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Thread: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

  1. #1
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    Default Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    This thread here will be to cover my building of a stitch and glue gunning dory. A place for me to share my experience with you all, and receive comments and suggestions on the build process from you all as I go along as well. The main reason I chose this model is to have a lightweight rowboat that can be relatively easy to lift up on top of our pop-up tent camper to take along on camping trips. Also easy enough to handle on a small dolly setup to launch off the local beach - all the nearby ramps around me charge ten bucks each day to launch your boat, the beach is free. I have just received the plans and I am studying them. The plans come from Paul Butler projects, and were written up in Outdoor Life magazine some time back. Paul calls this boat the Pacific Troller Dory. The boat is 15 feet 6 inches long, and 45 inches wide. This is a first for me doing a stitch and glue boat. My first real boat building experience, other than the sof kayaks, was a ply on frame skiff completed about two years ago. So, stitch and glue will be a bit different for me. The plans I've received do not show a lines plan or have offsets, but give dimensions to make a bottom panel, a lower panel, and an upper panel to create the entire boat - if that makes sense... The boat is symmetrical so dimensions for a pattern for 1/4 of the boat for each completed panel is all that is needed. There are a few options in the plans for materials and seating arrangements. My first real decision there will be to use 3/16 or 1/4" ply for the hull. The plans say 1/4" for the bottom (or heavier if you wish), and either 3/16 or 1/4" for the sides depending on intended use and/or finished weight of the boat. My initial thought is 1/4" and deal with the little added weight for having a tougher boat. One main idea from the plans is to pre-finish all the assembled panels first with an epoxy coating before stitching the hull up, reason being that once the hull is stitched you are then just about ready for varnish and paint and hit the water. I'm still thinking about that one...
    Anyway, enough rambling for now. Once I get up and running, and have something to show, I will post it here. Of course, you comments and suggestions are always welcomed. Hope you enjoy the build...
    Tim
    Pacific Troller Dory

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Looking forward to it, Timo. 1/4" seems look a good direction to go in for a 15 footer. I recently bought a quart of CPES to coat the interior of my Whilly Boat. Haven't tried it yet, but most seem to agree that it's designed to penetrate more than regular epoxy, and is better for coating ( as opposed to gluing.)

    Good luck!

    Mike

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    It will be interesting to compare the results with seam batten and lapstrake versions.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    It is SO easy to over-build and end up with more weight than planned, so I'll recommend the thinner ply and lighter weight woods like cedar and spruce where possible. I have no experience with pre-coating the panels / planks with epoxy before assembly, but if there are no tight bends it might be a real time-saver. I believe some kayak builders on this forum have used that technique successfully.

    I have a bit of experience man-handling light boats and heavy canoes over beaches and through brush, and it is never much fun. With a properly-balanced boat trolley it can work if the sand isn't too soft or the beach too muddy. You don't say how far it would be, but for really long portages/launches you will also have the weight of the other gear like oars, water, cushions, PDFs, etc. I've been using a converted deer carrier, but am ready to move to a commercial boat / kayak trolley for the ease of loading. That also will have to be locked to a tree, transported back to the tow vehicle or carried in the boat.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CRNYTC/...QD23X37M&psc=1

    Falcon - While I'm a big fan of CPES used correctly, it really isn't a "coating" like epoxy, and not a glue at all. It is a primer/sealer, and the good products like Smith & Co. have been designed to penetrate as much as possible. But for ply, it won't penetrate through the plies from the outside -- that is better done from the edges (or holes), where it will take up better than un-thickened epoxy or thinned epoxy. So I'll recommend using it as a primer/sealer, and hot-coating the paint or varnish over it to get the very best bond between the wood/CPES layer and the paint/varnish.
    Last edited by Thorne; 08-09-2014 at 11:02 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_.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    yes, keep it light, as Thorne said.
    Do not go sticking hardwood stems and keels, use the thinner ply . Personally I believe that the fiberglass tape "schedule" of most sng boats is way overdone.
    If good ply is used , I am beginning to question more and more "slathering with resin "when sheathing is not needed. And I am not into putting 'spensive resin on cheap ply! I am beginning to lean more to CPES ,then epoxy undercoat, then your choice of paint.
    A monkey here a monkey there , pretty soon you have king Kong!!
    bruce
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 08-10-2014 at 04:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    It seems all I needed to get me motivated to clean up the shop was to have the plans for the dory in hand. The worst part was cleaning up all the stuff that had been piled on and around the strongback. The strongback is still in place from my sharpie build, so I just built on top of it a 16 x 4 foot building table. Some leftover 2 x 2’s and two sheets of OSB and a few screws and this part of the project is ready. That should keep the momentum high for a while, I think.


