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17' Honky Dory Height

Posted by resford 
17' Honky Dory Height
June 22, 2019 02:20AM

Thanks to Sandy and everyone who has provided the wealth of knowledge on here.

I am trying to decide which of the HD to build for my first dory. I am leaning toward the 17' since it seems like the extra length isn't going to preclude it from most rivers I run including Westwater, San Juan, Ruby-Horsethief. But, it would also be able to run the Grand and Cataract.

Anyway my question is this. If I build with plascore and purchase two 5'x10' what would folks opinion on adding that extra foot to the side panel height? I don't really have reference for the side panel heights of a grand canyon dory, but was thinking maybe an extra 6 inches wouldn't be a bad thing for bigger water grand & cataract trips?

Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
June 22, 2019 04:29AM
Will say more tomorrow. The smaller HD has been down the Grand. Quite a few times actually. Just not with me in it. High side boats? There are obvious advantages. But they do become wind sails and are a lot harder to get into and out of.
Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
June 22, 2019 12:13PM
RE> All Plascore Boats. My river buddy Larry Hedrick (we did 8 days on the San Juan last month) built a hybrid Honky Dory almost 17' feet long. Larry took the original layout and added 24" inches or so in the middle, so his boat is longer but not wider.

It's a good boat. I rowed it for hours on end last month. Larry did increase then stem angle up front, which brings the front end of the bottom panel in toward the middle a bit and increased the front end rocker. His boat--as a result--may turn faster that it would have, had he not increased that stem angle, but the HD is a fast turning hot rod as it is. And now his boat punches into big waves more, where the old HD climbed up on each new wave like walking up a ladder.

Larry's got a good boat but that's the one thing he would take back. Larry's been down the Grand Canyon with it a few times and he said he wishes it was a few inches higher. How much higher? Perhaps Larry will chime in here.

Back in the 80s high sided open boats were popular in Oregon. They're still getting built but not as frequently as they once did. Decked boats make more sense. High sided boats are a nightmare to row in a stiff wind and you do almost need a ladder to get in and out of them.

I've built a few balsa core boats (a not recommended experiment) and a few all Plascore boats. Plascore is similar to balsa core but better because it doesn't soak up moisture. I used to think Plascore was lighter than fiberglass over plywood but it's not. Not much anyway. Plywood has its own stiffness so you only need to put one thin layer of glass on each side of it. Then you get a stiff durable panel.

With Plascore you have to add a lot of glass. That's a lot of layup labor and it's expensive. And all that resin adds a lot of weight. I only use Plascore for bottom panels now. 1/4" or 3/8" Meranti Hydrotech sides coated with fabric. I use what ever fabric is on sale at Raka, between 6oz and 10oz. The deck? I bought 3/8" inch Meranti Hydrotech for my current project.

I'm curious about using modern skin-on-frame canoe building techniques for at least part of the deck. Guys are building canoes you can pick up with one hand now. That is a light way to build. A white water boat might have a domed compartment behind the rower that bulges way up, to help make the boat easier to turn over if you ever flip it, sort of a Creature Craft Dory idea. Made of skin on frame.

The deck could be made in three major parts that all bolt down onto a gasket. Different builders could custom build each deck for different use styles on different rivers. I won't have any gunwale. My deck (as it does on the Dayak) will run from side to side at the top edge of the side panel for most of the boat. And the deck will indeed bolt down onto a gasket. Bulkheads will be screwed and caulked into place too, so they can be removed during ten year maintenance time. The hull can be all one molded unit but I think everything else, no matter how it's made, should bolt or screw on with liberal use of marine grade silicone caulk (marine grade silicone is different than hardware store silicone).

If a hull gets damaged it's a lot easier to fix if everything can be taken off, back to bare hull.

If any part gets damaged it's a lot easier to unbolt and replace a part that hasn't been permanently fiberglassed into place. We're not talking about mass produced consumer boats here, we're talking about hand made boats, put together by experts. Even if it's your first boat, you'll be an expert by the time you finish it.
Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
June 22, 2019 01:23PM
RE> how to build all Plascore

The way I build plywood/fiberglass boats is different than what I do for Plascore. For wood/fiberglass I make temporary chip board or 1x6" trapezoid formers that look like boat ribs. Then i cut out the side panels and fasten them directly to the formers, using regular 24" inch layout lines on the side panels. Attach a stem. Attach a transom and it now looks like a boat without a bottom panel. Straighten it all up. Press a 4x16 panel down onto the upside down plug and trace out the edges. Cut the bottom panel tight to the trace lines. Now make it a boat.

When I did balsa core I made much the same thing but I used cheap AC plywood on the formers and used it as a male plug to form the balsa over and onto. When I made all Plascore I did the same thing.

Larry Hedrick made Plascore panels but treated them like plywood, attaching them directly to temporary formers, with screws, as if they were plywood panels. At some point, when the boat was far enough along he backed out the screws and puttied the screw holes.

There is always more than one way to skin a catfish.

Here's a photo of my plywood upside down plug idea in action, while making the Dayak.

Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
August 18, 2019 11:34AM
Can Plascore be sanded and shaped with standard disc and orbital sanding equipment?
Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
August 18, 2019 02:22PM
Plascore sheets have an ugly exposed-cells edge all around. For instance an edge like that will appear at the chine, no matter how you do it. I typically round that edge off a bit with a rasp or a sander. But not much.

When I glass around and over that edge I do trowel some thickened putty onto and into that edge. This will not fill any partially exposed honeycomb core cells. I'm not 100% sure it does anything but I do it and I get good results. So I'm not arguing with myself. Not about Plascore edges anyway.
Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
August 18, 2019 06:44PM
So do most people leave the edges square?
I have samples now. I guess I could make some noise here.
Re: 17' Honky Dory Height
August 19, 2019 12:39AM
At the chine you don't leave it square you cut it with the skillsaw at the side bevel angle. And then also round off the sharp outside edge a bit. But not much.
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