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Thread: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

  1. #1
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    Default Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    I am fishing for advice from someone who has built a boat from designs by Spira International. I like the looks of the 14 foot "Pescadero" Carolina Dory. I currently build mission style furnture and am ready to try a boat. The ply on frame design looks workable for my skill level.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Looks like a workable plan although if you build furniture, you should have no problem with an even more complex boat. The skills are transferable as well as the main ingredients of patience and commitment.

    Pescadero is not a true dory and is a better boat for it. It would be better named as a skiff. Perhaps the designer hoped to gather more interest because so many are enamored by the dory name. The bottom is much too wide for a true dory shape. True dory proportions in a 14' boat would be too tender for general usefulness in my opinion.
    Tom L

  3. #3
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    Jan 2009
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    Savannah, GA
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    If building space is available I think you would be happier with his 16ft Carolina Dory. Plans are minimal - get a copy of a good boat building book - i.e. "The Boatbuilders Apprentice" by Greg Rossel - and read it carefully to pick up the details Jeff leaves off his plans. After you download the plans, have them printed on larger sheets at a printers. Won't cost much and makes it much easier to build from. Jeff has always been easy to communicate with when questions arise.
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    I think you will be happier with the vee bottom Alamitos


  5. #5
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Please update your location, and tell us what waters you'll be using the boat on, with how many crew, with what sort of outboard, stored and transported how, by what, etc etc etc...

    Then we'll be able to help with questions about design. Once you pick a design, then we can talk materials and techniques.

    As a furnituremaker you have the skills and many of the tools, but materials can be quite different. My background was stripping & refinishing antiques, but boatbuilding was a challenge with both new terminology and quite different woods, fasteners and coatings.

    We can help answer your questions much better if we know where in the wide world you are located, and may be able to direct you to local resources.

    Update your location by using the Private Messages link on the left in the brown menu bar above.* Once in the Private Messages area, click the link on the left under "My Profile" called "Edit Profile", then scroll down to the Additional Information section and put in your location. *Then scroll all the way to the bottom and click the SAVE CHANGES button.

    Alternate method: click on the "My Profile" link on the upper right, then on the little pencil icon to edit the Location field, then SAVE.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2011
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    Whitewood, South Dakota
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    I have looked at Spiras designs and I think it would be a great boat for a first time builder. They seem easy built and would go together fast from easy to obtain materials. After building and using it you will have a better idea of what you wan't in a boat and would have the skills to go on to a more advanced project. Good luck with your build, and take pictures and videos. Check my boat on: youtube.com/user/hustn99
    Martin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Guam, USA
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    I built the Spira 18' Carolina dory as a first boat, and the 24' as a second. They are an easy introduction to ply-on-frame boat building, and you will have a servicable small skiff when you are done. If you can fit a larger boat into your building space, I would - it won't cost much more, and it is actually easier to bend the panels on a longer boat. The long, pointy bow on these boats is functional and attractive, but it is not usable space - think of the 14' boat as really being a 12' boat!

  8. #8
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    Feb 2011
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    Portland Oregon
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Robert, thanks for the advice on the book. I liked Jeffs demeaner from his vidios, seems like a straight forward guy. I already own a 16.5 alumanim boat and the shop has no room for a boat project, so building one is going to be on the back patio or I store the current boat( under a car port) in the yard. I don't really need another boat, but its the journey not the destination. I'm in Oregon and mostly fish the coastal bays and Willamette River. I'm looking for a slow troller to throw my 6 hsp kicker on to and be able to fish some of the smaller streams (shallow) or mountain lakes. I want something easy to trailer and unload as 60 is rushing at me way to fast. Great advice on 14 ft. really being 12 ft. I am the original "gear" guy and will load up a semi in a second.
    Last edited by High Tide; 02-19-2011 at 10:58 PM. Reason: additional info

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Check out http://www.coots.org/ -- the Oregon Coots have a number of events in your area, and are great guys. Several of them have recently built Brockway skiffs, and Dan is working on a larger version, so there is a lot of experience you may want to take advantage of.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Brockway-Skiff

    They even have an Oregon version of my wonderful self -- my "Twin" David Graybeal -- so you won't have to worry about bringing extra beer home after events, and he's a fount of fairly-useful advice.

    Last edited by Thorne; 02-20-2011 at 09:35 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2010
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    Rolling Hills, WY
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    One thing I will say is that Jeff is a stand up guy and very friendly and helpful. His plans are easy to build, although they do leave a lot up to the builder in that the plans are for the hull itself, no internals. That's not a big deal really as anyone who can get through the hull (and most anyone can) will easily be able to customize the interior without being told what to do. I have 5 sets of plans from Jeff and can say that his boats go together quick and easy and if you need any help you can e-mail him direct or friend him on facebook and there are several of us who frequent his facebook page and will help out. I've been nagging him for a while to start a forum, but right now he just doesn't have the number of builders to make it worth while I'd guess.

    Go for it!!!!

    George
    George

  11. #11
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Like George said, Jeff Spira is not only a nice guy and easy to communicate with, but he's very good and prompt on returning e-mails. When I built 2 of his plans, I was on the other side of the globe, but an answer to a question (and these were the first boat's I'd ever built) was only as far away as the nearest internet cafe.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2011
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    Portland Oregon
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Thanks for the good feedback on Jeff & Spira designs. Nice to hear positive responses. I,ve picked up a copy of the Boat Builder Apprentice and this years Small Boats Issue today. A lot to digest. Now I need to figure out just what I really want to build.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2011
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    Portland Oregon
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    Just about finished the "Apprentice" Good info there. ( also good excuses to buy a few more tools) I Decided on a different Spira design, ordered plans for the 14" Seneca Pacific Power Dory. I going to start a new thread in building as I've been scouting wood at the local hardwood stores and have a lot of choices. Hope to get some advice at the Depoe Bay Boat show and steal a few ideas.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    The seneca is a good design for sure. I'm currently building the prototype for Jeff's new stand up paddleboard I can say that it'll be appreciated if you are a facebook user to friend "Spira boats" on there and post some pics for Jeff. If you're not a fcebook user and would consider E-mailing some to me so I can post on his site that would be appreciated as well. I don't know your build schedule or planned launch date, but Jeff and I are currently working on a support forum for his designs and I'll let you know when we get it up and running.

    Have a great day and enjoy the build.

    George
    George

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    George, I'm the one person on the planet not on Facebook and hope to avoid if I can, but if that is the best way for Jeff to answer questions I may need to. Hopefully the folks on this forum will give me all the guidance I need as I have not seen a shortage of opinion so far. I hope to figure out the photo posting for this site and place that in a thread. My build schedule will most likely be a marathon, not a sprint as the darn job keeps getting in the way of my leasure activities.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Carolina Dory Design, First Time Builder seeks advice

    I know how that goes pard, and don't sweat not being on facebook. You can get replies just as quick or even quicker by E-mailing Jeff direct as well as from the guys on this forum who know boats. If you have issues with posting pictures and want help just PM or e-mail me and I'll help. I'd also appreciate it if you wanted to e-mail them direct to me or Jeff so he has them for his site. He's doing a lot of work on a new site right now and his support forum will be coming along shortly as well.

    NOTE: I in no way mention his upcoming forum as derogatory to this forum or the guys on here. I just mention it as most people like to have a support forum specific to the designer they are buying plans from.

    George
    George

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