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Thread: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

  1. #1
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    Default Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    I enjoyed previous posts here about this boat but I figured I would create an account and start a new thread because I am looking for thoughts on a number of topics;

    I am the current maintenance man for hull 745. It is still in good shape. The wood was dry when I picked it up this winter. I put some oil on and that seemed to do the hull a lot of good. The decking is screwed into the ribs and that makes it unlikely they were removed for cleaning enough. I will probably separate the decking from the ribs so they can be taken out after each use to keep the boat cleaner and to treat the wood more often. I havenít tried seasoning it for more than a day and half and that seems too short so far in that it still takes on a bit of water after, not a lot, but enough to pick up the hand pump after an hour or so. It should probably be prepped a little longer but I wonder also if with the decking being hard to remove that sand and dirt may have washed in between the strakes while the wood expanded and contracted over the years? The paint on the hull has cracks on just a couple of strakes. Perhaps it was painted too dry last time and that is where the stress is relieved? I havenít decided what level of work I want to do on that yet. Just paint again or strip it down, or more daunting still to take it apart and put it back together?

    Over all it is a really nice design and the workmanship is apparent. The curve of the bow is striking on a small boat like this. It has some modern rigging installed and is set up well.

    Also, I am fickle owner, once I have a small boat I want a bigger one and so on. I would rather this one finds its way to someone with an interest in these boats specifically. If you have thoughts about how best to reach fans of Kenís boats rather than craigslist, maybe something more Vancouver based? I would like to offer it there toward the end of summer, maybe.

    That covers my current thoughts, I would appreciate any more info about Ken Douglas boats, thoughts about my next steps on maintenance, and I want to reach out to other owners or fans to continue the conversation...

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Welcome to the forum.
    You will get more takers if you post pictures of the areas that concern you. One, we luuurve pictures. Two, it helps if we can see the problem, are the cracks wide or hairline and so on.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Yes, welcome to the forum.

    As above posting photos will save you 1000's of words. Speaking of which you'll need to learn the nautical phrasing to discuss things here, as otherwise lots of time will be spent hammering all that out.

    I ** think ** that when you say "decking" you mean the floorboards -=-=- but am not sure. If that's so, I heartily agree with you that removable floorboards are the best, as you can pull them up to wash sand and other debris out of the boat.

    Here's a few pics I grabbed off the InterWebs of that design -





    Here's a few illustrations to help out -





    Last edited by Thorne; 05-06-2019 at 03:57 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Thank you both. I was indeed referring to floorboards.
    0-1.jpg0.jpg0-2.jpg0-3.jpg
    I snapped a few pictures afterwork. I didn't put anything on there for scale but I would say it is more than hairline cracks but not quite surpassing a millimeter. Am I still in the range of solving this with paint? I wouldn't say it has too many coats on it yet. Also, thanks for help with the lingo. Always willing to learn a thing or two.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    How long has the boat been stored in the dry? I'd be inclined to get things nicely damp before I tried filling cracks with paint. Remember that it's going to take the wood a while to swell back up. Beauty of boat! Looking forward to seeing more pics when yo have time

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy


    OK, assuming that you are sailing in sea water here is one solution.
    Finish the sanding, then use a thin but blunt pointed blade to hook out as much dust and crud as you can, a powerfull vacuum cleaner will help. Then knife household soap into the open land. Soap will not dissolve in salt water and will squeeze out as the planks take up. then you can revarnish and go sailing. Same for the outside if the gaps are also wide.

    It sounds odd, but has been used sucessfully by working boatmen for decades.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Doesn't the soap go rock hard and prevent the timber swelling where you want it to swell? and does it matter if the soap is vegetable oil based ? Fascinating tip.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    If you plan on selling it later in the season, I'd recommend doing the minimum to keep it sailing and let the new owner do the rest. As above try pre-soaking it before launching, and pump it out when required -- not uncommon on older solid wood lapstrake dinghies. Don't fill the boat with water while on land !!! Just run water through it and lay some wet burlap or fabric on the inside to get the wood damp before splashing it.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaidra View Post
    Doesn't the soap go rock hard and prevent the timber swelling where you want it to swell? and does it matter if the soap is vegetable oil based ? Fascinating tip.
    Nope, and as far as I know soap is soap once the fats have been converted to stearate by the lye. Just use cheap household soap, the cheapest that you can buy. You will need to soak it before use so that it is soft enough to knife into the gaps.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ken Douglas 12 Sailing Dinghy

    Thanks for the input. It looks like we are circling closer to the real questions now. I don't know how long the boat has been dry but I suspect a long long time. It seems to have had little use based solely on the amount of wear. My guess is that it has lived on a trailer and been out a couple times of year if that. I have been taking it out around the sound since I bought it back in February. I don't believe the hull has any varnish on it. It seems to have had oil, or more likely, nothing in years. This is why I opted for just putting oil on it myself until I get a better idea of how best to maintain it. While I own it, it will probably live on the trailer and get out on the weekends. I guess I am really after the best way to maintain or better yet to improve it while it's with me. If it was to stay in the water I would likely have just set to varnishing and painting but not knowing how it is likely to spend next winter... I didn't want to jump to conclusions. I do think I will separate the floorboards and work on getting it cleaner and treated there. Looking at the paint pictures from yesterday makes me want to paint as well, but as was said, I should probably get the boat more wet than it has been.

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