    Old strongback


    Framed out

    OSB table top working surface




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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Re. Precoating
    I've pre-coated a variety of parts.
    When I built my 25' sharpie (~1982) I laminated the sides from three layers of 1/8" plywood. I built them flat on the floor to their finished dimensions. I pre-finished what would be the inside with three coats of epoxy and pre-coated what became the outside with one coat. Arguably it made the sides stiffer to bend into shape, but wasn't a noticeable problem. Finishing the inside before assembly was quicker, produced a better finish and was certainly more pleasant than working in the confines of the narrow hull.

    I laminated the heavily curved cabin top for my Bolger Romp with four layers of the same 1/8" ply over a trap style form. In this case I pre-finished the inside with one layer of plain epoxy and a couple coats of white tinted epoxy on what became the visible interior areas of the cabin top. Far better than working overhead.

    On both boats I did the same with the underside of the first lamination of the deck. No additional finishing was needed or done later.

    Pre-coat or pre-finish wherever you can.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I have pre-glassed panels many times with lightweight cloth which I recommend provided the panels don't have to take very tight bends. Your design looks ideal for pre-glassing.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Just a technicality, but glass is most useful under tension, so if you are going to glass the inside you're best off to prebend the panel/plank before glassing. A little extra bend and it will be pre-stressed. That's a good thing if you don't overdo it.

    Pre-sealing and pre-glassing is much easier on the bench than inside of the hull.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 10-19-2014 at 01:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory





    Well, I started making some sawdust on the gunning dory build. Cutting patterns for the real pieces that will make up the boat.

    The Sureply has made another appearance, but just for the patterns this time. These two patterns are all that is needed for the hull. The smaller one is one fourth of the bottom panel, and the larger one is half of each garboard. The sheerstrake is simply eight inches wide – straight – no curves to cut for that one.
    I’m going to use Hydrotek meranti plywood for the boat, and hope to go pick that up this week. I’ll get the plywood from Homestead Hardwoods – they are about an hour and a half drive away from me.
    I’m going to try to keep the shop cleaner during this build. Swept up after toady’s work. Anybody wanna take bets on the outcome?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Timo,
    I really enjoyed following your last build and look forward to this one.
    Royce

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Me too Timo, looking forward to this one. I have been told by one who knows his boats that he prefers not to fully epoxy both sides of a hull which is glassed on the exterior, but rather to use CPES or similar on the interior prior to painting. His reasoning for this if I recall correctly was to avoid trapping moisture in the ply from inadvertent dings, etc. He thought it better to let the interior surface be able to breathe a bit. Assuming it is painted, inside and out, both the paint and the CPES don't make a complete moisture barrier.

    Personally I wouldn't pre-glass hull panels which are going to be bent on, have holes drilled in them for stitching, and so on. Also, I like the integrity of the layer of glass from keel to gunwale right across the chines and over the bias taping. but that's just me. Other folks whose opinions I respect here have apparently made it work.

    And a last thought. I've always wondered about clear finish over epoxy on boat interiors that your designer mentioned. We seem to see it a lot on a lot of small open boats. But sunlight degrades epoxy, so I would think for that to be successful you'd need to live in a pretty grey and cloudy area, or not have the boat outside a lot. Like London or somewhere.
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I took a road trip with my son to go pick up the plywood today. About 4 hours time, 200 miles round trip, and $170 bucks later and Iím ready to get started. I stuck to the plan and got one sheet of 6mm for the bottom and 3 sheets of 4mm for the sides. I got Hydrotek meranti. The 4mm is stamped Indonesia Ė for whatever that is worth. Both the 4 and 6mm look nice though and have the BS1088 stamp also. Lots of nice hardwoods to check out at the place. I only looked at the Sassafras while I was there Ė I didnít buy any this time, but it was tempting. He had one board of black walnut there that was one inch thick by about 8 foot long and 25 inches wide! I didnít dare ask what that would cost! Great place to remember for next time I need some nice wood or ply. I wish they were closer, butÖ
    The 6mm is 5 ply. The 4mm is 3 ply. The 4mm seems pretty light but Iím going with the designerís spec for a light boat. I hope itís right. Time will tell.





