, but a good leak-free foundation.
First, i’ve starting with the decking. The dinghy is originaly an open boat. Removing the center thwart (to make more room for sail-handing, lounging or sleeping) takes alot of stiffness out of the boat. To compensate for this, as well as add a sturdy mast partner, i’m decking the forward 1/3 of the boat over. Additionaly, the forward deck will keep alot of waves out of the boat.
Poking around in the back of the shop, James found an old fenderboard i could use for wood; a five-foot-long solid mahogany 2″x4″! Now, there’s three new curved mahogany deckbeams notched into the sheerclamp. The aftermost one is extra beefy, and supports the solid mahogany partner. Forward, i’ve put in a sizable Fir bitt/Samson post. The bitt is let into the most forward deck beam, and lagged down into the stock forward floatation chamber. The bitt will support all the aft thrust from the bowsprit, so it must be burly.
Today, i’m going to get started on the mast step, as well as the 6 or so hanging knees that lock the outboard ends of the deckbeams to the hull. After that, there’s backing blocks for the chainplates, then the entire skeleton comes back apart for sanding and sealing before permanent installation with epoxy.
i’ll be trying to borrow a camera to snap a few pics before the build gets too far ahead!