The Mighty Auk, an Iain Oughtred Dinghy

As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to replace my crappy Livingston dinghy with something more appropriate to use with Bolero. Originally I was thinking of going with a the Chesapeake Light Craft Eastport Pram.

Although I still quite like this design, I have change my mind. I have decide to order the plans, and have a go at building the Auk dinghy designed by Iain Oughtred.

So why the Auk?

First, I am looking for a number of improvements over my current dinghy.
  • Better Aesthetics - Let's just say much better aesthetics. In my mind the Livingston dinghy is just plain ugly. It would be one thing if they were great dinghies, but I don't think that they are. I found that they are terrible rowers, and mine doesn't carry that much (we have the smallest one I think)

  • Load Capacity - One of the many downsides to our current dinghy is that it is really only a two person boat. So it is really a quite a challenge to take someone else sailing with us. Our hope is to be able to carry three, or four in calm conditions, so we can can go sailing with friends.

  • Sea-Worthiness - Often we row out to Bolero against a small westerly chop. Just enough, it seems, to splash over the bow of the Livingston and send water down the continuous center seat into my backside. In addition, with the twin hulls, the Livingston is very prone to steer into the wind. So in stronger winds it is quite difficult to row in a direction off the wind.
In my mind the Auk addresses all of these concerns. I find her quite stunning to gaze at and she is able to haul quite a load for her small size , 7' 10". Her proud bow and high freeboard should allow us to enjoy a comfortable and dry ride in all but the worst conditions.

But an equally important reason for building an Auk is that I have always had a small wooden boat itch. In fact my first boat was a Koralle bilge keeler that I never quite had time for. In addition, now that I have a small shop, I want to learn more about working with wood and boat building. I am, however, a complete novice. So plenty of mistakes and missteps await. I can hardly wait.

The plans are available from the Wooden Boat Store as the 7' 10" Acorn Tender

Or directly from Ian Oughtred as the Auk.

Iain's contact info is:
Iain Oughtred
Struan Cottage
Isle of Skye
IV51 9NS

Tel: 01470 532732
I think I am inclined to order the plans, via mail, from Iain. Update: I dropped a check in the mail to Iain today (3 August 09).

Being that this is my one stop location for all things Auk, I am adding some some additional design info.

And links to forum posts that have building information.
And finally a collection of pictures from the net that I wanted to save and have handy.