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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Nice looking ply. meranti is quite a bit tougher than occoume. both in ding resistance ,stain resistance and rot. I think you will not be sorry.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Nice looking ply. meranti is quite a bit tougher than occoume. both in ding resistance ,stain resistance and rot. I think you will not be sorry.
    bruce
    Yes, agreed. But okoume is significantly lighter than meranti. If the goal is a light dory, why select a heavy building material? For a car-topper, meranti would not be my choice.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I chose Meranti for it's greater rot resistance. Adding a bunch of epoxy to Okoume to protect it adds weight too - and cost.
    It's still up in the air whether I will glass to outside of the whole boat or just tape the chines. I don't think one has a choice not to cover Okoume if you don't want it to rot. Right or wrong?
    Of course the Okoume costs 2-1/2 times as much also. I'm doing this on a reasonable budget, for me anyhow.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    For a boat that is car-topped and stored dry, a decent primer and good paint is all that's needed. No need to slather everything in epoxy and fiberglass. Dry storage and good ventilation is your best defense against rot.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I have been working on cutting out some of the panels. One each night after work is a nice easy pace, when it's hot outside and I'm tired from a day's work. The 4mm I have been able to cut with a sharp utility knife - making 3 or 4 passes it cuts fairly easy. Then I plane back to the line. Working good so far - the 6mm I don't know yet - might not cut this way so easy. No pics today - not much to show yet.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    You'll have trouble getting through the 6mm 5-ply with a utility knife. A skill saw with a fine-tooth blade set very shallow will cut a gentle curve with little splintering. To further reduce any chance of splintering you can score the cut line with the utility knife and then cut just outside the line. Then clean up the cut with the plane.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    A Japanese pull-saw would be my hand tool of choice for cutting 6mm ply. With a little practice, you can be awfully precise and really quite fast. A dozuki saw is a remarkable tool.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I have been making some progress on the dory. Getting the panels cut out, and have the first side assembled. I’ll be working on the rest this weekend and should have a couple more panels glued up. I resisted the urge to modify the designer’s plan to use butt blocks to join the panels – I was at first thinking of scarfing them all for a better look. The butt blocks are made from the same thickness material – 4mm for the sides and 6mm for the bottom. they are all 18 inches long so they will all line up when stitched in the assembled hull. The thought of loosing strength from the blocks was the deciding factor for not scarfing. The sides being only 4mm, I’m thinking I’ll need all the strength I can get. I agree that butt blocks look kinda clumsy, but…
    Here’s the first side panel glued up laying next to my kayak.




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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Butt blocks are quick and easy. If they are long enough they bend almost fair without a telltale hard spot showing on the outer hull. For such a lightly built hull, the added strength at the middle thwart is not a bad thing.

    And they don't look too awfully bad.


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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    ...and I'm thinking I'll fillet the edges so they blend in a little better - without the sharp edge / shadow line

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I am surprised more of these arenít built. They resemble Bolgerís Sweet Pea a bit, but are somehow better looking to my eye. Almost a Railbird Skiff.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I haven't paid much attention to this designer before, but this thread caused me to take a closer look at his other dory designs. Dories seem like deceptively simple designs, but getting all the curves just right requires more than a little practice. Butler has a fine sense of proportion and line. I particularly like the 19' gun dory, the big sister to the build on this thread.

    http://www.butlerprojects.com/index.htm

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    A few years ago the Norwegian Gunning Dory undermined his credibility with some professionals on this forum.
    The Surf Dory and Troller look quite nice to me.
    Last edited by davebrown; 08-25-2014 at 12:37 AM.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Yeah, that 19' gun dory looks HUGE! The rower looks like a kid in there.
    (remember Lily Tomlin's character Edith Ann - the little girl in the huge rocking chair? )

