Dark, short, cold days are taking progress down to a crawl with the old dinghy I’m afraid. Last weekend I managed to get some varnish onto the new Iroko rubbing strakes having drilled and countersunk all the holes for the fixing screws. Despite the fact that they are propped up in a relatively warm workshop, they are still tacky a full three days later.


Cold and sticky little strips of Iroko.

The more complex task of planing the inner infill strips to fit into their channels went well to begin with but again the cold and damp ruined the finish I was aiming for. I wasn’t looking for perfection or anything, but having got the shaping up pretty good it was too late in the day (only lunchtime mind) to pour in the resin…. I did it anyway. Patience is a virtue as they say. Sadly I don’t have a lot of patience in these matters, and so the next morning my painstakingly crafted Iroko infill pieces ended up swimming in a porridge of half cured resin, dew, and oak leaves. Ho hum.


They fit in their channels perfectly. Unfortunately I was too hasty in pouring the resin around them resulting in yet more sticky mess.

Managed to recover the situation to an acceptable degree by digging out the worst of it and pouring in some fresh resin. Now that all the upside down work is completed I can start thinking about mast, rigging and rudder fixings. All of these are being donated by an old scrap mirror dinghy that I collected with a load of other auction junk. Having rolled the hull over I’m reminded of a problem at the transom that had slipped my mind. The transom on this boat was originally made by sandwiching a former of plywood between two skins of fibreglass. Sadly the ply former has rotted out over the years leaving the transom hollow and floppity. Not strong enough to support the rudder or the mainsheet traveller that was screwed along the top. I’m going to have to do something about it and I don’t know what yet.


Great to be able to start work on the rigging and mast.

Maybe I can trim off the top edge then dig out any remaining rotten wood from above. I could then perhaps cut a new piece of ply to fit down between the two skins of fibreglass and glue it in with resin. Once the rudder mounts are through bolted, it should be plenty strong enough. Hmm, time to consult my old pal Rich in his joinery workshop methinks……


As demonstrated very well by this transom, sandwich construction is a terrible idea. The rest of the boat is still completely solid.