Radius Chine Plywood method? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-30-2007
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Radius Chine Plywood method?

As I've researched boats, I find that I'm really getting more interested in Dudley Dix's designs and his building methods. His radius chine plywood method seems fairly do-able to me, requiring only modest carpentry skills and just a careful attention to detail. I can do that!

What I'm wondering about is your impressions, if any, of his building method and boat plans. I'm thinking of doing the Didi 40cr (thicker skin than the 38) in a couple of years. That's not written in stone of course, but it's starting to become my point of comparison when I look at boats and plans on the web now.

This winter I want to make a dry run on the method by building a small and hopefully fun dinghy in my garage. I'm looking for something to sail and row about, mainly in the canals off the ocean in North Myrtle Beach, SC (we have a family place there). That seems like a good way to test my aptitude with the build method, not to mention a last chance at discouragement if things don't go well!

I have two questions that you may be able to answer. First, does anyone have experience or good knowledge about Dudley Dix's designs (what little I've found of him here is positive), and is he the only one who uses the Radius Chine Plywood method of construction? Second, do you know/can you recommend a good small open boat design (no more than about 13-14 feet) that uses a similar method which I can practice with? It's ok if the plans cost money, I just want to make sure I get a good feel for the overall method with the first attempt.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-30-2007
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You might want to ask Dix himself (via email) about a small boat design he might recommend for a trial run. Have you seen the article in Woodenboat about his backyard building project (38', I think)? It ran several years ago, but would be worth looking up. The Woodenboat forum is also a good place for info on construction techniques and results. His designs seem made to face possibly hefty conditions, but still perform.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Wow, great pointer. I didn't even know woodenboat existed.

Thanks, I'll go do some more research!
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Old 01-20-2008
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Radius Chine

To see a radius chine lines drawing and read an explanation of the idea, see
see my website dunnanddunnrealtors.com/Catamaran.html
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Old 01-20-2008
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Two other building techniques that may be of some interest to you are:

The KSS method, developed by Derek Kelsall.

The Constant Camber method, IIRC originally developed by the Gougeon brothers of West Epoxy fame. Limited to fairly long, skinny, high length-to-beam ratio hulls.

However, both of these methods are primarily used to build multihulls.
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Old 01-20-2008
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CyberJ...I think Jeff_H has quite a good working knowledge of some of the Dix designs...suggest you send him a PM and ask for comments on this thread.
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