DUDLEY DIX YACHT DESIGN

Didi 38 & 40

Page 1 - Bulkheads & Stocks

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

Bulkheads cut and assembled. All have the centreline and waterline clearly marked as reference lines so that they can be accurately set up on the building stocks.

Note that the tringular fillets to which the joinery will be attached are all fitted. It is much easier to do this work on the workshop floor than when they are upright in the boat. The bulkhead and joinery section drawings are fully dimensioned to make all of this work as simple as possible.

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

The bulkheads are all screwed to legs that are bolted to the rails of the building stocks. They must be braced to keep them plumb and level. This is bulkhead A of the Didi 38 being built by Charles Papish on Johnston Atoll in the North Pacific.

This build is on a concrete slab, so the legs of the building stocks must be bolted firmly to the concrete.

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

Bulkheads being set up in succession, working aft from the bow. I painted mine with white primer to protect them because I was building outside.

Work as accurately as you can when setting up the bulkheads but don't be paranoid about it. You will find that there will be small movements day-to-day, due to the building stock timbers swelling and shrinking with changes in humidity. It should not be more than a millimetre or two and you will drive yourself crazy trying to correct for these minor movements.

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

The bulkheads are set up complete with their frames and beams, where needed.

The longitudinal timbers running between the bulkheads are berth supports, on top of which the berth tops are loose-fitted. During construction they also help to make the structure more rigid.

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

All permanent bulkheads and the transom are up. At the top of the photo a taught line is visible, over the centre of the hull. From this a plumbob is hung as a reference to get the bulkheads centred and plumb. Use a waterlevel or surveyors level to get them all level.

At this stage I was already starting on the interior joinery. Locker shelves are visible between some of the bulkheads. They are cut slightly over-size so that they project a little outside of the hull. The edges will be planed back to the correct line just prior to fitting the skin.

Didi 38 radius chine plywood boats

Luigi Andriolo is building this Didi 38 in Italy. Here he has the bulkheads all set up on the building stocks and the temporary frame to support the stem is in place. This temporary frame will be removed after the backbone, sheer clamps and all stringers are glued in place.

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This page was updated 10 December 2004

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