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Thread: Want to build a Canoe but clueless about boats

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    130
    The earlier post about size and displacement being important to consider reminds me of the first strip canoe I built in 2014, a Wee Lassie II from Mac McCarthy's book. I am just over 7 feet tall and when I paddled this canoe my feet and eventually legs would go to sleep since they were up in the bow where the bottom was quite V shaped. I was fine for about 1/2 hour at a time, but then I would have to get out, otherwise when I did get out after a longer stint I would be unable to stand. Falling over backward into a lake is not a terrible experience, but it's a bit inconvenient at times. In 2015 I built a Kite (designed by John Winters) on the recommendation of a much more experienced builder, and it is both much more comfortable and handles much better. It's designed as a high seat solo but I use mine as a pack boat with a low seat due to my size. I've had it out in Lake Ontario in 2-3 foot waves pretty safely, but only for a mile or two at a time. It also does well in rivers or tight areas because it has differential rocker that makes it easy to spin around but it also tracks pretty well. I highly recommend the Kite, especially for taller/heavier people who may not fit in smaller designs nicely.
    Zach
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #17
    Michael,
    Welcome to the forum!
    Nice job on the canoe, that craft would be very usable in my area with a large river system fed by back waters, lagoons, wildlife refuges and other sources. I've seen the design before although refresh me if you would. What is the OAL, beam and approximate weight? You're certainly right about Mr. Storer, I've discussed his "Goat Island Skiff" with him in the past and he's very helpful. Even in the back waters of a refuge, there's occasionally some 1/2 waves, how secure is this boat in that kind of environment?
    Thanks,
    Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Mules View Post
    (oooh look, my first post! Hi everybody.)

    I built a plywood canoe a couple of years ago
    Attachment 383233
    It is a Quick Canoe from Michael Storer. It took me 4 weekends from buying the plywood to launch. The instructions were comprehensive. Since then, I've had it on rivers
    Attachment 383234

    lakes
    Attachment 383235

    and the sea where it handles up to 6ft swell just fine.

    For a first boat/canoe builder (as I was), I found the plans and instructions clear, straightforward and pretty much idiotproof. It helps that the designer has an active Facebook page, where I could ask questions and get answers too. Having said that, it's not the lightest canoe ever - his Eureka and forthcoming Viola designs are more elegant and lightweight - but it's pretty much bulletproof and with the added airtight bulkheads, will keep its gunwales above the surface when full of water (don't ask me how I know this).
    Last edited by Mac McQuinn; 04-06-2018 at 5:04 PM.

  3. Hi Mac,
    its OAL is just on 4.7m (about 15 1/2 ft, I think), beam is 83cm. I used heavy 6mm marine ply from Bunnings (because it was cheap) and added watertight bulkheads and an extra seat in the middle instead of a spreader, so mine comes in at around 33kg - light enough to lift onto the roof of my car, but heavy enough that put it on wheels rather than carry it for any great distance. I probably could have got the weight down to around 20-25kg with a better (but more expensive) and thinner choice of ply.

    It handles chop and swell just fine. I take it out in-shore on Bass Strait when the wind's not too bad and it handles little 2 foot shorebreaks just fine, and out the back is comfortable in 5 foot swells, even in a following sea (the airtight bulkheads help a lot with that). I've been on lakes in it with a couple of 20 knot blows, and it was fine with the chop from them.

  4. #19
    Michael,
    Thanks for all the information. I would have to make a few mods to get the weight down to a bare minimum(tired back) although it sounds like it would work really well for my needs. Did you use any epoxy or fiberglass in the construction? I might be able to carve a few pounds(kg) if I'm careful w/ the trimmings. I like the water tight bulkheads, I'm a decent swimmer although if you take a dip in cold water back in the refuge, it might take a bit to get back in the boat.
    Mac


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Mules View Post
    Hi Mac,
    its OAL is just on 4.7m (about 15 1/2 ft, I think), beam is 83cm. I used heavy 6mm marine ply from Bunnings (because it was cheap) and added watertight bulkheads and an extra seat in the middle instead of a spreader, so mine comes in at around 33kg - light enough to lift onto the roof of my car, but heavy enough that put it on wheels rather than carry it for any great distance. I probably could have got the weight down to around 20-25kg with a better (but more expensive) and thinner choice of ply.

