New Solo Canoe - Freedom 15'3" and 16'2"

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PJ
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Location: West Salem, WI

Post by PJ » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:21 am

So how does it paddle? Have you paddled a Bell Magic? Is it similar?

How difficult is it to do the tumblehome? Too tough for a first build?

jimbo
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Post by jimbo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:51 pm

PJ
I've never paddled a Bell Magic but this boat paddles wonderfully. It accelerates quicker than any boat I've paddled - weight is only 45 lbs. It tracks well and is not difficult to turn.
It is deep and has plenty of volume for and aft to handle big waves - that's a guess on my part as I have not had a chance to paddle it in big water. The chine is a challenge when building, but so are a lot of other issues - might be a tough first build.
Jimbo

PJ
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Location: West Salem, WI

Post by PJ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like it paddles just like a Magic, which is great in big water.

Did you bead and cove the strips? How did you join the chine strips?

Any tips would be appreciated.

jimbo
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Post by jimbo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:09 pm

I bought the strips with bead and cove. The bead and cove was sufficient to build the canoe above, below, and at the chine. It really pays off to fit the bead and cove as carefully and tightly as possible. It saves a tremendous amount of work latter on and achieves a level of quality otherwise unattainable.

I started at the chine and moved up - toward the keel - and then moved down - toward the shear. Above the chine, I used the stretch bands to hold the strips together and tight to the station form while the glue set. This worked wonderfully well; better than any other system I have used. Below the chine (and occasionally above the chine) the torque on the strips from ends to middle was so great that the only thing I could find that held the strips in place was small ring-shank nails which I used at each station form on each strip. The key is to watch carefully what you are doing and be creative at achieving the best fit you can. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take care at this part of the process to achieve a quality result. The most difficult part is at the bilge where the canoe bottom curves.

PJ
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:48 pm
Location: West Salem, WI

Post by PJ » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:20 pm

Thanks again for the response and information, every little bit helps. I won't be starting for a few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:15 am

Nice job Jimbo !
It seems you are the first to post tackling this design.
I have the plans, but am intimidated by the shouldered tumblehome.
I know the plans state the front edge of the seat is to be 10" aft of center. This seems too far astern for my thinking. Where is yours set ? And how does it look in the water with a paddler ?
Thanks !!
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

jimbo
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Post by jimbo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:12 am

I have a movable seat. It moves fore and aft about 13 inches. Therfore I can adjust for the wind (ie, if going into a headwind move the seat forward and get the bow down and if going downwind move the seat back and get the bow up) and make paddling a lot easier in windy conditions. Incidentally, the seat also moves up and down for sitting or kneeling.

Jimbo

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Patricks Dad
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Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:54 pm

The more I've looked at the shouldered tumblehome (over 4 years now), the more it has bugged me. It does seem to add a construction challenge. It also produces a sharp edge just begging to be dinged/dented easily or to scrape a knuckle when paddling (maybe?) and probably another point for bruising my forearm when I pick it up to portage (maybe? I always seem to bruise my forearm on the outwale when I portage - just my bad technique perhaps...).

The more I looked at it the less I liked it asthetically as well. I decided that I just wasn't going to build this canoe true to the original design (no disprespect to Steve Killing intended).

So, in order to round the edge a bit, I took the corner off each of the forms with my belt sander to make way for a 3/8" wide strip to sit where the corner joint would otherwise be. I then put a full width (7/8") strip above and below this 3/8" strip. This dramatically reduced the angle between the strips (the angle change was distributed evenly across two joints rather than all in one).

I just finished these 3 strips today so I've got a long way to go on this build (but it all looks pretty straight forward from here).

Jimbo, I'd be interested in hearing more about your moveable seat (perhaps you've already posted elsewhere - if so, I'd appreciate a pointer).

thanks.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Patricks Dad
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Post by Patricks Dad » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:35 pm

A question (for Steve Killing) on thwart placement.

