Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rushton Construction Details

On the WoodenBoat Forum someone asked for construction details for this dinghy and I thought that was a good idea, though its bitterly cold today and even colder in the barn where I store the boat, but I did find some decent shots from the day I brought the boat home.

Of all the things missing from the dingy the saddest might be the match to this rowlock.  I know there are sources for replicas but it would be fun to have the real thing.  I didn't get oars either.

A small thing but no doubt intentional: the curve of the grain matches the curve of the rabbet in the deadwood.  Some historic photos of the Rushton shop show dinghies and the entire deadwood is radiused parallel to the rabbet.  My understanding has always been that this allowed boats to be launched off ships with less risk of banging gunwales.

You can make out here how the rubrail transitions to almost a square edge at the location of the rowlocks.  Its beautifully done and of course easy and functional and with the hardware on it the transition seems to disappear. 

Note the thwart risers are about as minimal as you can get.  Obviously a weight savings, handy in a dinghy.  I regret that I built a strongback around the boat to preserve its shape (slightly hogged) and I didn't weight it beforehand, but its extremely light.

The frames are half-round stock, possibly red elm.

Rushton made no attempt to use natural crooks for the breasthook or quarter knees.  They might be mahogany.  The breasthook is two pieces for strength and I need to investigate how the two halves are fastened.  That particular detail is visible in the sketch in Rushton's 1903 catalog (reprinted by the Adirondack Museum) but note that the sketch of the dinghy in the catalog is not at all reflective of the overall shape of this boat.

I can see daylight through much of the stem at the rabbet so I think it is two-piece, with an inner stem and a cutwater applied.  All steam-bent stock, of course.  This is a faster and more fool-proof way to make a stem.  I did the same thing building the Rushton catboat, though I laminated material.

There is a link to my builder's log at the bottom of the page.

The lifting rings fore and aft are simply a piece of flat stock with a hole in it that passes down through a metal pad.  The flat stock is screwed into the inside face of the transom and stem.


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