Sea Otter

Sea Otter was designed for an adult night school class I was teaching in boat building, in which nine boats were built at one time. Actually the principles of construction used in Sea Otter are the same as used in many of our larger designs. Experienced gained in building her will be put to good use in building a mother ship, and then you will already have a good dinghy ready for her.

I have chosen to stay under 8 feet because I feel this is the most desirable length due to space requirements on most boats, and because of the standard length of plywood. Sea Otter has proven to row very well and carry three adults with ease, while not exhibiting any bad habits when lightly loaded with one person. The hull is essentially our New Epoxy Wood System (N.E.W.S.) which has been so successful but I have left out fiberglass entirely for the sake of simplification. Because of epoxy's excellent gap-bridging properties it is not necessary to have perfectly tight seams to produce a strong hull, but nevertheless a close fit should be attempted on all joints. Her construction is simplicity itself and the materials specified are stock sizes. A sailing version is available using leeboards, tied in place. In this way they are easily detached for rowing or motoring and there is no centerboard case to get in the way. The mast is a freestanding fiberglass pipe in two sections, which slot together. This keeps their length short enough that they can be kept in the boat along with the boom. The sail is loose footed and sleeves over the mast. Only a small outboard should be used as this is not a planing hull, and an undue amount of power will only damage the structure while not producing any faster speeds.

Many Sea Otters have already given years of happy use and it is considered easier to build than the Sabot, a similar type of dinghy. A combination of the traditional clinker style utilizing modern materials and using high-tech glues makes this an extremely simple, quick dinghy to build. Great as a family project there is something for everyone in this superb little boat.

Full kits are available with everything pre-cut along with detailed assembly instructions.

Design Specs

Designer: 
Bray Yacht Design And Research Ltd.
Year of Design: 
2001
LOA: 
7 '- 9"
Beam: 
4'- 6"
Materials: 
Wood
Propulsion: 
oars, sail, motor
Skill Level to Build: 
moderate
Available as: 
Kit & Complete Plans
Cost: 
Plans $25.00 with assembly book. Kits are available.
Contact Information: 

contact: Pat Bray
email : pat@brayyachtdesign.bc.ca
phone: 1 604 531 8569
address: P.O. Box 31015 RPO Luckakuck, Chilliwack, B.C., Canada V2R 0C4