    It handles chop and swell just fine. I take it out in-shore on Bass Strait when the wind's not too bad and it handles little 2 foot shorebreaks just fine, and out the back is comfortable in 5 foot swells, even in a following sea (the airtight bulkheads help a lot with that). I've been on lakes in it with a couple of 20 knot blows, and it was fine with the chop from them.
    Last edited by Mac McQuinn; 04-06-2018 at 9:28 PM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Mac McQuinn View Post
    Did you use any epoxy or fiberglass in the construction? I might be able to carve a few pounds(kg) if I'm careful w/ the trimmings.
    Mac
    Hi Mac, no fiberglass, except for at the outside seams. The entire construction was coated with epoxy inside and out, and all pieces epoxied together (no chines). And it has stood up to being heavily abused, being dragged over snags and rocks, bashed into submerged trees and bounced over logs and rapids. The keel being sacrificial helps, as it has soaked up some serious abuse.
    canoe bottom.jpg

  6. #21
    Michael,
    Thanks for the info. Perhaps a laminated hardwood 1/4" "shoe on the keel would provide some extra protection. Tougher than softwood, once it wears down, plane it off and stick a new on on.
    Mac



    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Mules View Post
    Hi Mac, no fiberglass, except for at the outside seams. The entire construction was coated with epoxy inside and out, and all pieces epoxied together (no chines). And it has stood up to being heavily abused, being dragged over snags and rocks, bashed into submerged trees and bounced over logs and rapids. The keel being sacrificial helps, as it has soaked up some serious abuse.
    canoe bottom.jpg
    Last edited by Mac McQuinn; 04-08-2018 at 8:21 PM.

  7. #22
    My father-in-law had the same desire and went to Brooklin, Maine for a week long course in traditional canvas canoe building. He was thrilled with the experience and knowledge base there and can't wait to go back for another course. It is far from you in Georgia but I believe they are quite popular with students from all over the country

    https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com/...nvas-canoe.php

  8. #23
    Hoang,

    Last year about this time I built a skin on frame kayak and I have to tell you it was an incredible experience. I've always loved boats and after doing a lot of research I went in this direction for a number of reasons. Boat building is a very deep discipline and there are a lot of methods for design and construction with the strong opinions to go along with them.

    Personally I learn best by doing and the skin on frame method of construction allows you to build with much less cost (all told I think I was under $600 including wood, skin, hardware, footrests, etc.) and iterate pretty quickly, all while learning about lofting, the jargon unique to boat building, wood selection, etc. For me it was also a departure from "fine" woodworking in that a lot of boat building is more or less carpentry - so don't worry about your card scraper! Things can move faster than if you were building a piece of furniture.

    I bought a book (Building the Greenland Kayak), did a bunch of research and then read an article titled "Lifting Offsets from Scale Drawings by Harvey Golden" which allowed me to come up with most of the dimensions needed to decipher Brian Schulz's kayak design called the F1. From picking up the book to paddling took about a month.

    I bring that up because his kayak is quite a good design and he has just released plans for a canoe he is working on - https://cape-falcon-kayak.thinkific....uilding-course. If I didn't already have a canoe I would absolutely be tempted. I didn't use one of his courses because I really wanted to figure out each step on my own and get into the history of these boats - a "journey is the destination" type of thing. But I would say if I had to do it over again I would just buy the course and get on with it.

    Here's what it looks like.


  9. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
    Posts
    420
    Where do you buy 18 foot cedar strips for a canoe?

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bukovec View Post
    Where do you buy 18 foot cedar strips for a canoe?
    1. Grow them and mill them.
    2. Learn to scarf shorter lengths to suit.
    3. Inherit a large fortune so you can afford to special order extra long lengths of stock. Twenty foot planks are to be had if you have the funds and the transport to handle them.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bukovec View Post
    Where do you buy 18 foot cedar strips for a canoe?
    When I built mine (pictures on page 1)... I went to a lumber supplier outside of Toronto. They had huge buildings to store wood indoors and let me rummage through the stacks of Western Red Cedar and I picked out I think it was 3 or 4 planks 20 feet long and about one foot wide. I took them back to where I live and just outside of town there is a Home Hardware store with a lumber mill in the back. I took the planks there and they used the big bandsaw to cut them into 1/4 " strips for me. I bundled them all up on the roof of the car and took them home and got started....

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