With the Easter holidays upon us, we have Jo’s son Jacob and one of his friends Bronson with us for the holidays. So as an ongoing holiday project we are building him a dingy but experimenting with 4mm ply to see if it still has the strength but is a lot lighter than the duflex. We are cutting 2 of every panel as Dennis, the owner of the other cat being built in our shed wants one too. We will still use duflex for the bulkheads but ply for the hull sides. We will completely glass the outside but just resin coat the inside. Marking the ply sheets for cutting the panels is easy as I have a set of full size templates made from mdf. Once I have successfully made these 2 ply dinghies I will draw up plans and a full size plot sheet print schedule so anyone can print off the templates and make one of these dinghies. Our hope is that we may be able to sell them for a modest fee to help Warren’s cruising kitty. More on that later.

I don’t have many larger pieces of offcut duflex left, as I cut most of them down to make moving easier. I also threw a lot away. I have to glue smaller pieces together to make the 4 bulkheads (2 25mm transom bulkheads and 2 19mm forward bulkhead in each boat). The boat design is 3 meters and the ply sheets are 2400 so I am also gluing panel extensions on each hull panel I cut using butt strap joins, basically I am gluing a strip of ply over the join by about 100mm each side of the joins. The real strength of the hull will be in the glass and I can also move the position of the joins to different places along the hull to spread the place where the joins are to minimize any weak spot.

dingy 3 marking panelsdingy 3 glueing panels

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Paul