Planking the Deblois Street Dory

Deblois Street Dory Building

Bar Harbor, Maine

Planking the hull

I spent the last 24 hours in Bar Harbor helping a customer get the planking going on his DSD. He has been pining after his own D' Street Dory for a few years and is very excited about his project. We met at the Small Reach Regatta, where he and his wife row and sail their current stitch-and-glue dory. He wanted to build a real dory and one with more performance and capacity than the others available. He chose the DSD!

Hull #1 built in 2007, on the shores of the Maine Coast

He set up the strongback very accurately, scarphed planks, and got everything ready for my visit. I arrived at 11am and after the 10-cent tour of his new, beautiful, custom house perched on the edge of Acadia National Park, we got to work. By 8pm we had the garboards fit and glued and looking perfect. Pretty good time for 2 people going hard at it and taking a lunch and dinner break, too. Garboards are often a two-day project because they can be the trickiest to fit.

The latest mkII version of the DSD under construction on MDI

The DSD kit is available, just give a call at 207.602-9587 or email

A Real Hull Model

The Calendar Iands Yawl

Hull Modeling in the flesh: part 1

CNC cutting parts for a quarter scale model

The 3D computer model is sliced up into sections that become molds for defining the hull shape.

You can see the molds formed now, trimmed to the hull surface,  and one more to go!
The hull is planked and ready to be broken up into the "flat" 2D geometry.

A neat screenshot that shows the 3D and 2D nature of the work: in the foreground is the 3D hull model. In the background is the geometry flattened onto the "construction plane".
This is the file with the 2D geometry as received by the CNC cutter, CNC Routing & Design in Camden, Maine. Tim will load the file into his Shopbot software, make toolpaths, and cut the parts.

The ShopBot machine cuts to my lines with a couple thousands of an inch accuracy. These are the planks of the boat, the bottom keel plank in the center and the sheer strake to the far right and left.

The molds of my quarter scale kit around which the planks will be wrapped and checked for fairness and for fit.

A trip to sail the Deer Isle Koster aka, "KDI"

The Deer Isle Koster is a new kit that will hit the market by November. We are very excited about
this addition to the catalog. I finally had a chance to sail with the designer, Bruce Elfstrom, at his summer camp on Deer Isle in Maine. Bruce designed these boats for his daughters to sail. It is always wonderful to visit the provenance of a great design and to sail with the designer!

I was most struck by how high the KDI pointed sailing upwind. The foils and jib headed lug rig are very effective. I was also struck by how nicely the helm balanced and, overall, how easily she sailed. I was most satisfied about this last point because this little boat will make a great boat for introducing children to sailing small boats.

Both well over 6' and 200 pounds (I will not go into specifics!), Bruce and I had plenty of room in the cockpit with room for kids and under deck places to stow snacks and other gear.

We are currently finishing the 3D model work which will be used to make the 2D parts that are cut on a CNC routing machine and become the basis for the complete kits. To learn a ton more about how this works please read a PDF about boat kitting.

Also feel free to visit the WoodenBoat Forum thread on the KDI.

Why the Yawl Rig for the Goat Island Skiff or for any boat?

I am asked this a lot and wanted to put something together to answer this and other questions. I added the mizzen to the GIS because I wanted a boat for myself that would be easier to singlehand on longer excursions and for use in sail-and-oar events such as the Small Reach Regatta, the Texas 200, and other RAID events like the Shipyard School Raid and Sail Caledonia. Many, many of the boats you see in these events have a mizzen.

