New Design - Freedom Solo

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Steve Killing
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New Design - Freedom Solo

Post by Steve Killing » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:34 pm

Recent discussions on this Forum have inspired me to move forward with a new canoe that has been on my list for a while. It is the Freedom 15’ 2” Solo. I am presenting the concept here for you to discuss and give your input - like most things in life we will not be able to satisfy all the people all the time, but we’ll see if we can create a boat that will serve most of you very well.

One of the starting points on this boat was the construction - since it has significant tumblehome near the gunnels, thinking of the construction process is important early on. I have done other boats (specifically the Chaa Creek ‘Slinky Ting’ an extreme tumblehome version of the mild mannered Chaa Creek 20 you see on this site) with the typical bulgy sides of large tumblehome boats. It wasn’t too bad for construction, but I think is not the best way to get narrow gunnels.

This boat has a chine below the gunnels that fades out forward and aft to produce the tumblehome amidships. The first cedar strip below the chine is set to be a smooth fair line and is the starter strip for planking. In discussions with Ted Moores he thought the process would be quite do-able. I also like the look of the boat with the graceful fade out of the tumblehome chine.

Current specs for the boat are:
Length 15’ 2”
Beam Max 30”
Beam Waterline 27” (at 250lb displ)
Beam Gunnel 26”
Stability Factor 94
Bow depth = 17”
Center Depth = 12”
Stern Depth = 14.5”

I have attached two images of the boat. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Steve Killing

Image

Image

Rick
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Post by Rick » Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:46 am

Steve, this looks great - I'm still trying to decide what my solo canoe will be and this might just be it. I had thought of buildng the 17' Solo Tripper, but it seems somewhat extreme for tripping purposes. I also thought of scaling down the 17' Freedom in all dimensions to about 90% of the original, to bring the size down to about fifteen feet but that also brings in uncertainty with stability and capacity, and I'd much prefer something unmodified.

Would it be possible to see a top view to see how much asymmetry is present, and some idea of how much rocker is in the keel line and the amount of wetted surface area?

One question that I had with the !7' Solo Tripper had to do with the extreme tumblehome amidships... if I went ahead and built it, would the abruptly-curved tumblehome be as strong as a more straight-sided hull, and would it be able to support my weight on the seat bolted to the inwales without flexing too much? Similarly, would the new Solo Freedom also be able to support the seated weight with the angled chine forming the tumblehome? Would the chine be structurally more or less rigid than a curved surface when supporting the seated paddler's weight? (I'm wondering whether the chine angle would create stress cracks when supporting weight, when compared to a gradually curved surface on the hull sides.)

The center depth is twelve inches - this seems to be the usual amount in a 15-16' solo, would the chined tumblehome affect performance in waves differently, maybe the outwale shown in the diagram would help keep the waves out. The hull appears to be flared amidships up to the chine, could this help deflect waves away when compared to curved sides... and what would the optimum load capacity be? (250 pounds is given, is this the upper limit?) Freeboard at max load?

Regarding wave-deflecting capability, would it be worthwhile adding a spray rail at the bow similar to Bluewater's Freedom 17 and would this help keep the canoe dry when paddling into waves?

Looking forward to seeing the plans when they become available... and thanks!

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:55 pm

Hi Steve
I've been wishing I had a set of plans similar to the Bell Magic, designed by David Yost!
Recently, I built a replacement seat for a Magic, and this gave me the opportunity to paddle and look at the hull.
I'm impressed by it's speed and handling!
If your design can compare to this hull? I'M IN!!!!!!
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:01 pm

If you could design it at 15ft 9in, that would be great, as that's as long a boat as I can get out of 16ft lumber!
I hate to throw wood away, when I can paddle it!
Thanks!
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

Steve Killing
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Location: Midland, Ontario, Canada

More Freedom Solo Thoughts

Post by Steve Killing » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:13 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. Here are some answers to your questions.

The bottom view of the hull is attached (thanks to Glen for taking care of my images).

Rocker is defined differently by different people. Since the profile of a canoe often has a lot of curvature near the ends I define the rocker measurement points at 90% of the waterline length (5% in from each end). At that point on the profile, measure the rocker above the deepest point on the hull. This boat has 3/8” aft and 1-5/8” forward. The wetted surface is 22.1 square feet.

The tumblehome, whether curved or chined, would be structurally about the same for hanging the seat. We may even want to look at supporting the seat with a cleat bonded to the inside of the hull.

If you imagine the chine with a big radius on it, that would be the equivalent curved tumblehome. In waves I would expect you to be well above the waves most of the time. If you do immerse the chine you will get a little more buoyancy than a curved version, but it will shed the wave a bit differently. I think the difference between the two would be very small.

The capacity would be from 150- 260 lbs canoe, paddler and gear. At 260 lbs there is 8.5” of freeboard above the water, at mid-length. Still comfortable.

The 1/4” wide spray rail that grows out of, and fades back into, the topsides of the Bluewater Kevlar/carbon version of the Freedom 17 that you mention, is a nice detail. That boat happens to be the only plug that I built for Bluewater, so I know how hard the sprayrail is to build in wood strip construction. I wouldn’t advise it - it is a weak spot and very difficult to execute nicely on a varnished wooden boat. So I think we’ll leave that detail out.

You mentioned the Bell Magic. I haven’t compared this boat, but as I recall the Magic is a bit longer and narrower than this one. The beam is the main dimension controlling stability and I am nervous about getting this boat to be too ‘elite’ for most paddlers. I, for one, would like to stay upright! This is the narrowest boat for BMax and BWL in the Bear Mountain Fleet, except for the Rob Roy which is a sit-on-the-floor boat. But I will listen if you say we are too beamy!

