Mike’s first dory was Wild Thing. A full rockered, narrow-tailed McKenzie with a 1″ thick floor and 5/8″ sides. She was a portly gal, weighing in at over 800 pounds empty and drawing, her previous owner said, eleven inches unloaded. Mike and I did a bit of work on Wild Thing’s hatches and decks last spring, got her salable, and he was able to find a new owner for her in Oregon.

So now we are going to build his new dream boat, along the lines of Bears Ears, the Briggs-plus-25% that I designed and built last winter. My brief autumn holiday ended Monday evening when Mike showed up with a trailer heaped with plywood and Port Orford cedar. We off-loaded it and went to bed, ready to start the build the next day. The boat’s shop name is Wild Child. 

Day 1

We started out milling a bunch of cedar for the rib sections.

Meanwhile Bryan and I ground away at the floor plywood, making four pieces into one great big one.

Inside Mike, Cricket, Chelsea, and Pat began milling out and assembling ribs.

With with 42-feet of 8:1 bevels ground along the edges of the half-inch plywood sheets, we assembled them into a really big, heavy thing.

You gotta eat sometime.

Day 2

We schlepped the big heavy floor blank outdoors for a bit of clean-up and prep work.

We scarfed Wild Child’s side panels and got them glued up.

And went to work finishing off the ribs, installing bulkheads, making a transom, and carving the rolling bevel into the bowpost.

Almost ready to build a boat.

Day 3

Mike is making a nice flat edge on the two side-panels so we can cut and drill them identically in one fell swoop.

Two panels being cut…

…marked, and drilled.

And the games begin. Fasten the sides to the bow post and start installing ribs.

And hour and a half later it looks a lot like a boat.

Clean up the chine and prepare to install the floor.

Cricket is inside the boat working on the inner chine, which is composed of long, thick strips of wet, gooey, biaxial fiberglass.

And we seal Cricket permanently into the boat.

Day 4

Oh my. It snowed. I guess winter is really going to come.

Time to fill screw holes and smooth out the chine corner.

Dress Wild Child in her finest silk.

And impregnate her!

Not bad for four days’ work. I wonder if Cricket is still in there?