For my own use of the GIS, a mizzen is needed for a variety of reasons:

1) to hold the boat into the wind while the sail is raised, lowered, or reefed while singlehanding or sailing with my kids.
2) to hold the boat into the wind while rig is unstepped and stowed and oars are rigged for rowing
3) to be able to hold the boat to windward or to heave-to while underway for taking short breaks to move people, re-stow gear, or go to the bathroom with out getting blown off course.
4) to be able to back off docks and beaches and control steering in tight spaces
5) to be able to 'tune' the weather helm felt by the helmsman by trimming the mizzen

Other FAQ's

Is the designer aware of your changes to the Goat Island Skiff?
Yes, I have a great working relationship with Michael Storer whom I consider a friend. He and I correspond often and he has OK-ed the addition of the mizzen and trusts that I will design and build the new rig so that it fits in with the concept of the GIS. For example, all pains will be taken so that this addition adds very little weight to the boat. The mizzen mast will be a lightweight, birdsmouth mast.

Is the lug sail the same and is it stepped in the same place or how has the lug's position been adjusted for the new mizzen?
I have designed new sail rigs for boats before, for dories actually. After drawing the new rig, finding the new center of effort (CE) of the added sail area, and moving things around, the new CE and old CE are in the same place such that the centerboard does not need to be changed. In the GIS, the lug is the same standard sail (105 SF) and it will step in a secondary partner/step forward of bulkhead #1. It turned out that the lug needs to be moved forward only 9" keeping things tied into the bulkheads for structural integrity and simplicity. The original mast step is retained so the boat can be sailed with or without the mizzen. The GIS Yawl is is still the usual standard GIS, but with an added mizzen. You can take the boat out with more flexibility in rig choice.

Has one been built and how well does it work?
I expect to have a GIS Yawl on the water this summer, my personal boat, but orders for sail rigs and boat kits may prevent that from happening. However, one kit is going to a customer who will be doing the yawl and plans to be sailing this summer in the Texas 200. I have no doubt that the boat will go as well as the standard, upwind and downwind, but with the added benefits of the mizzen for RAIDs and sail0and-oar type of use. If the mizzen is not needed, leave it ashore and use the Goat as the standard lug-only arrangement.

You can learn more about How to Use the Yawl Rig in my blog post.

or the Goat Island Skiff page on my website.

Goat Island Skiff Boat Kits Available

Our first kit offering at Clint Chase Boatbuilder is a plywood and timber kit for the Michael Storer designed Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Why buy a kit? Folks are sometimes offended when I suggest this, feeling that it is thought they don't have the skills to make the parts themselves, but that is not it at all. We build all of our boats in the shop from kits!!! Even professionals do it and the reason is that it makes the build process quicker and smoother and the result is more professional. In the case of the GIS, we have made parts and built the hull of the boat, making all the small tweaks that professionals with a good eye make to the lines of the boat to make them look eye-sweet. Any design, no matter how well drawn, will need some eyes on it in 3D to make final tweaks. We also have checked bevels and made some adjustments for a rabbeted gunwale, which covers the end grain exposed at the top of the gunwale. Our kit captures all these professional practices so you can get a better boat. Currently, kits are cut per order, but we may move to CNC when volume increases.

We were attracted to this design initially because of the sail plan, a beautifully proportioned Balanced Lug. Upon further reflection we noticed something was missing for RAID sailors and for others who might use the boat as a sail & oar craft. It needed a mizzen. A small mizzen gives great control of a small boat, allowing one to lie head-to-wind for reefing at sea or for heaving-to. It allows you to back off a beach or a dock, with practice. It is useful for trimming the sail plan, adjusting weather helm to create "feel" in the tiller. A mizzen makes single handing much easier, especially for switching between oars and sail, because the boat will tend itself and stay head-to-wind while you stow oars and fidget with things at the mast. For a useful diagram showing How to Sail a Lug-Yawl, by James McMullen.

We can supply a kit for the GIS as well as the mast and spars. Masts are round, hollow using the Birdsmouth technique. Yard and boom for the GIS are solid, laminated Northern White Spruce. Laminated spars stay straighter over time with changes in moisture content in the wood. We can make custom 9' oars specifically designed for the GIS. Rowing in the Goat Island Skiff is quite enjoyable, whether it is from the dock to a local area with wind, or coming back when the wind has petered out. Products for the Goat Island Skiff can be seen in the GIS Flyer on our website Goat Island Skiff Page.