Regards,
Steve

Image

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:13 pm

The tumblehomed canoes I've built were not as extreme as your Freedom 15. Would you accomplish the sharp turns by using narrower strips, say 1/2 to 5/8in?

I would imagine that starting at the tumblehome's sharpest edge with the first strip, and work towards the shear would work. After that, return to the first strip and work towards the keel.

Sanding the tumblehome would be the next challenge.

I'd like to see a finished hull!

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

sedges
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nice

Post by sedges » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:53 pm

I would like it a little bigger displacement. 200 pounds of me, 80 of outfit for 2 weeks and 45 for the boat puts me way over the 250 optimum displacement. With slab sided hulls extra weight doesn;t change the way the boat paddles, but with the flare carried nearly to the gunnel added weight increased your waterline width.

I like the flare though and the assymetrical rocker. Boats like this handle wonderfully in the worst conditions. Just plan to design a series so the the larger paddlers can enjoy the same paddling characteristics.

I like the reverse curve in the tumblehome. I think it will be the best way to handle this with strips and it keeps the gunnels simple and level just like a straight sided canoe. The line of that break between the flare and tumblehome may need to be mocked up to try before going to far. Need to avoid a tortuous compound curve there.

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Erik, Belgium
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Post by Erik, Belgium » Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:27 am

beautiful boat Steve, certainly one to be present on my wishlist in coming years. I don't agree with the Bell Magic to be too tippy; it 's narrow for sure and not as stable as really wide canoes, but it has excellent secondary stability and you get used to it quick enough.
Having built a 38SPL stripper with decent amount of tumblehome, the chine here is a different way to go, but shouldn't be a problem for building or sanding (Jim). I 'm in the process of building a strip version of a Skin on Frame, and have had no problem in maintaining the edges in the hull either (little hand sanding with a longboard).
I'm interested in building this Solo Freedom (but just not now). Too many boats, too little time...

Erik, Belgium.

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canoeblderinmt
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Post by canoeblderinmt » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:18 am

Steve,
This is a very intriguing design. I think the idea of keeping the gunwhale width narrow but retaining the initial stablity using a chine is pretty damn smart. Besides, there would be a pretty high "cool factor" to this design. It's a little too small for me, being 200 lbs myself, but a beautiful design that I think many would enjoy.

Greg
" Choose to chance the rapids, Dare to dance the tide..."

RobW
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Post by RobW » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:03 pm

I'd be interested too, but I also average around 200lbs so for a trip I would be getting close to the 260lb upper design load. If the dog came along, then I'd definitely be over that load.

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Bassbug
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Post by Bassbug » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:16 pm

I'm another bigger fellow and would like to see a solo design large enought for a 200lb+ and gear for a week or two.

I an intrigued by the design of the Freedom solo - I wouldn't mind a deeper hull. I've only paddled a Wenonah Prism on a 5 day trip but was very impressed. It's bow is 19", stern 17" with a 12.5" center.

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:16 pm

OK, I'd better chime in on the weight thing also, 200+ range.

Erik is right, The Magic is comfortable, and designed to haul a good load.

The flatness, and fullness below the waterline I suspect to be the reason.
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

Steve Killing
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Freedom Solo Further Thoughts

Post by Steve Killing » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:27 am

Thanks everyone for the lively input on the boat.

Construction:
I have enclosed a sketch of two cross sections showing how the stripping would be placed at the tumblehome chine. ( I see now I have drawn the strip bead upside down, but that doesn’t affect this discussion). The strip right next to the chine will need to have the lip on the inside face planed partially off to permit the large rotation angle with the next strip. That planing will only have to be in middle 4 feet or so of the strip. An epoxy fillet on the inside of the chine (shown in red) will permit a bit of sanding on the outside. The hollow section near the sheerline will be sanded by hand.

Image

Shape
I get the message now there are some larger (read 'healthy') sized paddlers out there who would like a larger capacity boat. I would say that 15 feet is a bit small for that load. So perhaps we should do two things. 1. Add a bit to the freeboard 2. Make the boat buildable in two lengths 15'2" and 16'2”.

The larger version would use the same mold stations, just spaced further apart and would either have its own set of stem molds, or a different first station, in order to fair into the stems.

Cheers,
Steve

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Glen Smith
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Post by Glen Smith » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:24 am

Steve, that is starting to look really good. As for the upside down bead, that is how I always install my strips. Have you given any thought to just using a rolling bevel for the chine joint to achieve maximum gluing surface? Or would this make the strip alignment too difficult?

Never mind the "healthy" paddlers, it's about time someone thinks about the skinny runts that also enjoy paddling. :laughing

I think a dual purpose design that can be easily modified lengthwise would be a good way to go with this one.

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Erik, Belgium
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Post by Erik, Belgium » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:51 am

Steve, Glen,
Yesterday evening I decided for myself I will definitely build one (I have sold my 38Special earlier this week, means I will have a spare place at my canoe rack real soon!).
I am 2.00m tall, but (still) skinny at 80 KG. 15'2" is more then enough for me. Your choice options 15'2" and 16'2" are a good way to provide a larger boat with more or less the same handling characteristics.
I think it's best to start stripping not at the sheer line as usual, but at the first strip of the 'real' hull (see pic). I would run that strip exactly at the edge between hull and tumblehome. That seems to be the easiest way to keep that curved line going straight.
Regarding B&C or rolling bevel, I prefer working with rolling bevel but I 'm sure both methods are OK for this canoe as well.

Steve, pls inform when the plans are available for sale.

Erik, Belgium.
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