20 July 2010

Dinghy Build (Part three)

Back in January, Kyle and I told you all about how we built a dinghy out of plywood, epoxy and bright paint.  Here's how it worked out:
After putting a couple thousand miles under the keel, our homemade dinghy has definitely seen some sights.  And better days, I might add.  I would like to point out that just Sunday afternoon some grown women were screaming in admiration of my paint job, and they didn't even see it in its full magenta glory.

Home again - 7.20.2010
Maiden voyage - 1.20.2010
 Despite the strength of the epoxy, in rougher waves the docks still took quite a toll on "Dinghalicious" (I swear, Kyle came up with that.  To this day, we still refer to her affectionately as 'Liscious).  One thing that we considered when building the dinghy is adding a second sheet of plywood to the bow.  As you can see, it would have been extremely beneficial.  While we were in Oriental, the dinghy could just slip under the dock, then a few waves sent the brunt of the force to the middle of the bow.

We had even put some pool noodles on 'Liscious to combat the brutal dinghy dock in Oriental, but by the time we left, you can see the bow was still looking a little sad.  Right now all we have left is the stern noodle, and it disintegrates on whoever leans against it (usually me.  It took me quite a while to figure out why I had blue stuff all over my back and shorts whenever we were walking around town).
These are all pretty cosmetic, nothing substantially structure-related.  Our worst problem, by far and above, was oar locks.  If you are going with a rowboat, shell out the extra cash and get some good oarlocks.  If you have to row a half mile, crossing a busy channel at night, you don't want to risk shearing off an oarlock and having to row canoe-style the rest of the way to the boat.  We started out with clamp-on oarlocks.  Those twisted, which made rowing nearly impossible.  Next we tried U-style oarlocks, and those both sheared off right below the U (and this always happens where you're about halfway between the dock and the boat). 

The original oarlock sockets were on the brink of failure by the end of the trip, but they were still holding.  On one oar, we have half of each original clamp-on oarlock (almost too twisted to row with), and on the other we have a combination of hose clamps through which we put a ratchet extension.  We've been through a couple hose clamps on that too.
Oh, and also, we managed to accrue a few barnacles whilst sitting in Titusville for a couple weeks.
The dinghy is alive!

Finally, we've made some serious decisions about "next time."  Next time, we are building a sailing dinghy - too much fun, and only a little more work.  We actually saw the sailing version of our dinghy while we were in Titusville, FL.  It would be a lot of work to modify our current dinghy, plus she's a little beat up already so we would just build a new one.  And next time, we're bringing an outboard.  Maybe it will just be a little electric trolling motor, but dangit, we're going to have one.  Some of those anchorages are just too far from the dock to row.

And to top all this off, Kyle went to a job interview today, and he starts work at 8am tomorrow!  That is extremely good news, plus he'll be working at a marine electronics company so he still gets to work on boats every day.  I've had one interview already that I'm waiting to hear back on, and I am keeping on top of the job listings.  If anyone needs a mechanical engineer, I need a job - maybe we can work something out :P

No comments:

Post a Comment