Here the cabin side mockups were used to create cabin side templates. There is no better material out there that I have found yet than cheap lauan ply, a staple gun, and clamps to create templates quickly. Here is a short photo series for the lower cabin sides.

Initially, I used the mockups to draw a good representation of the deck curvature (a significant shape in a dory hull). Transferring this curve to some 24″ templating stock, I left all other edges square to have the maximum working room.

To minimize tophamper and give her a nice clean shape, a straight, level line just below the tip of the bow is created from the bulkhead height to the cabin front area. I use a 1/8″ aluminum bar stock strap to draw lines and give a visual representation to look at before making final marks.

Once it all looks right, lines go down and saws start up. I’ve come to the conclusing that one needs to work by eye with boats more often than not, as measurements and drawings are okay, but have a habit of not turning out appropriately sometimes.

Just for the fun of it, let’s see where the cabin might end up and how it looks proportionally.

With a little remaining time and some extra templating stock, might as well get the cabin front laid out and see if we can’t bang out a template. This was a bit of a challenge, as the bow deck camber and the cabin top camber are slightly different, plus everything is on a slope to make her a little more sleek. I drew the deck camber first, cut it, fit it, then pulled the top camber from the main bulkhead, cutting the sides by using the cabin shapes instead of measuring it.

Clippercraft trunk cabin

A very pleasing amount of accomplishment for a 4 hr work session. Unfortunately it’s time to dig back into the pocketbook for more cash, as the scrap plywood supply won’t provide enough stock to build the cabin out. Hopefully tomorrow the cabin side blanks can be taped together and prepped for lines transfer before shift. Here is a final shot showing the side decks and the small amount of slope added to the cabin sides to keep the boat from looking boxy.

It was downright balmy in the shop this particular afternoon, cresting at over 40 degrees. With heaters, I think we achieved over 50! It was actually warm enough for the medium hardener to start kicking off before it was all spread.

With such fortuitous weather, the side panels must be glued. I did a little detail trimming to give them more shape, close up the fitment against the deck, and added some slope to the aft edge to make them more visually appealing and not as tall to the eye.

Once they were near perfect, it was off to the races. There was a final mockup and dry fit with the clamps in place, then the gloves went on to start mixing. I did have a brush-throwing moment when I realized I had prepped and glued everything up, but neglected to tape or plastic wrap the end of my many clamping blocks. Infuriating to say the least, as I had to stop with epoxy kicking off to put some cling wrap on the wood.

After that situation was mitigated, the rest of the simple glue-up went very smoothly.

What little amount of wood was removed from the aft edge of the cabin sides really made a difference as to how bulky and boxy the panels seemed. This will be even more effectively mitigated when the clamping/gluing trim board is added at the top of the panel. It will be tapered to a shape that accentuates the cabin most effectively.

When trying to get the angles of the panels right, we have to decide an effective way to hold them with what we have in our respective shops. The cabin sides needed to stay at the prescribed 8 degree angle bow to stern to give the boat a consistent smooth line, but I had very little to hold them with. Enter clamps, weight, and strings. Remarkable in its effectiveness, the panels are securely held in one plane with the clamps, and enough tension exists to pull strings tight to keep all the panel angles within a degree of ideal.

Going up, the fillets needed to be placed, filling the gaps between the side panels and the decks, as well as making a nice smooth radius for the biax and woven tapes to lay down on. This was done, as well as cutting the overage from the cabin front.

Trimming the cabin front, then rounding the corners and filling the seams made for a shapely cabin front edge.

Here is a shot of the shapely cabin front, all her brilliant, water shedding roundness on full display:

Using MarinEpoxy fast hardener I was able to do morning fillets and afternoon glass. This is ideal for both expediency and strength, as it allows the epoxy to cross-link and become a single cohesive piece, instead of the fillet bonding to the wood and the glass bonding to the sanded fillet.
Thanks to some leftover supplies from my last project, I had a couple rolls of fiberglass laying around to use for this project. The exterior received 12 oz 6″ 45/45 biax tape which is bulletproof, easy to lay, extremely strong, and quite pleasant to work with, minus the unabashed lust it has for epoxy.

Thankfully, my friend Jerry showed up to have a look at the boat, just as I was gloving up to start glassing. I began laying goo down, then rolled on the glass, and he just graciously picked up the laminating roller and started pressing the fabric into the epoxy. This made work much faster, as I normally have to alternate between mixing, laying epoxy, and pressing it in with the roller.

Using these tools makes a layup tighter than a frog’s ass, which keeps epoxy usage down and increases strength, reducing the glass-epoxy ratio to 50% or less. Inside I chose to go with something that wasn’t quite as strong, but is more versatile and easy to fair. The lighter 9 oz. 4″ woven tape goes down with very little epoxy required, and fairs with the slightest amount of compound.

The cabin top joint to the sides needed to be a belt and suspenders affair for me. I had some CVG fir around on a special purchase, so I scarphed a bit up and made it happen.

There is something very soothing and peaceful about a sharp plane running over CVG fir, peeling paper thin shavings off without noise or dust.

The scarphed fir cured up overnight thanks to the IR heater cooking off the epoxy, so they didn’t mind the stress of being bent into place. The normal process of pre-coating with neat epoxy, then mixing up the thickened glue, followed by clamping was the order of the afternoon. A little extra diligence in clamping and cleanup of squeeze out should make for much less effort on the finish work in the spring.

Did I mention that there is no such beast as enough clamps?

These additions should add enough gluing surface to clamp the new cabin top and side shelves in without mechanical fastenings, and offer bracing behind the later-added fillets and tape. A typical Clippercraft would have a 2″ board that tapers to around 1″-1 1/2″, but the cabin sides always looked a little tall to me. This larger 3″ board should draw a lower reveal, making the apparent height a little lower, and giving the cabin sides a slightly leaner look, while adding a little more strength lower in the panel. Time will tell.

Residual thickened epoxy was smeared into the biax tape from the cabin side assembly to save a few bucks on the more expensive fillers that will be employed later.

Leave a Reply