Traditional Boat Squadron

Of Australia

Building Grey Noddy

By John Brickhill


Centreboard sailing dinghy
Designer: Ian Oughtred
Design: Shearwater
Construction: Glued Clinker (Lapstrake)
Rig: Gunter sloop
Length: 3.61 m 11’10”
Beam: 1.5 m 4’11”
Sail area:8.55 sqm 92sqft


Pacific Maple 6mm marine ply

Hoop pine

Keel and tiller: Kapur

Spars: Hoop pine

Centreboard and rudder: laminated hoop pine, glassed with 6oz cloth

Bote - Cote epoxy resin glues and surface coating

Aquacote polyurethane paint: Off white - Sand - Clear


Started October 2009
At Duck Flat Wooden Boats boat building course, Mt Barker, SA
Completed May 2013


Four years after starting to build, a light breeze fills the sails.


Construction started at Duck Flats Wooden Boats boat building school, Mt Barker, SA in October 2009. The building base, and moulds were already prepared, and the stem laminated and attached


Work started with fixing the transom and keelson, then planing the sides of the keelson, turning expensive timber into shavings.


The stem was faired to receive the planking.


Planks were cut out from 6mm Pacific maple marine ply


The first two planks (garboards) fitted and glued to the keelson and transom. The moulds are taped to stop planks being glued to them. Other boats are at a similar stage of construction.


Gains were cut in the upper edge of the garboard, and all other planks, so the planks had a smooth fit at the bow.


A pair of planks were cut, shaped and glued each day. The face of the transom was taped to stop glue sticking


A lap was cut on the upper edge of each plank, to ensure a close fit with the next one, using a plane and spokeshave. Planks were temporarily screwed while the epoxy glue set. After 10 days, eight planks were fitted on each side, the last two pairs still to be glued. The planks still overlap the transom and the inner stem.


Travelling home: at a rest stop near the Murray River. The boat was installed in my shed at home, and there were a few months of no building. During the next winter, the centreboard and rudder blade were glued up from strips of hoop pine, shaped and fibreglassed.


Planking completed


Ten layers of 2 mm thick hoop pine making the outer stem were soaked in hot water then bent to shape.


The outer stem was then laminated on the boat, to get the exact shape.


After 9 months of some weekend work in the shed, the hull is complete with the outer stem shaped and joined to the keel, the bilge runners and rub rails fitted, the screw holes filled and the first coat of epoxy applied. It is ready to turn over.


The gunwales are glued on. A brace holds the boat from spreading, and the transom projects up from the boat.


Knees were laminated from 10 strips of hoop pine.


Transom knees were made from left over timber from the centreboard


The aft deck is framed, rear bulkhead and inspection hatch fitted, stern knees fitted, the transom cut to shape and a hole cut for the tiller. Inside the buoyancy tank is undercoated.


The breasthook fitted, and foredeck framing with king plank notched into deck beams


The fore bulkhead with cut out for hatch fitted, centreboard case (made previously off the boat) installed, undercoat applied to the inside of the buoyancy tank.


After lots of masking tape was applied, inside the boat was painted


The foredeck was shaped and forced into the curve of the deck beams and glued down


The aft deck was fitted, the main thwart fitted across the centreboard case, and the starboard seat glued in


The seats, decks and transom were painted with clear finish. The mast step has been fitted. The boat is being turned back over for painting


With the top plank and stem masked to cover the clear finish, the outer hull was painted with two coats of undercoat and two coats of top paint


The mast of hoop pine was glued, tapered, and here is sixteen sided on its way to being round. The work on the mast used a drawknife and planes.


A trolley was built, and here the boat is being launched for the first time


An overcast day and light winds for a first sail. Mainsail reefed despite light winds.

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