The plans show a thwart in front of the seat. I don't recall the exact dimensions right now but when I set my seat frame and a thwart across the gunwales at the designated locations, it struck me that the distance from the seat to the front thwart was smaller than I thought it should be. If you place a decent size pack in the canoe in front of the seat (aft of the thwart), it seemed like the leg room was too small. Another 6 inches seemed to "feel" better.

But now that I think about it, I didn't look too closely at the resulting space in front of the thwart (maybe that gets too small?). But if I'm going to place a pack in the canoe, I'd like it to be close by (while providing decent leg room) so I can a) hang my map on it and still read it and b) grab it quickly when it's time for the portage. Hence, I think I would most likely use the space immediately in front of me for my gear (rather than the space in front of the thwart)... Maybe I need to paddle it a bit before I decide where to actually place the thwart (or maybe I'm just thinking too much - if there wasn't ice on all the water here, I'd think less....

I'd appreciate your thoughts on your thwart placement in the design.

Also, the existance of the aft thwart seems questionable. I would think that with the shoulder chine and the seat itself, you could get away without a 2nd thwart at all.

comments?

thanks much!
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

Steve Killing
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Freedom Solo Seats and Thwarts

Post by Steve Killing » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:07 pm

Randy,
It is always a challenge placing the thwart in a solo canoe. Somewhere we need to stabilize the gunnels with a thwart to maintain the width of the boat and hopefully the planview shape of the hull. The best place for a single thwart is right in the middle – a bit awkward if you actually want to paddle the canoe. So I have gone for one forward and one aft.

In the plans, the forward edge of the seat is 8’ 6” aft of the bow and the center of buoyancy (and therefore center of gravity) is 2” forward of that. The intent of the seat position is that the boat floats on the designed lines (stern immersed a bit more than the bow) with you sitting on the seat and the rest of the boat empty, or your pack and dog and lunch balanced equally fore and aft of your position. Since paddlers will be using the boat in various ways, you will want to shift things to suit your use. It sounds like your use is solo tripping and in such a case perhaps you want to move the seat aft. If the seat were to go 7” aft and you put a pack that is 1/4 of your weight 28” forward of the center of buoyancy then the boat would remain on its lines. As many have probably said here before and as you suggest – try it out first. This is also a great application for a sliding seat. That will let you balance the boat if you go out for a solo evening paddle without your pack.

As for the thwart locations, you could move the forward one further forward or move it aft toward the seat and put your pack right in front of it. This is all very personal preference stuff. But you do need a thwart. As for the aft thwart – if you put in a seat that gives the gunnel some good support you could probably eliminate it, otherwise install it just aft of your seat.

I look forward to seeing the results.
Cheers,
Steve Killing

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Patricks Dad
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Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:19 pm

An update on my progress. I ended up moving my front thwart forward 7" allowing for the placement of my pack between myself and the thwart. I also made arrangements to allow my seat to move back 3". I calculated that I can maintain the same center of bouyancy with this arrangement and a knapsack of 20 pounds at the stern. This should work out just great (My pack is in 2 parts - backpack & lighter weight front pack)....

I can't wait to get it in the water...

Steve, now I have another topic I'd like your comments on: In a prior post you wrote:
Steve Killing wrote:
Hello All,

The seat I have shown has its forward edge about 10” aft of the hull midsection.

The empty boat will float a little bow down as its center of gravity is just 1/2” aft of the midsection.

Paddler and hull together should float level as the combined CG of a 175 lbs paddler and a 40 lb canoe is about over the center of buoyancy. (8.3" aft of center)

On average I count on the paddler’s center of gravity to be at about the forward edge of the seat.

_________________
After installing my seat and thwart (no rear thwart -still debating but think my seat frame is plenty sturdy), I flipped the craft over and balanced it on a the handle of my shop broom (now I know what that thing is for!). It balanced at 7' 8.5" aft of the bow. If I read the above correctly:

"Seat is 10" aft of midsection" = 8' 6" aft of bow per the plan, then midsection is 7' 8" aft of bow),

"CG is 1/2" aft of midsection", so CG must be 7' 8.5" aft of the bow.

I've lost track of section positions so need to translate measurements to the bow end...

