Catch up time again.

My college pal Larry brought in his old Tatman drift boat, Josie. We tried to save his original floor and chines a few years back but it was in vain. A subsequent adventure with the bottom of the river sealed its fate. Time for a new industrial floor and chines.

And a new bit of side while we’re at it.

I was quite pleased with myself to have prepared the new floor before Larry arrived, only to find out it was a 54″ floor. Back to the scarfing board.

The new bottom went on smoothly and Lydia and I did the inside chine massage.

Larry trimming off the new rubber outer chine.

Roy and Larry cleaning up interior details. Josie is now ready for a few more decades of fun in the sun.

An after hours jam with astounding local talent.

Arch rival and best friend Andy came down for a Briggs-a-thon adventure. For years there’s been a lot of questions about what is the actual original Briggs Grand Canyon Dory design. There seem to be a lot of variations and opinions. But we now have, in addition to lines taken of Andy’s 1981 undestroyed Briggs, Cottonwood; The Ouzel’s undestroyed 1973 lines, a mysterious rosetta board from Jerry Brigg’s shop with angles and numbers along with a sidepanel pattern; and just for fun, lines off an original Briggs Rogue RIver Special. We didn’t expect any revelations, but we did want to compare them and see what we could find.

Here is the bow. Blue is an original Rogue River Special–the design that allegedly preceded the Grand Canyon dory and was its basis. Brown is the 1973 Ouzel; green is the 1981 Cottonwood.

We have yet to fully analyze this, but the later boats definitely had a much lower bow, but both were quite a bit higher than the old Rogue River Special. The remainder of the hulls are very similar. Stay tuned. More to come on this.

Garret came down from Vernal to search for some nice oars buried deep within the bludgeons he has rowed with for a few years.

We whittled off 30% of the wood and found three sweet oars hiding inside.

But back to the Tandoris.

Vaquita headed home with Brin and he soon had her on the San Juan with his other Fretwater boat, Diamond Desert.
He gave it a four thumbs up review.

We put the glass bottom on and ground out another set of rubber chines–pulling them through the table saw to cut the 30 degree bevel, routing the upper cornar, then dragging them across the belt sander to rough them up for bonding.

With the boats right-side up, we frame in and gutter the deck supports.

A few adjustments.

Here is the slot for a breakdown spare oar. We think nine-footers will be perfect for this boat, but that’s too long to house a full spare.

In with the plumbing.

More guttering.

With the gunwales clamped on we prepare to deck the beast.

Getting ready to glass gutters and perimeter joints.

Then for a defining move. Clamping the gunwales into design position, then adjusting them to eye for the perfect curve. What’s amazing is that it’s always pretty unanimous as to what looks best.

Next we mount the gunwales.

Creating rims for the hatch lids.

Hinging is a fine art, and Cricket a fine artist.

On with the oarlock stands.

For most boats we now build, we have to go through a lot of nonsense to make the deep footwells functional. That involves two things I hate to see in a boat: plumbing and electricity. But here we are.

And now for the funnest part of all, the paint job. Here are the color sticks for our growing collection of Kirby Paint.

Oh my god. So pretty. Rich Red, Reddish, and Straw.

Figured Cottonwood bowpost from Brin’s sawmill.

And matching stern trim.

Vladimir the Master Sign Painter is here. He designed the font and is now painting it on. We are trying out copper for the letters. And we like it.

Cricket lobsterfying the decks.


And the transom.

An irridescent walnut tow brace.

We’re in love with this little beast.

As always, Martin Litton glowers over us, keeping us in line.