Offcut is Finally Finished

December 20, 2018


With Tardis sitting in the Florida sunshine, I finally got around to finishing the pram dinghy Offcut.

She’s a cute little thing, but her future is uncertain. My thinking was that a wooden boat should certainly have wooden dinghy.  Especially to avoid mockery, derision and head-shaking by the waterfront denizens when anchored off the WoodenBoat School in Maine.

But I’m worried that she might make the mother ship look (and act) a little top-heavy, although Mark seems to think it will be okay and his design looks good.  Then I have to worry about whether I will be able to get her off and on the roof singlehanded without bashing her into the cabin windows.  So I spent more money than the dinghy cost (since she  was made from Tardis leftovers) buying a fancy polyester and foam gunwale guard (that actually looks fantastic).

She should tow well, as most prams do, and Sam Devlin designed her with that in mind. That’s fine on a mooring or on the hook, but docking with a dinghy in tow can make a difficult job impossible.

So we’ll see.  Offcut will definitely get a good test next summer in Guilford both under oars and a little motor that I bought from Ray.  And if she passes, we’ll try to take her on the Maine trip.

But for Florida I’m keeping it simple and cleaned up my light rubber dinghy and threw it in the cockpit before we left.

Mark’s idea of what the dinghy would look like and the dinghy lifter

Side view

Offcut interior. You adjust your rowing position up and down the central thwart to preserve balance.

Locking down the rubrail to get screws through. The screws want to catch the cloth and spin it into a knot, so you really have to clamp or tack it down.

Rubrail installation. All the dimples in the foam rubrail popped out and were smooth the next day.

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