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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockhampton, Queensland
    Posts
    5

    Default Beginners Dinghy

    Hello,

    I'm hoping to build a dinghy. I have no experience at all but am keen to learn. Does any one know what would be the ideal beginners project, with step-by step instructions. Something that I can take one or two kids in, and will fit on top of a camper trailer. Any links to sites where plans can be purchased would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for your help,
    Matthew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Age
    67
    Posts
    631

    Default

    Welcome Matthew,
    that's a big question, because there are a lot of great designs out there, and most of them are probably right for someone...
    We probably need to know whether you want to row, or sail or mount an 'egg beater' on the transom, because these things often have conflicting requirements. A really nice pulling or rowing boat will often seem a bit tender or unstable to sail. Some lovely sailboats are a bit wide to row in comfort.

    The building of the boat should be as much fun as the using of it, so I'd choose a design with lots of support from the designer, and comprehensive instructions. Maybe spend a while looking at threads here- some Eureka canoes, Auks, Goat Island skiffs. Have a look at Michael Storer's web site and at Bayside Wooden Boats. These are Aussie designers who are very helpful and available.

    The Storer rowing skiff has a few threads in Mik's sub-forum, including one by a bloke who calls himself Daddles, and who pretends to be grumpy but is really as soft as butter and is very helpful.

    More traditional types of dinghy are available by other designers, such as Oughtred- check out Duck Flat web site. They do plans, kits, advice etc.

    To be more specific requires a more detailed brief of your needs. Good luck, and choose something the family can help you with so that time spent on the boat isn't a cause of family resentment (if possible) but a shared time while the kids are young.
    Rob
    What caused the Pacific War? A book to read: here

    http://middlething.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Kettering, Tasmania
    Posts
    492

    Default

    Hi Matthew,

    Welcome to the forum. Couple of easy designs are

    1. Shellback dinghy by Joel White which has both how to build guides and I even think someone made a how to build video?? Hundreds built and can either be a rowing boat or a sail/row boat. Plans from 112" Shellback Dinghy-Woodenboat Publications

    2. Another easy design to build is the Spindrift dinghy by expat Ausssie Graham Byrne ( B&B yacht design in the US) .
    see spindrift

    It comes in a variety of lengths, has easy to follow plans and plenty of build photos available from the designer. A company in QLD is providing kits for these but a kit isn't necessary - they are easy to build from the plans. Kits from Spindrifts - Trailaway Boat Kits

    3. You haven't mentioned if you want oar/power or sail but if power, there is a thread about building a cartopper on the forum designed by Mark Bowdidge

    see https://www.woodworkforums.com/f33/ma...3-65-a-105865/

    Any of these boats are fairly easy to build and they utilise epoxy/plywood and fibreglass construction. I would suggest that the spindrift (power/row version) and the magnrove jack would be the quickest to build of the 3 if your aim is to get on the water soon.

    I've built both a shellback and a spidrift so send me an email if you would like some photos.

    Good luck with the project and make sure you post pics here!

    regards,

    AD
    www.denmanmarine.com.au
    Australian agent for Swallow Boats, Bruynzeel Multipanel Plywood and Barton Marine Products

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Blaxland, Australia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    Hi Matthew,

    You could give Michael Storer's redesign of the "Puddleduck Racer", a.k.a. PDRacer or PDR, some very serious thought. It's designed for beginners - and non-beginners! - to sailing, and the intention of the designs - both US and MIK's "OZ MK II - is to get people back onto the water affordably, after a crisis in new sailor numbers after even small dinghy classes became insanely and obscenely expensive. It's an attempt, along with new classes like the "Fireant", to wrest sailing from the very wealthy and get "ordinarily-financed" people (back) onto the water safely and in a fun way.

    Plans are cheap ($20) and it can be built from cheap materials - see http://www/pdracer.info. Except not too cheap and you put yer foot through the hull bottom, eh, 'Midge? ;) There are quite a few PDR builds on this forum: Nick Pullen's and m2c1Iw's builds are two that I know of, and of course MIK's original 2006 "Building the PDRacer" thread showing the development of the OZ MK I during a "holiday" <snigger> of MIK's in Queensland. It's a relatviely small craft about 8 foot long and 4 wide, and comes with at least two rings, one simpler and smaller area (sprit-rig, one larger and slightly more complex (lug rig), but not by much.

    www.storerboatplans.com has links to MIK's Flickr pages, with a host of photo sets of the pdracer being built, including a Duck Flat Wooden Boats Spring School build - DF also sell the plans, along with Duckworks BBS and magazine in the US, among others. Plans are a downloadable pdf once paid for. Cheapest invest you'll make in boat-building of any type, since the instructions contain a wealth of info, diagrams and photos. And no, MIK doesn't pay me to say these nice things :).

    It's also supported by a fairly frisky newsgroup online - the very one that MIK joined when he started to redesign the PDR.

    I started off intending to build MIK's much larger "Goat Island Skiff", which I will one day, but I ordered the 'Duck plans at the same time as the Goat's and haven't looked back. I should add, though, that I'm a wildly atypical builder and take far too long (and make far too many mistakes!).

    Cheers and good luck,
    Alex.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockhampton, Queensland
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Rob and AD,

    Thanks for the helpful comments. I hadn't thought about the sailing/rowing width difference. That will be good to keep in mind. I can see I have a little more research to do before I jump in.

