Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

As much as I am enjoying this build, my lack of experience combined with the disparity between the kit and manual are frustrating. I will, and have been, making enough of my own mistakes, but when the manual and kit don't line up, I start second guessing everything.

The kit I received had pre-drilled holes on the planks, bulkheads and transoms. The manual instructs to drill holes in the planks every 4 inches, but they are pre-drilled at 6 inches. Ok, no big deal. I'll stitch every 6 inches rather than every 4.

The forward and aft bulkheads have tabs to fit in pre-cut holes in the bottom which are great to save me time, prevent measurement errors, etc.  However, now that I have the boat inverted for that bottom fiber glass application, shall I sand the tabs flush witht he bottom, then drop the bulkheads out, plug the holes and apply the fiberglass? Seems the logical approach. What's the best thing to use to plug the holes so that the glass lays flat in that area without leaving a divot?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

   I haven't built a Passagemaker, so wait for someone in the know to fully answer your question about the bulkheads/tabs/fiberglassing. I have built a NE Dory, which I presume is much the same.  So for right now I advise "STOP" until someone with the correct answeer responds!  This might save you a real big problem, because I find it hard to believe that you should be glassing the outside/bottom of the hull untill the bulkheads have been fully glued in place, filets and all.  They help set the shape of the hull, and I don't think you should be glassing the hull until the bulkheads are installed.  - And then I think the right answer is: after the bulkheads are installed, and when ready to glass the bottom, you simply sand the tabs off flush and proceed.

RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

Full stop, aye. 

Thank you. I have been receiving help from the office, but talk about not being on the same page... while he was reading from a manual dated Otober 2019, the one they sent me is dated July 2011. Fiberglassing the bottom is on page 54 of my version, but page 77 of his. Oy.

My manual has me stitching all the planks together, flipping it over, filleting the planks, pulling the wires, then a second run of fillets. This is where I am now with the next step fiberglassing the bottom.  Hopefully the fillets on the exterior are not out of sequence. 

Ugh. I wish this discrepancy was made earlier. 

RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

   Wow! This explains a lot. I am also working on a passagemaker dingy and have been very confused by some of the directions. I'm stuck right now because my manual had said to not epoxy the #1 hull panels because they get fiberglassed, but then my fiberglass page says only the bottom is glassed. Looking ahead, the bottom also clearly doesn't show the tabs. My fiberglassing page is on page 51 though and my manual isn't dated, but is copyright 2005-2008.

RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

   Never mind - I also have fiberglassing on page 54 where the #1 panels do get glassed and the bulkheads are removed. Sounds like we have the same manual. I've been mostly working on the boat at night, and being on the west coast, CLC is closed. Sounds like it's time for me to get an updated manual before I make any more big mistakes!


RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

I am on the West Coast, as well, but if I email them early enough they'll respond that day or by the next morning and that has worked out.

Here is a link to the latest manual which they sent me yesterday. I was hoping it would reference the tabbed bulkheads, but nope, so I a not sure how it differs from the previous iteration.

My plan is to drop the bulk heads from hulls, fill the tab slots with card board or something, then glass over them. When I flip the boat over to glass the interior, I'll either cut out out the glass for the slots, or just sand the tabs flush before installing the bulkheads.  That last part actually just occurred to me. Since the tabs are just to help us locate the bulkhead placement while wiring them into place, I don't thing they are necessary anymore. 

Did you buy the sail kit?  Which one?  I went the lug rig to keep it simple. 

Good luck!

RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

   Last year, as I was building my Passagemaker, I also questioned the manual regarding the slots in the bottom for aligning the bulkheads.

I ended up fileing the tabs on the bulkheads down about half as much as they stood out.  then I covered the tabs with a bit of plastic before I wired the bulkhead in place.  Then when the hull is inverted for filling the lapstrake joints, etc., the depression where the bulkhead tabs are, were just filled with 'peanut butter' mix. Fiberglassing the bottom was done next. Then when the hull was flipped to do the inside fiberglass, the bulkheads were removed and the plastic covered tabs did not end up glued to the bottom prematurely.  After fiberglassing the bottom inside, I just had to cut the glass at the tab holes, leaving a shallow hole to place the bulkhead tabs into,  This easily maintained the alignment feature for when the bulkheads were placed permanantly.

RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit


   I ended up speaking with them directly today. If I got it all straight (I recommend calling to confirm your approach since I am completely inexperienced!) they said having the bulkheads installed when glassing the bottom helps maintain the structural set up, so you could get them fully installed and then sand the tabs and glass the bottom, then glass the inside, trimming the sheet to fit. They also said it would work fine to do the glassing and then cut out the holes and install the bulkheads. jraggedy's approach sounds like a good one to be able to get the benefit of stability and easier glassing. I might try that.

I got the standard sail kit, since I thought it might be easier in our weather but my kids wish I had gone with the lug kit!


RE: Passagemaker Dinghy - Manual different from Kit

If memory serves, we glassed the inside first, bulkheads out, and cleared the holes out with a file later to put the bulkheads back in and glue/fillet everything up.  That way we didn't have to cut separate pieces of fiberglass for the interior.  Fiberglassed the exterior bottom later, after trimmig the protuding tabs flush.


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