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What I really want to know is can I use the Carene drawing I have done, make a curved stem piece to a profile I like and get the panels to fit up properly?
A dory seems a simple enough design that my risk of wasting time and materials building to my own plans seems pretty small.
I like a curved stem, and aside from a bit of fitting to the curve, and cutting the rabbet, it's not much harder than a straight stem.
According to the software output, a straight line bow profile is the result of the develoment from a single plank sided hull. A two plank hull shows a defined knuckle in the bow profile, more planks smooths the curve. This is what lead me to conclude that the curved bow profile shown in the professional plans was the result of some other shaping of the planks - perhaps twist or some convex curvature in the forward sections.
The ultimate point of all this is that I'm not convinced I'll be happy with a flat bottom boat despite all the enticing plan descriptions.
So, I'd guess that it is usually possible to force the plywood to follow a straight frame and probably often possible to force the plywood to follow a straight stem, but for visual effect you may want to work in those curves that the plywood wants to take up.


Now, all of that said, keep in mind that as your boat stands, it looks to me like there is little twist in the sides of your boat so I would not expect the plywood to want to take up a lot of curve in the stem.
If you start adding twist to the sides, make sure you don't add too much because you may find it hard to get the plywood to take the twist you have drawn. You are discovering why nice looking straight sided boats can actually be rather hard to design! A fellow named Roger Fletcher wrote a wonderful new book, pub by Stackpole Books, on the river dories, history and design and plans and construction etc.
One thought on the stem shape though- an arch shape is stronger than a straight stem without other reinforcement. I have doubts about whether, given the quite small amount of curve we are talking about here, there is any real difference in strength. My two cents: Conically develop the panels, letting the hood ends fall where they will, without bending and torturing the plywood. If you maintain the top edge of the plank and the bottom edge of the plank what you do in between does not matter mark out your plank using Carene and then add a curve between the top and bottom edge, as long as both planks are the same the hull shape will not vary, I have done this many times without any problem.
I doubt the OP is around to hear these responses two-and-a-half years after the question was asked.
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It's really a comprehensive work and reminds me of the late John Gardner's scholarly life's work on small craft, and dories in particular.
Fit a false stem with a curved leading edge that does not deviate much from the shape of the panels. The alternative is to export your Carene file as an XYZ file and import it into freeship 2.6 from sourceforge where you can develop the bow as much as you like and create twists in planks which Carene is unable to do. Forgive me for making such a brazen statement, but i have perhaps the most prolific and seaworthy dory ever built. I can't make sense of it, but perhaps there is something very obvious that i am failing to understand..
This is not necessarily so because the stem and frames are not necessarily perpendicular to the direction in which the plywood is being bent. Bring your Page Float HOME CANOES KAYAKS navigate BOATS DRIFT BOATS CUSTOM BOATS OTHER PRODUCTS.
It is more likely to be true of the frames because they tend to be closer to perpendicular to the direction in which the plywood is being bent. IMHO, this will deceive all but the most discerning eye into believing that the whole bow is curved.
Skene's also has a section on the topic but in my opinion this is the one part of this otherwise excellent book that is utterly useless because it is such a convoluted method compared to the method laid out in Problems in Small Boat Design.
We offer exclusive Jackson Hole Float Trips for your radical or Snake River Wooden Boats Inc. Skene's has you work through an iterative process to try to get the developed surface that most closely represents what you want, whereas Sam Rabel's method starts with the plans you've drawn and allows you to determine how much curve there is to elements like frames and the stem.
I think the straight stem is a carry over from less boatbuilding skills and more fisherman skills, and a tight budget, and a desperate need to go fishing really soon.
I have met people here on the pacific northwest rivers who have rowed the same wooden river fishing dories that their parents or grandparents built over 30 years ago.



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