the all-seeingeye Building a Dinghy: Part 3
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Launch Day Completion

There is nothing quite like a freshly mixed pot of epoxy to point out your lack of organizational skills.


One small modification to the original plans is the way in which the skeg is attached. As designed, the 3/4 inch skeg is outside a 3 inch wide keel strip. I widened the skeg to 1-1/2 inch, extended it slightly past the stern, and capped it with a 1-1/2 inch keel strip.


Fitting the Inwales

First, measure the vertical and horizontal angles at the bow and stern with bevel guages. Cut the ends of two blocks about 6 inches long, then check the fit. Adjust the saw settings and trim till the blocks fit. Be sure to write the settings down as you go.

Blocks with their angles indicated.

Clamp the correctly fitting blocks into place.

Use a batten clamped to the side to measure the distance between the two blocks.

The length of the inwales is then the combined length of the blocks and the distance marked on the batten.

Boatbuilding Rule #1: You don't have enough clamps for the task at hand. Go out and buy some more.

Boatbuilding Rule #2: You still don't have enough clamps, see Rule #1.

Since the sides are not set at 90 degrees to the curve of the transoms, the inwale and the rub rail must be set slightly high, then trimmed off afterwards with spokeshave, plane, and sander. This is how you find out that epoxy dulls edge tools almost as fast as concrete.

Ive decided I really like these bar clamps. They aren't suited for high-pressure clamping jobs, but because they are easy and fast to use one-handed they are perfect for "tack" clamping when working alone.


Working on a home-built boat in your driveway is a very effective way to meet everybody in town. Wives and girlfriends fear you, as the madness may be contagious.

April 18, 2002: Four views of the hull after the inwales, rub strips, keel, and skeg are in place and shaped. On to the inside!


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Launch Day Completion