    Matthew

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockhampton, Queensland
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Alex,

    The PDRacer may be just what I'm looking for. Thanks.

    The website says the PDRacer is designed for Sail/Row/Outboard. Does this mean it has overcome the width difference problems mentioned by Rob?

    Matthew

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Blaxland, Australia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewW View Post
    Alex,

    The PDRacer may be just what I'm looking for. Thanks.

    The website says the PDRacer is designed for Sail/Row/Outboard. Does this mean it has overcome the width difference problems mentioned by Rob?

    Matthew
    Hi Matthew,

    Unfortunately I can't answer that, other than to say that the boat was originally designed for sailing. MIK's tweaks to the design do allow for adaptation for somewhat more comfortable rowing than the original design, but as I haven't gone down that path (yet ;), I haven't done much thinking about it! Hopefully MIK - or others who have made a removable rowing thwart - might comment on that.

    Cheers,
    Alex.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,117

    Default

    Howdy,

    The PDR is set up to be a basic boat that does a little of everything in an OK way. We have found that it is a very much better sailer than anyone had ever expected.

    There is also a choice within the PDR world. The original boat is fine for one adult almost whatever their size. It can also sail quite well with two adults aboard, or an adult and a couple of little kids. However if wanting to sail with more there is a 12ft 3.5m version called the PDGoose that would allow two adults to be active sailors and also for an additional child or maybe two be carried if nobody is hugely huge.



    The PDR can be rowed some distance, there are records for quite long rows. Also a small outboard can be accommodated for low speed motoring a couple of hp is fine, but most just row.



    The original PDR has a big advantage that it is small and easy to store ... many are stood on their ends inside a shed or house for a footprint of about 1200 x 700mm. ... the Goose might be a bit harder to store. Both use the same sail, spars, centreboards and rudders.

    It ain't the coolest boat (unless you are aggressively individualistic), but it does everything with little cost and complication.

    Best wishes
    Michael

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockhampton, Queensland
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Michael,

    Thankyou for the info. After looking at the site I think the PDR is the way to go. Would you know off hand approx. how much money other builders have spent on materials?

    Sincerely,
    Matthew

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,117

    Default

    Well .... if you discount Alex (he will laught when he reads that) ... The range has been somewhere between $350 to about $1200 depending on how good you are at finding cheap stuff.

    And where you want to be on the cost/maintenance equation.

    MIK

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Blaxland, Australia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatmik View Post
    Well .... if you discount Alex (he will laught when he reads that) ... The range has been somewhere between $350 to about $1200 depending on how good you are at finding cheap stuff.

    And where you want to be on the cost/maintenance equation.

    MIK
    Ho ho ;). Very witty :). I prefer to do all (all right, most of) the maintenance while building the boat...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Age
    38
    Posts
    102

    Default costs

    I haven't done a full add up of all the costs for the boat itself, but I have ended up spending a little money on 'extra' stuff like tools.

    The biggest of these costs was a Table Saw which was $1200, but I've found to be absolutely invaluable. It allows you to work from whatever size stock you can lay your hands on and rip it to the required size.

    My next purchase I think will be a decent router, since I've been using my Uncle's and have found it to be quite handy when fitted with a trimming bit.

    The main hand tools I've purchased was a Japanese pull-saw (awesome investment), block plane and tons of clamps

    Obviously all this stuff can be used to build the next 10 boats, so the cost averages down with time.

    Duncan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,117

    Default

    The tool set you will need if you have most of the material the right size is pretty minimal. Duncan loves his luxuries (I really didn't think of you as a bloke who owns cool tools ... I'll be dropping by now I know) but the minimum list is something like
    Jigsaw
    Random Orbit sander
    Number 4 plane or a block plane
    Cordless drill with reverse and a clutch (and preferably supplied with two batteries)
    Sharpening stone
    a chisel ... maybe 19mm

    Beyond that it really is pencils, tape measure, rulers and things like that. Routers can make the finishing process faster and table saws can save HEAPS of money over several epprojects as the labour of preparing timber to size is much more expensive than the timber itself.

    MIK

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    90
    Posts
    7

    Default beginers first dinghy

    Matthew w, your choice of a PD Racer to use for your first build is a good one.
    I have just finished mine using the minimal equipment and also I'm 80 years old.,if you look up my post on the Boat Building & Repairs dated 30/11/09 under the heading of PD Racer costing .Melb Aust. it will give you some idea of the costs of constructing the little sailer.It is dead easy to build.Mine is built like the proverbial brick outhouse,I did not use any top quality ply or expensive timbers and used only Polyurethane glues not epoxy,I coated the timber with Poly fibreglass resins and then painted or marine varnished over that.

    It is dead easy so go for it BRAVOH

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    8,117

    Default

    There are a number of different ways to approach the building of any boat. The PDR (now called the OzRacer) is nice because the range is wider than most craft. And the OzGoose for a bit more length will carry 3 or have lots more performance than the 8ft version.

    You can cut the costs in a big way like BRAVOH or you can spend more and reduce maintenance and the longevity of the boat in a big way but it costs more.

    There are a couple of stages between those extremes too.

    Also if you think boatbuilding might be your "thing" then using up to date materials and methods is probably a good idea, or if you are just after a boat to get on the water quick then the simpler approach becomes an option as well.

    Best wishes
    Michael
    Last edited by Boatmik; 24th Feb 2018 at 02:52 PM.

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