Building a Dory Skiff Boat
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Starting with the Frames

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Hopefully this blog will take you on a boat building trip with me as I build an 18' power dory skiff.  The construction method is unique using plywood planking over frames.  I considered building this boat using stitch and glue but as in most cases on boats of this size, I found that the panel size would be daunting and by the time I was done installing all of the supports I needed for the self bailing cockpit, engine splash well, decking and so forth I might just as well built it with frames to begin with.

Having built using both methods, I simply find this construction method suites me far better than stitch and glue for large boats such as this.  I will typically either be working alone so trying to stitch 20 foot plywood panels is a daunting task to say the least.  Using frames I find that I can hang the planks with little assistance, though another pair of hands is very useful and appreciated.

So it all starts with the frames. For this project, I used full sized patterns for frame templates and it worked out perfectly. There is an article here on this site describing the steps of using patterns to build frames. You can find it here. Take a few minutes to check it out.

It took about 8 hours to make all of the frames for this boat using patterns.  Probably could have done it faster but I was in no rush.