Frequently Asked Questions
at least once anyhow)
I have started a support group
for those building or interested in the Flapdoodle HERE
How big a motor can I put on
I believe the Coast Guard and
other regulatory agencies limit it to 2 horsepower for a boat this
size. Modern 2 hp outboards run about 28 pounds (12.7kg)
waterproof fabric at the joints.
Is it exposed on
where it could become damaged in beaching the boat or is it somewhat
protected by what appears to be a centerline keel plan?
The seam for the most
part resides in a groove for protection.
work (the kind you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's) for construction or
would one need to use marine plywood?
was half through
the second Flapdoodle design when I found a sheet of luan [meranti]
that is the best piece of plywood I have ever found of any species. I
keep looking to see if they got more. Another sheet later from HD was
so bad it was not usable for anything structural, yet it had a
sticker from the manufacturer. The veneer was about 1/3 the thickness
of the good sheet.
Look for a thick layer of the final outside veneer with the
least fancy grain. IE, plain looking. Also, the good
sheet tested 20% lighter!
Voids: Some voids are hidden inside and you do not
there until you cut the wood. I was not as concerned about
voids since I discovered that I could squirt polyurethane glue
void. It expands as it sets.
Assuming that I
opted to leave out the daggerboard trunk, what would the Flapdoodle
It is not possible to
tell you that, since plywood varies + or - 20% weight. But I
can carry the folded part under one arm with all the options such as
daggerboard box. Figure about 40# (18.1kg) for the folded part.
opinion, could it be assembled and launched from the cockpit of a
This would depend on the
sailboat of course, but it is very easy to assemble
(a little more so than the Seahopper type). My guess would be
if you can
launch any other type of dinghy, you can launch a Flapdoodle.
Incidentally, the Flapdoodle assembles without any tools.
What is the folded
length of the boat? Is it still 7' 11" or is it longer?
is longer when closed... about 8' 2". This is due to the
changes between the open and closed positions. If you lower
the foredeck and stem (not the height of the boat) the overall closed
length is reduced.
Since much of the fore part is out of the water in use, you
start building the FD and when you get to the section where the front
plate is installed, cut off say, 6". The bowplate would have to be
wider of course, and so would the PVC front panel. Again, I had thought
of all this
during design, but keep in mind where the mast step, etc. would be if
you did this. Also, the skeg could be shortened if you do not
intend a rudder.
I add to the length of the Flapdoodle by splicing two feet (or more)
onto a eight foot panel cut from a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood?
strongback is an inflexible back bone that forms are mounted on in boat
make a very long and complex story short, the geometry is complex.
Small, seemingly innocuous changes can make big differences in the
A 1/16" removed to improve the fit in one place may have dire
elsewhere. To be honest, this is why the dinghy is 1/2" less in beam,
and a bit shorter than the intended 8 feet in length... So many 1/16"
cuts to get it right.
I found this out the hard way. The Flapdoodle design was
worked out on
a strongback with adjustable forms. I spent many weeks wrestling the
panels around on the forms and making tiny changes while keeping the
natural curve of the wood. There is more than just making a boat that
folds because the bottom and chine angles have to be maintained (the
entire length)in order to have a boat that handles and sails well.
leeboard be rigged instead in order to save weight?
Leaving the DB box
out will save some weight of the disassembled
boat and ease of building. I plan to add a
leeboard design later to the plans. But since this is a real dinghy
assembled, there is no reason any
dinghy style leeboard would not work. There are weight saving suggestions given as you go
through the plans.
been told the leeboard must be located at the widest part of the boat.
Is this so?
The reason this is said is because the
leeboards must be parallel to the direction of travel.
is the daggerboard in front of the seat and not in/under it?
My friends think it takes too much of the rare space in the
This would be my choice for maximum room
(included in the plans) then use a leeboard. . I would use a lug sail with the mast partner at the edge of
foredeck. (plans have been updated and now include this).
The daggerboard is angled to the rear, partly for safety in
something is hit, but it is the classic shape and recommended angle for
a sail dinghy. Plus, it solves the problem of "scooping water" when
under power. Quite a shock to see lots of water gushing up from the
daggerbox. If you KEPT the angle and put it under the seat it would be
too far back for most sails.
lady building a 'Doodle asked: To find the ideal position for
the maststep, I am told, the
of the body of the boat and the emphasis of the sail must be
the same position. Do you perhaps know, where a full equipped
Flapdoodle has its emphasis?
The choice of sail will
determine where the mast will be located,
and the location of the daggerboard should be over the center of force
for the sail. [a sail is included in the
you design a Hunky Dory as a companion to the Flapdoodle Dinghy?
kostet das Boot, was kostet die Lieferung nach Österreich?
[What is the price for the boat and for transport to Austria?]
Sorry. I do not manufacture boats.
Can I put my 84 pound (38kg)
horsepower motor on the Flapdoodle?
I doubt it. Is it steam powered?
it possible to build the Flapdoodle in aluminum, changing what
needs be changed?
question. Short answer is I don't know, but believe it possible. My
only real concern would be sharp edges near the PVC fabric hinge, but
with care even that would not be a problem.
newer wood adhesives such as Probond II polyurethane work very well on
aluminum. I have not priced sheet aluminum in quite a while, but it may
be a good choice in view of rising marine plywood prices. An aluminum
Flapdoodle with hardwood trim would be very beautiful indeed.