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Sit on top white water

Posted by Sandy 
Sit on top white water
August 20, 2020 03:34AM


Here's a just thinking out loud idea. If you think about a typical decked white water dory, say one made with 17' or 18' foot side panels that ends up roughly 16' long with a 54" bottom etc, and then if you very roughly estimate the number of cubic inches of open space below the gunwales, which is mostly the large "holes" in the deck where people sit, but also includes the space above the deck and below the gunwale, you get something like 50' cubic feet of open space (that might be a bit high or low--this is just a stab at an idea).

In other words if you nose into a particularly huge wave or dive into a nasty hole and fill the boat completely, you've just added something like 500 to 700 pounds of additional payload that takes more than a few precious seconds to bail and drain. That extra payload makes a dory almost unmanageable, exactly when you need maximum maneuverability rather than least.

In a canoe or a kayak paddlers are content to sit all day long with their legs stretched forward rather than down. If white water dories were built more like a sit-on-top kayak, where you only get a slight depression the length of your legs forward from a seat, and if the deck went from side panel top to side panel top, then the boat would only gain 50 or maybe 70 pounds of additional weight when temporarily swamped. If that much.

This tiny boat shows what I'm trying to envision in a bigger boat. Does that make sense or scents to you?
Re: Sit on top white water
August 23, 2020 10:43PM
You might enjoy looking Brad Dimock's small decked dories....they look to be about a 9 or 10 foot side panel. Fretwaterlines blog, The boat featured is peekaboo. December 2019 blog shows the boat, earlier blogs show the build.
Re: Sit on top white water
August 24, 2020 11:20AM
Yes Brad Dimock's small boats are super cool. The (Lincoln?) Frye family has built some cool mini decked boats too, and done the Grand Cayon with them.

In Oregon there have been quite a few scaled down open boat mini drifters too. Them and so many others have built scaled down McKenzies--when it was my turn I was hoping there was still an opportunity for some new ideas.

I made it square ended so you could throw it in a pickup. And wide because I like wide. 9' feet long and 54" wide. Low for some reason. I'd make the next one 3" inches taller. But I'm 72 and winding it down. I'm finishing my last new design now. From here on out it will be rowing and repairs only. I hope.

My last new design (still in the works, incorporating some of the ideas above) will be my last. At that point. I'll have made my contribution. Such as it is.

Yesterday I worked in the shop for the first time in five months. I'm slowly recovering as a Covid-19 long-hauler. Been smacked down since mid-March. I am rebounding. Slowly but steadily.
Re: Sit on top white water
August 24, 2020 11:34AM
....in my first attempt at a one man I simply scaled down a Buffalo boat. It ended up with a 36" wide or so bottom. It sure was fast and fun to row--once you got into it. Getting into it and out of it was a problem. I must have gone behind-over-tea-kettle two or three dozen times before I took my sawzall to it and built a wider one.

Now I'm building a big boat. Will it's end result be the sawzall? We'll see :=))
To make something new you have to take chances. Sometimes it even works out.
Re: Sit on top white water
August 25, 2020 01:50PM
I found a photo of my first oneman boat. Which I took the sawzall to eventually. Getting into it and out of it without arse busting was just too hard and unpredictable. It needed to be wider. The date stamp on this photo is 2004.


A nine foot boat that comes to a point at one end cannot be wide. Catch 23. Square-ended makes wider easier. I made this one high-sided because I wanted a small boat that could still challenge big water. My ideas eventually evolved toward lower, wider and decked. And hence the current Dayak. This boat was a failure. But failure is useful. Sometimes very much so.


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