Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

Well, finally pulled the trigger and ordered the NE Dory kit and inwales kit today.  Will decide on a sailplan a littel later in the build.  Can't wait to get started and have been reading through the hundreds of posts.  The forum seems to be a treasure trove of information and ideas.  I will undoubtedly being calling on my fellow CLC forum members as the project proceeds.  First question, has anyone built a rolling rack to build their boat, as I will be doing some of the work outside?  If so, any suggestions on size anyone have a rough drawing of their rack/work station?  Also I have read the many comments on how stragithforward the plans/kits are, however I am sure there are areas where, after the fact you may have wished you had done it differently or thought the process through before proceeding.  Any words of wisdom that you wish you had, before undertaking your project?


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RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

Wow, I have no advice for you. I am just in the planning phase myself and do not plan on building for about a year. Keep us informed on your progress and post lots of pictured for us. I am excited to watch your progress.   

RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

   Congratulation, Lou. The NE Dory is also what I chose. I don't think you can find a better boat anywhere for rowing and sailing--especially if you want to be able to carry more than one person in the boat . . . or a huge load of fish!

As for tips, I'll reiterate some that you've probably already heard. 

1. The manual is really excellent, but you should read it from cover to cover once or twice before you even begin building your boat. Knowing what will come next can help you do a better job on each progressive step. Sometimes it helps to know what will come much later. For example, it is useful to trace the shape of the bulkheads onto cardboard so that you can use those cardboard forms when you make your foam flotation near the very end of major building.

2. Don't allow yourself to get bogged down. If you are a first time-builder, you'll have to do lots of things you've never done before. Figure things out as best you can, ask questions on this website if you need to, and then go for it! There is no other way to make progress. The nice thing about working with wood and fiberglass is that virtually every error can be fixed somehow.

3. Keep in mind the kind of boat you are trying to build. I'm a first-time builder and I have known that, while I was unlikely to do a perfect job, I wanted a boat I could be proud of building and yet subject to lots of hard use over many years. I'm not going to end up with a showroom boat, but I am amazed at how lovely it has turned out to be. Credit John Harris for a fine design and excellent control over the creation of the kit.

4. Make or buy lots of clamps! I made about 60 clamps out of PVC (following a tip on this site), and I've needed them all.

5. Mix small batches of glue and get it spread on the wood fairly rapidly. Several inches of epoxy in a cup can start to harden before you get it spread out, but once it is spread out it may take hours to harden. Thus, as a corollary, collect all the plastic containers that you generate in you kitchen, and choose one of a size that allows you to mix a batch of glue no more than an inch or so deep. 

6. Wear a respirator when sanding and gloves when using epoxy.

7. Have some sort of vacuum with a hose attached to your sanders whenever possible.

8. Finally, post pictures of your progress so that we can all enjoy your progress and success.

Sail on,


RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!


Thanks for the encouragement and tips.  I checked out  your blog and have to congratulate you on building a  beautiful boat.  I like the natural look a lot, and would opt for that if not for the fact that I live in South Florida, and the sun is merciless on the brigthwork.  I see you are a road bike rider as well..same here.  Be assured I will post plenty of pictures along the way.


RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

Instead of making some sort of rolling rack, you could just get a second pair of sawhorses, and pick up the boat and carry it from one set to the other.

For mixing epoxy, I recommend using 9-ounce cold drink party cups (made from PETA).  A big bag of these is quite inexpensive.

Also, avoid cheapo foam brushes.  They are useless!  I got a bunch of "JEN" brand made-in-USA brushes, and they are quite nice.

Also avoid cheapo chip brushes for applying thickened epoxy.  The bristles tend to fall out, and you have to pick them out of the glue.

The best deal I have seen for 2" spring clamps is $1 each: the HDX house brand from Home Depot.  They are both better and cheaper than what Harbor Freight sells.

Harbor Freight sells 6" adjustable bar clamps for $3 each, and they are surprisingly well-made, and a very good deal.  Look for item 62239 or 96210.  HF sells some preally nice things (and tons of junk), and these clamps are one of their best products.



RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

   Thanks for the complement, Lou. I'm really pleased with my boat . . . and it gets to live in the garage so the brightwork isn't a problem.

And, yes, I'm definitely a roadie . . . trying to get a few miles here and there during the winter.

RE: Placed order for NE Dory today...Yea!

   One suggestion that doesn't get mentioned enough is SAFTY GLASSES. Tools, expendables and materials can all be replaced but nothing will stop a build faster than a bit of grunge in the old M1 eyeball. Buy a half a dozen pair so if you leave one in the house just grab another before doing anything. I once picked up a piece of scrap while walking through the shop (garage) and Bingo, crud in the eye. I walked around looking like Popeye for three days.

Another handy tool is the heat gun. ($10 at HF). Heat will soften cured epoxy to aid  in removing blobs or runs and recovering from an oops if you stick something in the wrong place but the instructions and support are good enough so if you read the manual and the hints and tips and take your time you should be fine. 

Expect to use more epoxy than supplied with the kit on your first build. My first was a WD12 and I used almost double. (bigger filets than needed). My second is a Peeler and I came out about right.

Remember this is a boat that will exsist in a hostile environment so don't try to make a musium piece the first time. We all would like to but if you build to the "ten foot rule" (if it looks good from ten feet away you're golden) and not tell anyone about the mistakes it will be great.

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