Positioning dory cover battens

I bought 4 batten supports for the dory where the battens will be sprung to support the boat cover.  Any suggestions on optimal positioning to shed water most efficiently?  Also, how to simplify the trial and error process to determine how much loft to give the battens.  I plan to rip the battens from knotless fir but perhaps another wood is better; suggestions?  The boat will be kept  on the trailer during the summer at a marina in a dry slip.  Winter, it's under a deck at home and has a suspended tent.

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RE: Positioning dory cover battens

 Anwylyd,  I just had a travel cover made for my dory by a local sailmaker here in Texas and dealt with the same issue.  At his recommendation, he made my cover to allow only about 8" of arch, so the amount of arch is likely determined by how tight/baggy your cover is.  I confirmed my loft by reaching under the edge of the cover and putting a folded over orange life jacket (PFD) on top of the strap holding the boat to the trailer. 

As far as where to position them, I will be using three battens because one of them will be replaced by using the lug rig mast thwart.  When using the cover, I'll take out the big star nuts and holding the mast thwart in place with normal hex head bolts (so the knobs dont wear thru the cover), and placing a PFD on top of it in the middle... that will be plenty of loft.  If your boat/cover are not going down the road, you wouldnt even need to take out the star nuts (if you have the lug rig). Then from the stern, my cover is cut to the shape of the transom, so it flares down to the height of the rails pretty well, so I will need one batten pretty close, like just a bit foreward of the aft bulkhead.  Then I'll just put two more battens equally spaced between the rear batten and the mast thwart. 

As far as the material goes, whatever you can find that is knot free is good, but his suggestion was to rip some pieces VERY thin and epoxy 2 together to still be thin enough and also be less likely to snap.  I havent gotten that far yet myself, so whatever you do, let us know! 

I'll be interested in hearing other people's experience on using battens.

Curt 830/997-8120 [email protected]

RE: Positioning dory cover battens

   Thanks, Curt.  Good idea for determining loft.  I have the CLC catalogue cover, and I do have the lug rig.  For all the dories that have been built and covers sold I would think this problem would have had dozens of solutions by now.  I'm rethinking the metal batten holders because I don't want the intrusions into places where hands go, nor am I fond of their permanence.  Could be painful and they don't add any aesthetics to the interior.  So I'm working out a simple way to have detachable wooden supports for the battens that also will allow me to extend the batten to the outer edge of the rails for better rain shedding.  I'll also have more control over the width of the battens.  I will mock up some of these supports in my woodshop and see how they work.  Might take me a while, since I still have the interior to finish!

Yes, definitely laminate thin strips.  I'll likely use waterproof titebond just because its so convenient to use and is on hand.



RE: Positioning dory cover battens

Hi Jim...I bought the metal bow supports but agree they arent very attractive and decided not to use them.  Are you doing inner rails with scupper slots? The sailmaker that made my cover's idea was to make a piece of wood covered by indoor/outdoor carpet thaty would drop into a scupper slot, come up above the rail just barely enough to route a slot to accept the batten.

My neighbor used pieces of PVC pipe down the center of the boat joined by "T" connectors and held up by "T" pipes that sat on the bottom..no glue, disassemble and put pieces in a drawstring bag.

So many ways to do it!

RE: Positioning dory cover battens

   I made some blocks to attach the bow sockets to that fit in the oar locks as I didn't want to attach them to the boat. I have three sets of oar locks. Then I had to add two more sets of bow sockets a couple feet from bow and stern as water would collect there. I did attach them to the boat at those points as they were far enough forward and aft to be out of the way when using the boat. If you would like to see pics of the oar lock blocks email me [email protected]

George K

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