I love my big 17' Jerry Briggs-inspired Grand Canyon dory from Andy Hutchinson's plans, but she's way too big for day runs.  Time to build a little boat.

10'-6" LOA

60" beam

36" floor width

~23" deep at the oarlocks

I made three paper mockups, and two smaller 1:12 tagboard mockups.  One final 1:6 cardboard mockup before committing to plywood:


Cut the plywood. One piece ripped diagonally lengthwise, the bow panels out of the width of another sheet.  Side panels 11'-10"


I was having a hard time getting straight scarfs with my saw jig, so I cleaned them up from here with a ROS and 60-grit. You want the ramps to all touch the previous sheet and the glue lines parallel. The top piece was really ugly and got re-cut entirely. This isn't fancy AA marine ply, just $30 AC ply from the box store. Not worried about knots; I'll be glassing the entire boat inside and out.


I like woodgrain.  Used a latex exterior stain.  Oil based stains can interfere with the epoxy joint.


Epoxy on the joint faces and clamped/screwed for the night.


Views: 326

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"Youth" haha
I'm almost 46 with gray in my beard and hair!

I don't have the energy I had when I started building boats at age 22...but I'm also a LOT more efficient and a LOT neater!!

I put in 9 hours yesterday, but was also in bed by 8:30pm.

Quickie update. Day 12 was a short but good one.

Home at lunch time to glass the other sides of the side bulkheads.  Got home from work, did a flow coat, set the bulkheads in thickened epoxy/chopped fiber while being very careful not to mar the wet coat on the one side, went to dinner with coworkers, then off to play adult hockey league with my oldest.  She's now 19 and too old for youth hockey, so I dropped down a division and signed us up to play on a team together this spring.   Pretty awesome day.


With the little cube heater going, the fillets and flow coat were both hard by the time I got home from the game at 11pm. 5 hours after I set them. I'm loving this Raka 610 fast hardener for cold weather work. My shop is maybe 45°F.

Day 13: Cut the hatches out of the bow and stern decks, glued the frames to the underside of the decks.


Chamfer strips to help the glass conform up and over the frame.  I'll glass them upside-down so gravity helps me (did this last time on my knees with my head in the hatch, and with the entire boat upside down.

Also cut a small chamfer on that wide strip before gluing it to the deck.  It was easier to clamp it to the 1x3/4 riser below it without a chamfer.


This miter will get a little trim before I bed it in the boat.

Plywood spacer under the wide part just to maintain spacing and give a little more gluing surface against the side panel.


Remember when my longitudinal strap pulled my transom away from the side panels? Sliced the epoxy joint with the oscillating tool (wish I had bought one of these before the big boat build) and reglued that this morning with some thickened epoxy/kitty hair

Big travel day for work yesterday, so I didn't get the thread updated.

Day 14 (Weds night): glassed the frames, stem, and transom.  Stem and transom have 17oz biax on the joints.

Stern deck frames glassed

Bow deck frame
Frame corners have 2 extra layers of glass for strength on the joint. 


Trimmed the glass.

Needs a little sanding61981
Good view to see the different pieces.  I could have cut it all out of solid stock, but it would have taken longer and I'd have had to find more perfect grained wood.

Really excited to come up with the idea to build these upside-down. I saved myself a TON of time not crawling around on my knees, having to put my head up in the hatch of an upside-down boat to glass these parts.

Oh, and it looks sort of messy because it is sort of messy...but I had just trimmed the glass; just should have vacuumed up the little bits before the photo. The neater you are, the less trimming, sanding, and nasty itchy fiberglass dust all over..and less epoxy goo all over. Precut your glass, have it all laid out, only mix what epoxy you need (and err on the side of less..you can mix more). Be neat and quick in applying it. Don't try to be perfect when you first spread it; just go for general coverage and get the epoxy dumped out of the cup before it turns into smoking goo. Get it spread out before it runs..let it saturate the glass. Then go back and spread it smoother..when it's spread out, it's cooler and it won't kick quite as fast.

First gave the kitty hair fillets a quick sanding to cut off the high spots. Smeared thickened epoxy evenly on the fillets to fill the low spots so the biax lays flat.

17 ounce biax tape on the seams and 8 ounce all the way across the face of the transom. 

By laying the plain weave 8 ounce over the biax, I don’t have to sand the biax first...only the edges of the plain weave glass is remotely rough; it will get a quick sanding and be good to go with one flow coat.



Similar on the bowpost.  Quick sand, fill the low spots, biax tape, then plain weave.

Did a quick sand on the green epoxy and flow coated this morning. Tonight I'll glue in the decks.


© 2021   Created by Randy Dersham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service