Redbird

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Patrick Miller
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Redbird

Post by Patrick Miller » Wed May 12, 2004 4:08 am

A general enquiry to any builders of the Redbird canoe on their thoughts of the handling characteristics of this type. I have previously read comments from some who regard the Redbird slightly tippy. I have the plans but have not yet begun construction. Await reaction from those who have experienced this canoe.

passinthru

Post by passinthru » Wed May 12, 2004 5:06 am

I built a Redbird about 12 years ago and have used it mainly for trips into the Boundary Waters. I extended it to a full 18' which probably effected its handling slightly. None of us are accomplished paddlers by any means but we have no trouble with it at all. It may seem a little tender when just loaded with 2 paddlers but when loaded with gear it is very secure feeling and paddles easily.

Jeff in Pembroke

Redbird

Post by Jeff in Pembroke » Wed May 12, 2004 8:06 am

Hi Patrick,

I paddled a Redbird on a 4 day trip in the Temagami area a couple of years ago and it was easily the nicest canoe I've ever paddled. So much so that I'm building one now.
The canoe was built to the original Bear Mountain design in the 1'st edition of Canoecraft. It felt a bit tippy at first but it paddles like a dream once you get used to it. It particularly shone crossing Lady Evelyn Lake with 18 inch waves and a strong wind from the left bow quarter. The canoe slipped through the waves and was [/u]very stable. The sheer line seemed a bit low but we didn't ship any water.
I changed the design slightly by raising the sheer line by 1 inch and lowered the height of the stems by 1 inch as well. I hope to have my boat finished in the next month and can't wait to get it in the water.

Jeff

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Dean in Eureka, CA
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Post by Dean in Eureka, CA » Wed May 12, 2004 10:10 am

Hi Patrick,
I looked at a lot of designs and spent much time in thought, before I chose the Redbird.
I've never paddled a Redbird yet, I want that excitement of the first launch to find out.
I've done quite a bit of paddling over the years, so that is not a concern. I wanted a design that would take a sail rig also, without the need of a keel. I had to consider choosing a canoe that would accomidate my children as well.

What nailed it on the head for me about choosing the Redbird, besides the beautiful lines of the canoe, was something I read in another forum. A fellow had just completed his Redbird and had taken it out for the first time with his wife. He was whining about how tippy it felt. Another fellow responded and said something like this: What would you rather have, a boat that feels good at first, then feels like a barge after you get familiar with it? Or would you rather have a boat that feels a bit challenging at first, then feels like a dream when you get familiar with it?
Everything will be OK[img::]http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/images ... uryi3b.gif[/img]

Dean in Eureka, CA

Bernie in Illinois

Redbird or something else?

Post by Bernie in Illinois » Mon May 17, 2004 2:54 pm

Thank you Bearmountain Boats for this great Forum!

I believe I am building the wrong boat! First let me say that I am a novice canoeist, and will, at best, be taking afternoon or day trips solo or with a friend. The Redbird was strongly suggested to me by a local sportshop owner. I then did the research, liked the looks, had some reservations about tippiness and length, but decided to proceed. Now that I have finished forms on the strongback, I think I should have opted for the Bob's Special.

The reality, is that the Redbird is probably too much canoe for my needs. It will be uncomfortably tippy to a low time canoeist like me, be difficult to carry on a compact car, and huge to store. In addition, my 2-car garage is not deep enough for comfortable building. The strongback must be located on a diagonal to insure adequate working space. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to park a car.

I've thought about building a shortened version, but no one seems to recommend it. According to the old forum, a couple of builders were in the process of building 15 footers, and I would appreciate knowing how things worked out. Scaling the boat down will make it narrower and bring the gunnels much closer to the water. Removing the center section does not seem practical. Probably the best solution would be to reduce the distance between stations, and hope that this results in an acceptable design. The last option is to start all over with the right canoe design for my needs.

Looking forward to your guidance.

