Key Largo Carolina Dory Build #6: mounting bracket, glassing keel, priming

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Blog entry by ccarrington posted 09-01-2017 03:12 AM 2659 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Keel and Bracket Framing Part 6 of Key Largo Carolina Dory Build series Part 7: Paint and Flipping »

After building the engine bracket, the first step was to glue and screw it level to the transom. At this point, it is just 3” exterior screws.

Then plywood was put on the frame in the same manner as the boat. 1/2 inch for sides and 3/4 for the bottom and back. Then everything is sanded and fared smooth.

Next it is wrapped in two coats of fiberglass including all the seams so it is one with the hull and sanded smooth. My plan is to put 8 long bolts through the frame of the bracket and the frame of the transom to completely hold it together after i get the boat flipped. I can not reach underneith with the current jig it is sitting on so that will have to wait. There are no plans or guides to this so i am hoping it will be strong enough.

At the same time, I wrapped the keel in two coats of fiberglass and sanded it smooth.

Next the entire boat is primed with two coats. I am using rustoleum above the waterline wood and fiberglass primmer and will be using rustoleum oil based marine paint. It is a one part marine paint and i plan to lightly sand between coats.

Hopefully if the weather cooperates, I will begin paining on my next day off.

Word of advice, never build a boat outside in florid during the summer, it is either thunderstorms or 100 degrees and about to rain. Next build will begin in the fall.

2 comments so far

View English's profile


682 posts in 2083 days

#1 posted 09-03-2017 04:34 PM

Chris, The boats looking good, I too used the rustoleum marine paint and primer. It goes on very well with rollers, just keep a wet edge and don’t go back and try to roll out any blemish. It gets a film over the top real fast. Let it dry then sand out the blemish and do another coat. It is also very easy to touch up from scratches. I have found that it will blister if left in the water more that 36 – 48 hours. I used VC Epoxy on the bottom of my boat and rapped it up the sides to the design water line. But after adding the cabin and pilot house and the fuel tank up forward it sits deeper than the design. So the inch or so that is exposed to water is what blisters.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View AlTriolo's profile


28 posts in 1173 days

#2 posted 01-02-2018 12:48 AM

Hi Chris,

I’m so glad I found your build blog. I’m building my (second) Spira boat and am also blogging on lumberjocks. I’m also glad to see that my friend John is following your build!

I found your blog while researching transom brackets. I’ve been leaning toward building one. Yours look great! My concern has also been that it would be strong enough. How did you go about designing it? I’ve been thinking of incorporating a swim platform like the one here:

I’m building in Northern VA. It’s in the teens here! My build is waiting till the spring. :-(


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