Sneaking up on Perfection

For the first time in my short design-build career, I am finally in the stage I have longed for, that is, to be working on mk II and mk III+ versions of already successful boat models. Thus the blog title, "Sneaking up on Perfection". This is certainly the case with the Echo Bay Dory Skiff (EBDS), my first kit, based on a design a friend had drawn 26 year ago. I've built many Echo Bay's with families, corporate teams, and students. When it came time to start the kit business, it was obvious to begin with the EBDS. At that time, I had no idea how powerful 3D modeling programs could be and it didn't matter, I was a long way from knowing how to draw a line segment in 2-dimensions!

The original Echo Bay (left) at 26 years old and the mkIII version as a kit (right). 

The EBDS is the last of my boats to get modeled in the computer. After a couple weeks of side-work, I have just finished the new model. The improvements are:

  • improved sheer for aesthetics and sailing purposes
  • slightly longer (now 11' 10" LOA)
  • increased freeboard (about 1")
  • more interior options: enclosed plywood tanks for flotation and 2 different solid-wood thwart arrangements.
  • improved sprit sail shape and new lug rig option
  • dedicated oar plan for the EBDS
  • paper plans will be available as well as full size patterns (FSPs) and a plywood kit
The new lug rigged option

Next step is to break the model apart and develop the 2D geometry. I'll start by unrolling the planks and flattening the bulkheads, frames, and other hull structure. This process of generating 2D geometry takes very little time (maybe 2-3 hours). The time consuming part is drawing the plans for how to make these parts from scratch and drafting the construction drawings so she can be built as designed. This will take another couple weeks of side work. Then the CAD files for cutting on a CNC machine will need to be made, another couple days of side work. 

This model shows the standard solid wood thwart arrangement, but a plywood (flotation) tank option is a new addition.

Phew. A lot for a 12-footer. But on par for creating what will be the best 12-foot sail and oar skiff the market has seen for a long time, perhaps ever! But this photo shows why I do it: adventures with the kids.
A recent outing in the EBDS with the skipper (the one in the stern).