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Cygnet Two 

A flat iron dinghy from two sheets of plywood.

Since my goal has been to find a good small boat for kids to build with their parents, it occurred to me that parents would probably prefer to be able to be in the boat with their kids before setting them off on their own. 
As much as I enjoyed building Herb's OSS design, I ultimately decided it would be good to design a 2 sheet skiff that could have about 400 lb capacity with only slightly more building effort than the OSS. Mike Goodwin's creation also inspired my doodling. Check out his article at the Duckworks Mag.

The lines for the basic hull came together pretty quickly, but while I was struggling with all the details I ran across Jim Michalaks prototype plans of his "Slam Dink." It was almost the spittin' image of my boat but all the details had been worked out. I sent him the $15 in a heart beat.

As it turned out, I started tweaking his design right away (boat designers just hate that) and after I realized I was gradually metamorphing his Slam Dink into my Cygnet 2, I gave up and decided to build my own boat instead. Sorry Jim, I tried, but I think I'm a hopeless tinkerer.
Cygnet 2 hasn't quite hit the water yet, but here are some notes and photos of the process.

(Any small blue framed images can be clicked to view them larger.)

After using Gregg Carlson's Hull design program to give me the dimensions for the stem, sides, frame and transom, I began making some sawdust. 

From this angle you can see the gentle S curve at the bottom of the sides. Glad I don't have to come up with that making lots of little models.

First, some true confessions.

I'm always trying to make the most from the least, and so I found myself trying to maximize everything about this little boat. Maximum beam, maximum side width etc. Well, I learned that just because a thing CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. Unfortunately my cute little card stock model didn't make this error in proportions very obvious. It took a full sized boat staring back at me for me to see I had a problem.

After attaching the sides to the stem and bending them around the frame, it started becoming apparent that I'd drawn a fat, tubby, chunky boat... I retreated to my "moaning chair." 

After realizing that this was MY design so I could change it, I slimmed her down by simply sliding the frame up, until I liked what I saw. Slimming the sides was not going to be as easy though.

I decided to clamp a guide strip for  my circular saw to rest on and set the blade to a shallow cut and lop off the offending side height. Ta daaa... not so hard after all.

kerfcyg.jpg (13475 bytes)

After "I saw the light" shining through my careful incision...

 trimpeel.jpg (18694 bytes)

I pried it loose from the transom and stem and peeled it away.


I thought, Ahhhh... that's more like it.

She hasn't hit the water yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Next... the saga of the dastardly breaking inwales!