    I made a lot of progress today. Got all the side panels glued up. Tomorrow I hope to get the bottom done. Then it'll be time to start stitching the thing together! This type of building does go quickly!
    My mind says do not pre-finish the panels now. Because then I would have to wash amine blush from them all before I fillet and glass tape them together. I am thinking a "fillet and tape" at the same time approach to avoid washing blush and waiting for the ply to dry - repeatedly. What's the consensus? ...6 of one......?
    Last edited by timo4352; 08-24-2014 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    If by pre-finish you mean coat with epoxy—don/t do it now, wait and do all at once as you tape seams, etc.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    by timsboats
    It does seem kind of hard for me to believe, it all went so fast, but all the panels to make up the hull are assembled. The sides are complete and the bottom is gluing up now. Once the bottom gets trimmed up tomorrow I will be ready to start stitching the panels together. I had some moments there where I thought I might not have enough plywood to cut everything out, but some adjusting to the way the pieces were laid out on the sheet cured that. Whew! Here’s the bottom gluing up. The next pics you see should resemble a boat of sorts — if I’ve done everything right!
    laid out

    gluing up

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    No pics just yet but I started doing some stitching up of the bottom to the garboards. At first I got a little bit ahead of myself and started drilling holes at 9 inch intervals in the bottom --- oops! - I was supposed to drill them in the sides first, and then the bottom ones to line up with those... I caught myself after a half a dozen holes, so no biggie! It does kinda suck drilling all these holes in this expensive ply that is supposed to be a boat. I usually don't want holes in my boat
    I'm not real happy using the tie straps so far - the smaller ones - 6" - break too easy, and the bigger 8" ones need a larger hole than I want to drill a hundred times in my boat. So I picked up some 18 gauge copper wire today. I'll be replacing the ties one at a time with the copper wire.
    The panel are fitting together pretty good so far so I'm happy about that. And I'm hoping the copper wire will be a little tighter so the panel can't shift around like is happening with the zip ties.

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Quote Originally Posted by timo4352 View Post
    ...and I'm thinking I'll fillet the edges so they blend in a little better - without the sharp edge / shadow line
    I think you'd be better off beveling the plywood than filleting. But its going to show no matter what you do. Just do a tidy job and it will look fine. Or do something clever like sandwich the butt block with a pair of thwart knees and you won't see it at all


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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    I’ve seen it done by others before, but my first time doing stitch and glue, and it is really cool how quick you get a boat-like looking thing from stitching up all these odd shaped panels! It’s not 100% finished being stitched up yet. For the most part the panels fit just about perfectly. I have a few issues I’m looking into – more reading the designer’s notes before I start cutting or anything. The biggest problem being that the sheer strake does not fit up against the building forms at the gunnel like it should – it misses by a lot – well over an inch, maybe half again as much. This can be solved by lowering the sheer strake by about the same amount at the stem – but then I would loose some of the nice sheer. This would involve trimming the lower edge of the sheer strake to fit – I don’t think that’s the answer. I can correct some of the problem gap by pushing some more beam into the middle of the boat, and that is what I have done with the brace you see in the middle here. I’m going to lean towards this direction I think, because I like the additional beam, and it is something the designer suggests – if you want more rocker – to widen the beam a bit. So this would also increase my rocker while helpng the form issue. Some time in the moaning chair is called for…
    The boat is supposed to be 45″ beam – and it’s right there. I pushed it out to around 48″ and that looks pretty good too. It’s actually a pretty big boat at that point, and I like the wider rowlocks that would come with that too.
    I can’t even imagine Paul Butler’s 19 footer – that thing has got to be huge…
    Anyways some pics of the progress so far -

    Good so far…


    gap at bottom to stem

    mostly stitched

    mis-fit sheerstrake to forms

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Be sure she is not twisted when you glue her .
    Vertical plumb bob strings at the stems, check level , sighting strings, etc.
    These are more important than fussing over small gaps .
    she lookin good
    bruce

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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Timo, I agree with Bruce. That said, I don't see quite what is concerning you, but I only have the shots you have posted to go by. I can see the gap but that would close easily if you moved things around. I'd be double checking the location of the form and whether it's plumb. Perhaps you have too much rocker in it from the way you have tied it together. That would also contribute to the gap. But in the end, you can choose what you like.

    Also I wouldn't over-tighten the wires until you've got the boat how you want it. The most important thing apart from no twist and being plumb is that all the edges between panels meet exactly the right way so that you can tack fillet and fully fillet it in the neatest way possible. These edges can slip around if you're not careful.

    Looking great!
    Flat bottomed boats, you make the rockin' world go round.............

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Stitch & Glue Gunning Dory

    Yes, looking good. Elegant boat. Your concerns are why I would not prefer to build with S&G--and I may again, because I am contemplating a Core SOund and I believe those are S&G.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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