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Thread: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

  1. #1
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    Default Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    I built this dory-skiff about 40 years ago. She has a sail, a nice long pair of oars, and can also take a small outboard on the stern. Unfortunately for a number of years I had to leave her at a friends house. She ended up with some freshwater in her and that began some significant rot in the douglas fir bottom planks, the frames, and centerboard trunk.

    I finally have a space to do a refit on her and am looking for suggestions. I think that it was a mistake to use the doug fir on the bottom originally (I was a broke student and didn't have a lot of resources when I first built her, but I did have access to the fir). However, the outer most planks are in decent condition (no rot that I've found so far) and I'm thinking that one alternative is to remove the inboard planks, replace the frames, flip her upside down, and then replank with three layers of 1/4" marine ply. There is a good bit of rocker in the bottom, so that's why I would use thinner layers of plywood and then it would be 'cold-molded' with the curve.

    An alternative would be to remove all the bottom plank and cold mold the entire bottom. The only major issue here is that the sides overlap the bottom, so I'd have to fit in the bottom plywood in to place in two pieces.

    I'm planning on adding a light layer of glass on both inside and outside of the bottom to add to its strength. Maybe even add a chine log and avoid replacing the old bottom frames altogether. Though on that I'm a little concerned that the sides will not have sufficient stiffness.

    Any other suggestions? Any other issues that anyone can think I may encounter if I use one of the methods above? I would also like to end up sailing her again. But I'm wondering if I really need to have the big centerboard trunk. I'm thinking of possibly refitting her with a dagger board or possibly even leeboards.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    Welcome aboard!
    I think that planks or plywood both work well. Brace her before you cut the bottom up, she might become flexible.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    It might be easier to use plank, easier to fit the curved bevel where the sides are attached. Work from outboard to in. If the shutter is tapered and driven home, it will tighten up all the bottom seams.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    It sounds to me that you are making the repair far too complicated.
    fer instance....3 layers of quarter inch ply...this uses a LOT of epoxy ,and if you use good ply, it uses a LOT of money.
    If you plan on using glass, you may as well turn it into an epoxy repair,thus... there is no need for beveling bits or worrying about fitting the bottom inside the side planking.Just pop the new bottom (whatever it turns out to be)onto the bottom of the sides.
    but geeze, 40 years even with some bad storage is not bad.
    This is really just planks in the center and a CB trunk ,no?
    bruce
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 10-12-2021 at 11:22 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Welcome aboard!
    I think that planks or plywood both work well. Brace her before you cut the bottom up, she might become flexible.
    That is a concern, for sure. I was thinking of installing several replacement fames across the bottom before removing the center planks.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    It sounds to me that you are making the repair far too complicated.
    fer instance....3 layers of quarter inch ply...this uses a LOT of epoxy ,and if you use good ply, it uses a LOT of money.
    If you plan on using glass, you may as well turn it into an epoxy repair,thus... there is no need for beveling bits or worrying about fitting the bottom inside the side planking.Just pop the new bottom (whatever it turns out to be)onto the bottom of the sides.
    but geeze, 40 years even with some bad storage is not bad.
    This is really just planks in the center and a CB trunk ,no?
    bruce
    Good point. When I originally built her, I used a strong back to force the proper amount of rocker into the bottom planks. I was thinking of cold molding simply to avoid having to force the new planks into place with bracing from above. However you're correct that it would probably be more costly than necessary and would also weigh more than necessary (she's already heavier than I'd like).

    I was even considering using something like Divinycell instead of wood to keep the weight down. Then glassing over it. My only concern there is that if I go back with the old centerboard trunk, then I'm not sure I have sufficient strength in the bottom to take the stress from the centerboard. However, once again, maybe I'm over thinking this.

    I think that once I get her upside down, I'll see how difficult it is to get some planks to take the shape and go from there.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Suggestions for how best to repair my 16' dory-skiff

    Quote Originally Posted by elliowb View Post

    I think that once I get her upside down, I'll see how difficult it is to get some planks to take the shape and go from there.
    You could always use steam or water and a blow torch to put some pre-bend in, then fasten them when they have cooled to shape.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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