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Dean in Eureka, CA
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Post by Dean in Eureka, CA » Mon May 17, 2004 3:33 pm

Hi Bernie,
Have you thought this thing out and looked at the big picture, or are you just hitting the panic button?
My truck got kicked outside to the driveway too.
Did you read what Jeff said about crossing that lake with 18" waves lapping at the hull?
Weight and length shouldn't be a problem as far as car topping goes.
Before you opt for a different fork in the road, because of what youv'e already got invested, find someone with a Redbird stripper and take it for a test drive. I'm sure you will be impressed. Guess what, I've never been in a Redbird. I want to save that experience until mine is done. Go back to that guy at the sporting good store and share your concerns with him. If he reccomended it, he should know where and how to get you a ride.

My guess is that if you opt for another design without test driving the Redbird first, you will someday question your decission about backing out. I wouldn't reccomend scaling it down, based on your concerns. Shortening the length with closer station placement, maybe, but I would get advice and input from someone that has shortened the Redbird.
Everything will be OK[img::]http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/images ... uryi3b.gif[/img]

Dean in Eureka, CA

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Juneaudave
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Post by Juneaudave » Mon May 17, 2004 8:26 pm

For a novice paddler, even the Bob's Special can seem tender the first time out. I don't think you should really be too intimidated about that, other than you need to recognize that none of these canoes is going to handle like a Coleman mass produced special....You have thought alot about this decision and have gone quite aways with building the strongback and building the molds. that's a bunch to give up at this point, just when the fun begins...at worst case, you can assume that your going to be hooked on canoe building and your next will be the Bob's!!!

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Bryan Hansel
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Post by Bryan Hansel » Tue May 18, 2004 9:58 am

You've come pretty far in building this canoe so far, don't give up and doubt yourself now. The Redbird has striking lines and should impress anyone who looks at it. I've taught a great number of people how to canoe, and it is always the same. You put someone in a tippy canoe at the beginning of the day and by the end they don't feel like it is that tippy anymore.

As for compact cars. I have a small Toyota. I often carry 17 foot canoes on top. The most boats that I carried at one time were 4. It's all about the roof rack.

If you feel like you want to shorten up the canoe, why not just reduce you station spacing by 1". You will end up with a 16 foot canoe. If you want it more stable, hang the seats lower. Start with them 5 or 6 inches below the gunwales. By the end of the summer, you will want to raise them, but it's an easy way to add stability to any canoe until you get used to the canoe.

I'd build it, and if you can't stand it, then sell it and build a second one. Of course, if you do change your mind and want to build something else, I suggest the Freedom 17. It is such a fun canoe to paddle, and it paddles solo great also.

Bernie in Illinois

Redbird

Post by Bernie in Illinois » Wed May 19, 2004 9:24 am

Thanks for your comments, all valid points. Dean, I'm not panicking but merely going through the pros and cons. I want this stripper to be just right for me. It is unlikely that I will want to build another, there just are too many other projects I hope to put my hand to. So, I'd rather do the molds over then end up with something to whine about.

Dave, I suppose you're right, unless anchored in concrete any canoe is tippy to a novice paddler. However, the Refbird does have a special tendency to make one nervous at first. It's news to me that the Bob's Special would feel that way as well. Tippiness is more of an issue with my wife, who just won't go if sitting on the edge. May be lowering the seat is the answer..., if our backs can take it?

Bryan, as far as length, shorter would be better for storage. It's a trade off I once accepted and can still. By the way, where and how do you guys store your canoes?

I don't know of anyone in my area that owns a Rebird. If anyone in the Illinois region has one, I'd appreciate a word or two. Especially those of you with length modifiactions.

Thanks to you all.

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Dean in Eureka, CA
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Post by Dean in Eureka, CA » Wed May 19, 2004 10:32 am

Hi Bernie,
My kids got me started on this project and that's what I said too. I was too busy to build boats, so I was just going to build this one canoe for them. I'm hooked now, I didn't have this nice of, or as much equipment when I was building cabinets back in my college days. This canoe is going to eventually be stored on a wall rack. My friend who owns an outdoor outfitters business wants to susspend it from the ceiling of his store for a year when I get it done. I'm thinking maybe he could have it for a month or so at most. The kids and I could still go visit it. As for the plastic Coleman, it got kicked outside with my truck and is in the backyard on saw horses, but it still has a roof over its headl. The Coleman is going to take us on a camping trip over the Memorial weekend coming up.

