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Build dinghy outside?

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Chris152

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I posted last year about a dinghy a friend offered me, needing lots of restoration. I was uncertain whether it was going to be worth the work and cost til the day I was chatting with him about the possibility of lifting it over the wall into my back garden to work on when I pulled on the gunwale to test the weight and it started coming away in my hand. There were many other issues, that was just the final straw, so the final decision was to leave it where it was.

Anyway. Do you think it'd be possible, given the climate here in the UK, to build a fairly simple dinghy in the garden through the summer months? I think I need to assume rain, so some sort of canopy would be necessary (or just a tarp, and assemble only on dry days) - but would the damp air and temperature allow a build? I can do much of the cutting and prep in the garage, but assemble outside.

I'm thinking the 12' or 14' version of the Selway-Fisher Highlander (here: http://www.selway-fisher.com/GPDinghyover13.htm)

Any thoughts much appreciated.
Chris
 

MikeG.

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Chris, please, please post a detailed thread of the build. I know it's a bit of a pain, but I'd hugely appreciate it, and I'm sure I'm not alone. This is something I've always wanted to do. Even better, film it and upload to Youtube.

As to your question........buy a gazebo. Some of the better ones can easily cope with being left up all the time, and you can sell it on afterwards.
 

That would work

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100% yes. My background is in boat building... Berthon, Camper Nicholson, Jeremy Rogers, Agamenmon, Vosper thorny croft. Most work in boatyards is effectively outside anyway .... maybe a gazeebo thing to keep rain off of you AND your dingy will end up in water anyway.
 

NickM

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I can't see why not. It will spend its life outdoors.

Please do share details and photos of this if you go ahead. It will be fascinating.
 

sammy.se

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+1 to a detailed WIP and videos!
I don't intend to build anything like this anytime soon, but it's something that is very interesting to me.
 

Rorschach

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Take a look at a lot of old boat building sheds and they are barely more weatherproof than a gazebo so I reckon you will be fine with a bit of forethought and a look at the weather forecast. Look forward to seeing the progress.
 

Chris152

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Brilliant, thanks fellas.

I'd not thought of a gazebo - been checking prices and what you get, definitely do-able but asked a friend, ex-chippy who said he's used a number and he thinks it may be better to get a lorry canvas and put it on a wooden frame - what do you think? [ETA - just chatted with him, sounds like building something's another project which doesn't really interest me, so will go with gazebo idea.] 5m x 3m with sides should be about right.
If I go ahead I'll definitely do a wip, Mike - so I can pester you all with endless questions, of course!

Speaking of which, has anyone used Selway-Fisher plans to build a boat? Just wondering how good they are. He lives close to family and when I contacted him last year he was happy to meet and chat about the design, but here in Wales we're still grounded to within 5 miles of home.
 

Andy Kev.

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I should imagine that the satisfaction and sense of achievement that building a dinghy would bring will be tremendous. I've always imagined that boat building might be beyond mere mortals. Best of luck with it!
 

Lons

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I'd also find that project fascinating, often fancied but not something I'd ever get around to doing.

If you can afford it and have the space, Costco used to sell a temporary garage, Steel tube frame and canvas type material with wide zip up doors either end and can unzip the side if wanted as well. I bought mine many years ago for around £100 + vat then and it's been used at various times over the years as doesn't take too long to erect or dismantle. It's around 5 x 3 m from memory and may be available elsewhere but bound to be more expensive these days.

Edit: Just looked and it's changed a bit from mine and now £340 :shock: but there seem to be plenty of others and storage tents as well. Might be worth a look on facebook / ebay or a wanted ad, you never know.
https://www.costco.co.uk/Tyres-Automoti ... 7/p/290567
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke- ... gKKhPD_BwE
 

Chris152

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Thanks chaps.
Lons - I definitely think second hand is the way to go if I can find something, seems to be about the £350 mark for a decent one new which is a lot really before plans and materials. That said, I do have an enormous frame tent, not used in years in a garage a couple of hours away, but think it might be too big for the section of the garden I can use. I'd imagine it's not in the best shape tho, so I could miss a few sections off the frame and customise it to fit without worrying to much if it's no good for camping in future. Once I'm allowed to travel I'm definitely going to try.
 

Terry - Somerset

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I also like the idea of a boat build.

But for a bit of shelter I would tend to go with new or very good quality - the problem with bits of old tent is that it may flap in the smallest breeze and collapse with the slightest provocation - probably when it has just been raining.

Also although 3m wide sounds a lot it is only going to give you approx 70cm working space on either side if it is enclosed. This may be a bit of a constraint - during the summer the temperatures should be fairly clement so the objective is keep the rain off, not keep warm.
 

AndyT

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If you watch the first few episodes of the Sampson Boat Company on YouTube (which will be great for upping your ambitions anyway) you'll see young Leo Goolden building a shed from timber and plastic sheeting, to enclose the boat Tally Ho which he is going to restore. It's a great example of what can be built, single handed, just in time for the North American winter.

You are good with ropes, young, strong and not bothered by working at heights, aren't you? :)
 

Chris152

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Thanks Andy. And one out of the four's not too bad, is it? :)

Terry - you're right, the tent relies on tension of the canvas on the frame for its strength, which it'll lose if I reduce the frame size. Hadn't thought of that, thanks for saving me lots of pointless effort on that one!
 

Lons

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If the frame tent is surplus, most are worthless s/h these days as everyone wants lightweight pop up or blow up tents then maybe a wood frame as suggested but use the tent canvas which could be cut and securely fixed to the frame. Should be as good as plastic, it's free as you have it and can skip the canvas at the end and re-use the timber.
 

Horsee1

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If it’s going to be up for a while maybe you’d consider getting some scaffold and corrugated material for roof?

Neighbours might have something to say about it.

I’ve been thinking about how best to work outside recently and worry about a gazebo being a bit flimsy. I don’t have the luxury of a semi permanent place to erect the structure but if I did I think I’d be looking to scaffold and a tin roof.
 

AJB Temple

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Just a thought. Having sailed most things, including that design (I used to instruct), I would encourage you to sail one first before you build to make sure the handling suits you. In my experience they are not a sharp handling boat and are a bit ponderous under sail. If you fancy something that stands a chance of holding its own in club racing, then one of their other designs might be worth considering.

Gazebo its a good idea. But get a bigger one that will give you more room to work. I have never built a boat - ex FIL has though and he managed it in his double garage. 16ft boat.
 

Chris152

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Thanks all.

AJB Temple":2hcqyihc said:
Just a thought. Having sailed most things, including that design (I used to instruct), I would encourage you to sail one first before you build to make sure the handling suits you. In my experience they are not a sharp handling boat and are a bit ponderous under sail. If you fancy something that stands a chance of holding its own in club racing, then one of their other designs might be worth considering.
I'm no sailor, so having a go in one won't tell me much (I did Level 2 years ago, but have forgotten everything). :) But that's interesting to read, Adrian - tbh, I'm most interested in rowing, a bit of motoring with the option to do a bit of sailing at some point. And ponderous would suit me rather well, think pottering about more than racing. The plan in the short term would be to take it to Milford Haven (the quiet end) and escape the crowds, dangle a line over the edge, Wind in the Willows sort of thing.
 
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