This home built 8ft 6ins, classic dinghy is designed by Will Stirling who often features in CLASSIC BOAT U.K. It is a stable pretty dinghy with a bold sheer, a straight stem, flat floors, a firm bilge and a short turn up to a shapely transom, another reason why boats are “she”.
This is the third clinker dinghy I’ve built, trying to achieve close to perfection, almost impossible I know. This one needs to be light as I have to haul it up the steep steps at the Purau Bay jetty and will use it as a tender to my 34ft launch moored in the bay.
It is being planked in Gabon mahogany 5 ply, the stem, knees, breasthook, hog, keel and apron are constructed of macrocarpa for lightness and strength, while the transom is of Lebanese cedar, ex.Port Levy churchyard. The gunwales, strakes, ribs and floors will need to be steamed from home grown N.Z. oak; all scantlings have been home milled, dried and dressed.
I am using my eye more than the previous boats, to make sure the planking lines are sweet, especially leading up to the stem which must have an upward smile, whereas my Iain Oughtred’s “Auk” dinghy had a droopy grin at the stem. The garboard plank was a brute to fit and glue but after those two the rest have almost been a pleasure. I spike out a template in 3mm bison board for each pair of planks so as to get them even on both sides and to cut the finals knowing they are accurate to within a couple of shavings here and there.