After a series of adventures involving, amongst other things, moving all our stuff into storage, several weeks living in a small 1 bedroom apartment whilst house-sitting a menagerie of pets (comprising of a deaf cat, an overly aggressive (and loud!) lorikeet, a blue-tongue lizard, a Japanese Fighting Fish, a catfish, and a bunch of other minor fish; thankfully the two (!) dogs were boarding elsewhere), moving all our stuff out of storage into the new house, and then spending over a month (including Xmas and New Year) trapped on the wrong side of a closed state border, unable to go home, due to an unfortunately-timed covid outbreak in Sydney, NSW, I finally got back to my new home, where I had previously only spent 2 nights all told. I hadn’t even had a chance to unpack anything yet!

After about ten days, I’d finally gotten settled in some, and was itching to get started on the long-postponed dinghy project. It was now 26th January, 2021.

I didn’t yet have any epoxy, fibreglass, or other necessary items, but I did have my woodworking tools and a couple of 3-legged folding sawhorses that I’d made while waiting for the dinghy plans to arrive, so I figured that was enough to get going with. I’d order the other stuff as needed.

The sawhorses were from plans provided by another YouTube channel & website, “Pask Makes” and are a brilliant idea. They do have some limitations (one end is a lot more stable than the other), and care needs to be taken when positioning and/or moving them, but for a compact solution, they can’t be beat. Part of my reasoning was, once the Benford Dory is built, they’d fold up nice and compact, and would be ideal for stowing on the boat.

Mine were quickly thrown together from rough framing timber in just a couple of hours, for a cost of only $50 for the pair (most of which was for the all-stainless-steel hardware). I figured that later, I could extract all the hardware, buy some better quality timber, and re-build them properly.

So. Out to the shed I go, and start rearranging things to make some space. Yes, there’s a lot of stuff not yet unpacked. Consider this a warning for how messy the shed looks in the following pictures. What can I say? it’s all about priorities!

All the panels and bits had only been roughly cut out, so there was a lot of finishing work to be done. Panels needed to be trimmed down to their final dimensions, edges smoothed, curves faired, and all the pairs of panels needed to be made into exact mirror-images of each other. The pairs were clamped together back-to-back when trimming and shaping, so as to ensure they came out mirror-identical to one another. After all, the better the dimensions matched up at the edges, and the closer one side of the boat mirrored the other, the better the final fit, and the more symmetrical the finished dinghy would be. The entire afternoon of the first day was spent on this task.

Total time spent on the build to this point: 29 hours.

Next: Stitching the bottom together.

Chameleon Dinghy Tags:

2 thoughts on “Part 3 – Construction (finally) begins!

  1. Great stuff Gary, I think you should do also a series on how to build it on Medium some people for sure will find it interesting.
    From the previous post I hope I’m not among those roommates from hell.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, mate! I’ll look into that.
      And no, you are most definitely not among that group. I’d be happy to share a home with you any time!

Leave a Reply