Monday, July 13, 2020

Steamboat Willie

Able boat building assistants Kevin and Amanda have been doing deep research into new options for the next boat build.

Seems like a power boat is under consideration.  Not sure how that’s going to work on our Western (always capitalized) rivers.

Presenting Steamboat Willie!

Proud Mary is still also under consideration. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Social Distancing with my boat

Once dory is flipped over the real work begins. While it seems that we’re halfway done it’s more like when a house is framed and dried in.  The finish work takes well more than 50% of the time.

First cross bulkhead support pieces were added:

Followed by bow and sidewall cleats:

Sidewall cleats always look wavy and out of alignment, but are correct. 

And bulkhead plywood is trimmed to match cross pieces top bevels:

Seat braces and spare oar slot took a big chunk of an entire day!  Lots of crazy angles and cuts:

Then spent a few days planning water drainage, gutters and frames and hatch lid sizes and locations, esp various cooler locations (if used ):

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dory Progress

Been a while since I’ve posted here. Been busy quarantining and building.

Some pics below of adding panels, hull, and turning boat over with chain hoist.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Starting a New Briggs

Finally, after finishing some shop to-do’s (and deciding to ignore the rest and just complete them when necessary), I’ve started building a new dory. This one will be a wood frame classic Briggs style and size.

Except I’ve already made some modifications on the lofting, moving station 7 and station 8 slightly aft and forward respectively to enlarge front cross by almost 3”.

Now I’m thinking about decking over the rear with no rear passenger compartment.

Meranti hydrotek marine plywood, picked up at Strait Lumber in Denver. Good folks at this lumber yard.

Stacked all of the 1/4” side panel sheets and cut the scarfs at one time. 

Rolling bevel - Cut the stem at 51 degree angles using my sliding saw with a jig and some clamps. Later I’ll plane down the chine end angle to around 45 degrees.

Then finished up with the frames for stations 1 - 10 in Port Orford Cedar.

Friday, October 4, 2019


Looking at this blogs stats I see almost 50K views since inception, which is staggering. Don’t people have anything better to do than read these ramblings?

Especially you folks in Ukraine who seems to have a special affinity, only surpassed by the USA. Unlike the mess in Washington, I’m glad to report there has been no untoward attempt to influence the content of this blog or the relationship with its viewers.

Back to something simpler and infinitely more rewarding, more lofting...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Lofting a New Dory

Started putting down lots of colored lines for a new dory. Lofting is fun and intricate. Plenty of places to make a mistake. Starting with the dimensions convention - 4 - 3 - 7 is another way of saying 4’ 3 7/8”.

This one will be a classic Briggs, wood framed.

Among these lines are the chine height, sheer height, chine half breadth, sheer half breadth, and outlines of frames 1 - 10.  Here’s a pic of lots of ice picks and a batten to fair the line.

Next up is expanding the transom. 

Here’s some Port Orford Cedar arriving:

Thursday, April 4, 2019


We’re back! Sorry for the pause. What can I say, been busy. Huerfano sits on her trailer in a lonely parking spot awaiting her next river permit. Meanwhile, I’ve been building a new shop. Out of the basement after 21 years. Woo hoo! The kids had a little fun with this for a Christmas present: So we’ll call it the MBS. Anyway, here are some build pics. A few of the framing: