Questions About Building A Northeast Dory


I am new to CLC Boats, but have built a Coho kayak and a 20ft. modified-V skiff from offsets and plans in the past.  My current project is a NE Dory which I am building without benefit of assistance, which leads me to ask a couple of process questions.

First, when filleting the inside, the manual suggests that an assistant is desirable, alot several hours and that the fiberglass should be wet out before the fillets have cured.  Is possible for one person working alone to acomplish these steps before the fillets cure?  As an alternate, is it possible/practical to fillet the bow and areas up to station 1, glass this section and repeat in in the next section between station 2 and 3, etc?  Any insights and experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Second, my outwales are not 2 layers per side as the manual describes.  They are single full width pieces.  Since I haven't epoxied the scarfs yet I do not know how flexible they will be in full length.  My concern is that they might be to difficult to work with single handed.  If I manage to get one side clamped up does the second need to be installed immediately, or can I do one side, allow the epoxy to cure and then install the other side?  I am concerned about distorting the hull do to the forces not being equal.  Maybe I am worrying needlessly.  Again, insights and shared experiences will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Ed

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RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory


First you're exactly right about filleting and fiberglassing one section at a time. No problem at all.

Second, there should be two sets of rails per side on the outside unless you're doing the inshale kit, then there's one in and one out. If you're not doing the inwhale kit you should have received two bundles of sticks for the outwhales. There should be two 8' sticks with a shark on one end, two 8' sticks with a scarf on each end and two 3' (appx.) sticks with a scarf on one end. When glued up the stick with scarfs on each end is in the middle. If you only got one bundle you need to let CLC know. As far as glueing them up, yes, you need to do one rail on each side at the same time to avoid hull distortion.  (Actually you should have received four bundles of sticks even if you're doing in whales.)

George K


RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

 And there are no sharks on the end of sticks in CLC kits. Missed a spellcheck. 

George K

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   Whales and sharks and scarfs, oh my!

A slight modification to the NE Dory you might want to consider. I'm typing this so that you can consider fitting up your outwales as you install them to create the necessary leftover ends, and save them for use as described below.

After reading a story about a fellow that had an oarlock on his NE dory rip out during one of those distance adventure races (Everglades?), and myself staring at the boat after I put the outwales on and worring that there was just barely enough "meat" in the wood to really hold the oarlock screws well, I elected to put about a 4 to 6 inch long reenforcing block (whatever the dimensions of the outwale sticks are (1 x 1 inch square, or 3/4 x 3/4 inch square?) directly under the outwale at the position of the oarlock.  Even needing 6 pieces of wood (I put locks on all 3 rowing poositions during initial construction) I sort of got lucky and and had enough pieces left over from the supplied outwale material. I used a rasp and belt sander to match the various slight curatures to get a nice fit up under the rail, rouned the ends into a bit of a "bullet" shape and rounded over the outer/lower edge of the block to about 1/4" radius.  Just used spring clamps to glue up under the outwale.  On the finished boat the reenforcing blocks are almost unnoticeable hidden up there under the rail. In doing this I was also able to upsize the oarlock screws, too, thus overall making for a much stronger and more secure oarlock attachment. 

And I note that maybe this is all unecessary, as I've not heard about oarlock problems being common on the NE Dory - but I'm very confident that I won't have any!

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   Oh, and "check" on eveything George said.  I don't think it would be reasonably possible to bend an outwale that was actually full-width as a single piece, even with some fancy efforts at steaming or something.  You'll need plenty of clamps just doing up each piece when you do the two-piece lamination, and it helps to use c-clamps on each end, not just spring clamps.  Put some saran wrap or wax paper over a small wood pad to prevent the clamp from denting the top of the hull plank.

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

Hi George and Bubblehead,  Thanks for the confirmation of how I can do the inside bottom.  The reason for taking the approach I described would be to avoid issues with amine blush?  As for sharks, seems I'm not the only one with a spell-checker with a mind of it's own. :) 

When I saw the scantlings for those outwales I immediately was reminded of doind the rubrails on the 20 ft. skiff.  They were Brazilian Cherry and a real bear to bend.  Mahogany is more bandable but the sheer planks are also much thinner. 

Guess I need to call CLC tomorrow morning about outwales.  Here in eastern Arizona there are no marine wood supply sources nor any boat-builders that I've come across.  The main source of wood is either big box stores or local Ponderosa Pine. 

Thanks again for weighing in on my questions.  It helps to have access to insights from those who have gone before me.

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   Hi Ed,

Any hardwood dealer will likely carry Sapele.   It's a very common wood for woodworking, you shouldn't need to mail order it from CLC.  I'm a woodworker in northeast GA, far from the ocean,  and all my local suppliers here in the middle of nowhere have it in stock.  Just search for a hardwood lumber dealer in your area.  You could also use cypress, cedar, or any other hardwood, but Sapele is naturally rot resistant and much more durable than a softwood. 

I'll also chime in and say that you do need 2 layers on the outwales. You're not going to bend a full width piece without steaming it, and if you try, you will either break the outwale or put some distortion in the hull as you suspected.  I'm not discouraging you from steaming it, but it's easier to do 2 layers.  If you have a bandsaw I would resaw the stock you have into 2 layers, if that leaves you enough thickness to plane them.

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   Hi Briancb,

Thanks for weighing in on my perdicament.  Yes, if there were a hardwood supplier less than an 8 hour round trip from me buying some sapale or mahogany would be the easier route to go. I live in eastern-central Arizona at 6500 ft. elevation.  The only native woods available locally are either not commercially cut or is Ponderosa pine cut on the Apache reservation forests.  Unfortunately, Ponderosa Pine has significant numbers of knot holes which makes it unsuitable for rubrails.

I have considered resawing the 7/8" thick sections, but after losing a minimum of 1/8" to kerf and joining/planing there might not be enough material left.  One section has a significant twist that would make resawing difficult.  My fear is that resaw would potentially not leave enough material to counter the normal stresses seen handling a small dory on the water.

I am not setup to steam wood, nor do I have experience in steaming.  Given the limited supply of wood readily available to me, the implications of resawing, steaming or bending full sections it seems the best approach might be to contact CLC and have the correct material shipped to me.  After all, that is what the manual describes in the build and should have come in the kit.  It seems we have both considered the same alternatives.  Thank you for offering the steaming option, unfortunately I am not eqiupped of experienced enough to go that route on this project.

Regards, Ed

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   I'll "put an oar in the water" here one more time, but even so, best that you call CLC, let them know exactly what you have, and compare that to what you should have. It is just that your last post leads me to believe that maybe you are talking about splitting a 7/8" SQUARE stick lengthwise.  Certainly no need to do that. And maybe you really did get 7/8 x 1-3/4 inch boards, but I'd be very surprised if you did.  Maybe you got enough 7/8 inch square stock to do each side of the boat once, but got shorted the second set of outwale "sticks"?  That sounds more likely.  Just FYI, I recently was all confused about stailess steel about rub-rail pieces for my Rhode Runner, and it turned out that the CLC kit was correct as shipped and it was just me that was all confused... If your kit was missing pieces CLC will surely forward them to you, no need to find a local source for wood.

Your most recent post leads me to ask:  Did you really recieve outwale pieces that are 7/8 inches thick by 1-3/4" wide (a rectangular (= board) cross section)?  I think that is the assumption everyone trying to offer you advice is working under. I can't check the manual as I gave mine away and don't have the boat right here to measure, but your outwale pieces are shown on the bottom of the diagram if you click the "wood parts only" here: 

The sticks shown should are square (let's assume the 7/8" is correct, as it sounds about right) with some ends pre-scarfed as described in an earlier post.  You make your outwales by first joining the scarfs to make four "boat+" long 7/8" square sticks, then glueing one to the top edge of the shear plank on each side of the boat, then finally glueing another 7/8" square stick to each side, outboard of the first.  And then adding the oarlock re-enforcing blocks I mentioned in the previous post, if you choose to do so.

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   I was out of line. I apologize. I didnt realize you were working from a kit. I assumed you cut your own pieces. I would absolutely call CLC about that and I am positive that they will get you taken care of.

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory


The rails supplied with the kit are 7/8" square. If they're not definitely call CLC. They will bend around the boat with no steaming required. Just make sure the long edge of the scarf is showing on the top of the rail. If you want to make it a bit easier to install, and if you have a planer, you can take the dimension to 3/4" square this will also clean up the scarf joints and eliminate the possibility of creating hollows on them when you sand the excess epoxy off.

Again you should have received two bundles of mahogany for the rails. If you only got one let CLC know, they will ship another. And definitely glue them to full length before glueing them to the boat. Start at the bow and anchor the rail to the front plank with two screws into the breasthook. Work to the transom and you'll probably need a c-clamp to anchor the rail to the plank. Spring clamps every 6" in between works fine. If you do use c-clamps make some small squares of plywood and wrap clear packing tape around them to protect the rails and inside plank from dents. 

George K

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

Hi George K, Bubblehead and Briancb,

It seems I was unclear both in my mind and in my writings this weekend.  First, the rub rail cross sections are 7/8" square and second, I did receive enough sections to make 4 full length 7/8" square lenghts.  Unfortunately, for all of you I only saw enough for two full length sections as the other two were tucked under a significant amount of tape and on the far side of the packaging from the first pieces I saw.  I'm going to blame it on poor lilghting in my garage.  Mi Culpa.  With the clarification that the sections should be ~3/4" square, I went looking for the missing pieces.

One a positive note, the inside bottome sections are complete through first coat of epoxy and glass.  Yesterday was a very long day working in 85-90 degree heat.

Thank you all for your persistence in trying to resolve my concerns.


RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

   I'm glad to hear you're back on track, Ed.  Keep us posted on the build!

RE: Questions About Building A Northeast Dory

 Well I got the rubrails on with some help from my neighbor.  Couldn't have done them without his help. 

Anyway, I am now getting ready to fiberglass the bottom which leads to another question.  When glassing the transom, is the glass trimmed to the corner where the transom and side planking meet?  Neither the manual nor the online pictures really address this aspect of the fiberglassing process.

Attached is a picture of my NED before turning over to glass the bottom.  So far, I am impressed with the fit of parts and the ease with which it goes together.

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