I was astounded that the balance point matched the above calculation!
It would appear that all the variations I've introduced have cancelled each other out (e.g., thwart foward, seat back, slightly heavier deck in stern, etc.). In any case, my balance point appears to match the 7' 8.5" calculation above.


But wait! the plan shows the removable yoke around the Center of Bouyancy (just a couple inches in front of the seat - 8.3" aft of center or 8' 4.3" aft of bow). This placement of the yoke seem incorrect to me given the empty craft balances at 7' 8.5" aft of the bow.

Is it possible your drawing of the yoke placement on the plan is in error. It seems that you simply drew the removable yoke around the center of bouyancy for an occupied craft in the water rather than the center of gravity of the empty canoe. I have no intention of portaging this boat with a 175 pound person sitting on top of it! :laughing

Please comment.

thanks much.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

Steve Killing
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Post by Steve Killing » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:28 pm

Randy,
Interesting set of calculations, but you ended up with the right answer! Yes, my calculations get the center of gravity of the empty boat to be about 93” (7’ 9”) aft of the bow with two thwarts and a seat. There is, of course, lots of variation in how each builder planks the boat, applies the glass and gunnels, and finishes the end decks, but sounds like you are on track.

I have not dimensioned the carrying thwart as it needs to be installed to match each builder’s actual balance point of the canoe, but yes it looks like it should be perhaps 6” forward of where I have shown it. I would get the thwart, clamp it to the gunnel and try it on your shoulders in a few spots to find what you like the best for balance. I’m looking forward to seeing some more photos of your boat.

Regards,
Steve Killing

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Jim Dodd
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Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:13 am

Just someting I do with my solos.

I place the front thwart, so that I can wedge my paddle between the thwart the seat and the bottom of the canoe.

I use a bent blade paddle and this works great !
The thwart ends up about 26 to 28in forward of the seat.
Just food for thought !

I too would like to see some photos !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Re: New Solo Canoe - Freedom 15'3" and 16'2"

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:15 pm

Randy,

I am getting very close to actually starting my canoe (read that - making a lot of sawdust currently), the strips are close to complete, strongback is done, but I have not done final setup on SB as I have subverted it as an infeed table for the strips, when that is complete, I will do final balancing etc.

I plan of starting molds likely next weekend, and I have pretty much decided I like your idea of softening the chine and using a 3/8" strip there. I was actually thinking I may use 3 strips of 3/8", 2 basswood and 1 darker cedar to make a bit of a pinstripe (white, red, white), to accent the bend area, plus the smaller strips will likely be easy to shape as well.

A couple of questions come to mind, 1) I assume you nailed the first 3/8" strip and then just used it like the traditional starter strip (except it will start both ways)? and 2) how difficult is it to strip going towards the shear ? I am struggling with converting the clamping techniques I have studied.

Any further information you could provide would be much appreciated ............

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Patricks Dad
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Re: New Solo Canoe - Freedom 15'3" and 16'2"

Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:34 pm

You could nail that first 3/8" strip if you want. I didn't. I just clamped it in place using the same clamping technique I used for all the other strips. I just started with an "L" bracket clamped to the forms (1 at each station of course) and then placed the 3/8" strip in place (I may have put a drop of hot glue between the strip and the form to keep it in place - that works well anywhere you need a bit of additional holding power). Then I used another "L" bracket and clamp to glue the strip above it (toward the keel) to the first 3/8" strip. These "L" brackets were on the opposite side of the form than the initial "L" bracket holding the first 3/8" strip in place.

I used a darker piece of wood for that first 3/8" strip to use as an accent strip as well so I think your idea of 3 narrow strips with contrasting colors will look great.

I waited until I had several strips toward the keel in place before I spent any effort below the shoulder chine. The first couple strips went on just fine but the bend is a bit tight below that so you need to keep a close eye on the joint at every station mold as you go.

One other comment about stripping this hull. It's pretty straight forward (not a lot of highly twisted strips to contend with). I wrapped a very long cable tie around the hull in 3 or 4 places to help hold the strips down to the forms. There are lots of techniques discussed here on this forum to consider.

Feel free to give me a call any time if you want to chat through any concerns.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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