Good Luck Building Only One!
Everything will be OK[img::]http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/images ... uryi3b.gif[/img]

Dean in Eureka, CA

Bernie in Illinois

Post by Bernie in Illinois » Thu May 20, 2004 10:00 am

Hi, Dean. I suppose it would be stressful to know your canoe is hanging on display while you're at home on a sunny day. It's quite an honor, though. Here in Illinois, it would not be as much of a problem for 6 to 8 months out of the year. Where will you be paddling? I am assuming fresh water rivers and lakes.

What parents will do for their kids! For me, building another canoe is unlikely, only because I'd like to build a sail or motor boat, even an airplane or helicopter. The only thing that has held me back on the plane and helicopter, is the issue of liability. If you ever want ot sell your project, the law will considers you the manufacturer, thereby making you fully liable. Even if you draw up a hold harmless agreement with a buyer, and he gets killed in your machine, the family can still sue you for everything you got plus some. The same applies to canoes. However, the likehood and concequences of a canoe failling is probably not as great a risk as that of a plane. Not a pleasent concept.

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Dean in Eureka, CA
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Post by Dean in Eureka, CA » Thu May 20, 2004 11:21 am

Hi Bernie,
Yep, your hooked, boats are boats. I'm not too stressed about giving the canoe to my friend, because that will give me time and space to get the storage rack built. I'll probably be sailing it on Humboldt Bay mostly, because I'm just a couple minutes away from a place to launch. There are also many local lagoons, lakes and rivers. My favorite river run is an 84 mi. five dayer that starts on the Trinity River at Hawkins Bar, CA which leads to the Klammath River and ends just past the 101 bridge about a mile short of the Pacific Ocean at Klammath, CA. I got hooked on that route back when I was in the Boy Scouts. I doubt that I will take this Redbird on that run, I have an old Coleman tub for that.
My girlfiend wants me to enter the Redbird in the yearly wood fair when I get it done also.
Around here for this area, sea kayaks would be more useful. I've been looking at a nice design called the Outer Island.
I see that you are also into names. I haven't chosen a name yet, but it is going to be along the lines of the Tolowa Indian Tribe. Tolowa means People of the North.

What part of Illinois are you from? My neighbors just bought a farm back in Goodland, Indiana so they could be closer to her parents in Washington, Illinois near Pioria (spelling) and they just pulled down the door on the moving van and are leaving in a few minutes.

Good luck with all your projects!
Everything will be OK[img::]http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/images ... uryi3b.gif[/img]

Dean in Eureka, CA

Bernie in Illinois

Post by Bernie in Illinois » Fri May 21, 2004 10:24 am

Hi Dean,
Tolowa sounds like a nice name, but today people get offended easily. Personally, I'd stay away from using a tribal name. Our local high school was sued for using an indian mascot, the University of Illinois has been having problems too. Crazy!
You should enter your Redbird in the wood fair. Of course, you'll have to deal with alot of little hands and bodies climbing all over it. But, that shouldn't be a big problem.
I live in a suburb located on the northern boundary of Chicago. Peoria is about 100 or more miles south southwest from us. That's going to be quite a change for your ex-neighbor to be moving from California to a farm in Indiana.
Again, today we are having some pretty heavy thunderstoms. Certainly not a good time for anyone to be paddling.
Hope your day is sunnier.

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Dean in Eureka, CA
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Post by Dean in Eureka, CA » Fri May 21, 2004 6:09 pm

Hey Bernie,
I know what you are saying is true about opening myself up to a liability as far as the use of a tribes name, but...
I have a good relationship with the Tolowa tribe, although it took some time before they accepted me as a friend, because of the local history and the fact that I am a "white" man.
My best friend is a Tolowa Indian and I've talked with him about this matter.
I will probably end up doing something formal, like going before the tribal council and asking for permission to use the name. I am banking on wooing them with my accent stripe, which is their friendship basket weave design.

I had a talk with the neighbor before he left and I commented on what it would be like to be so far away from the ocean. He just retired from law enforcement and is also retired from the Navy. He told me that he has had his fill of the ocean, but is concerned about a tornado getting him.
Everything will be OK[img::]http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/images ... uryi3b.gif[/img]

Dean in Eureka, CA

arcticranger
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keel or not on the redbird

Post by arcticranger » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:15 am

hey guys that built a red bird did you put a keel on it?

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