Freedom 17 Stats

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Walton
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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:47 pm

Freedom 17 Stats

Post by Walton » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:08 pm

This summer I completed my first stripper, a Freedom 17. I've paddled several good canoes over the years, however I believe the Freedom 17 is one of the finest handling canoes I've ever paddled. Of course investing 170 hours into it has not in the slightest biased my opinion! But I thought readers might be interested in some of the statistics involved in building this boat. Below is a summary of some of my notes.

I followed Ted Moores (Canoecraft, 2000) instructions exactly. Thank God Ted's a patient and thorough man. Really, he should rename his book "Stripping for Dummies" because his directions were so well laid out, even a bonehead like me can built a fine craft to be very proud of. I used eastern cedar for hull, ash for trim/seats, and cherry for outer stem and decks (all wood local and personally milled). Standard glass layup with 3 coats of epoxy (West System) on hull, and 3 coats of varnish all around.

Time: Milling = 15 hrs; mold = 20 hrs; hull = 62 hrs; layups = 36 hrs; trims = 24 hrs; varnish = 12 hrs. Total = 170 hours.

I felt I was very slow doing many tasks, namely laying out the strips and installing the gunnels. Of course with the mold already built, I believe I could build my next canoe within 120 hours.

Weights: Hull (cedar, glass, 3 coats epoxy) = 38 lbs; gunnels = 12 lbs; decks = 2 lbs; seats = 4 lbs; hardware/stem bands = 1 lb; varnish = 4 lbs. Total = 61 lbs.

Ted lists the Freedom 17 at 50+ lbs. I was a bit disappointed at my 61 lb actual weight. But I do not understand how I could attain a total weight in the 50 lb range. If spruce was used for gunnels, you'd save only 4 lbs. To get any lighter, light-weight fibreglass and less epoxy would have to be used, reducing the strength of the boat.

I just got back from a 5 day canoe trip including some portages and ocean tripping. The end result is I wouldn't change a thing on the canoe. Sure, 10 lbs off of my shoulders would be nice, but I had confidence in the fully loaded boat in the rolling surf. It was stable with the load and handled like a dream. I know it will last my lifetime and hopefully my sons' too!

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canoeblderinmt
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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:04 pm
Location: Butte, MT

Post by canoeblderinmt » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:40 pm

Walton,
The art of reducing weight is indeed a black one, and from reading the Forum and building two strippers, my belief is that unless you begin planning with weight reduction in mind, you are going to be heavier than the design weights usually listed. If you are in the South or near water, building in the Spring or Summer, your wood can absorb moisture adding several pounds. Heavy epoxy, multiple layers of glass, hardware, it all adds up, a couple of ounces here and a few pounds there and you're ten pounds over the listed weight. I didn't watch weight at all in my last boat as I was going for strength. She weighs in at 94 lbs.

Maybe you can build a sister to your Freedom with one layer of 4 oz cloth and really dry WRC and see how you come out?

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

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Bryan Hansel
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Post by Bryan Hansel » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:04 pm

I agree that the Freedom 17 is one of the finest hulls out there. I love mine and haven't found a design that I like better as a wilderness tripping canoe.

Often the wet-out coat has too much epoxy left in it. You might find this interesting: http://www.nessmuking.com/lightjaycanoe.htm

I'm shooting for 45 pounds in my next tandem canoe. It's easier to save weight with each new boat.

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Tim Eastman
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

Post by Tim Eastman » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:34 am

Bryan what do you use for layup in your Freedom tripping canoes that you will take into the BWCA? 4oz? 6oz? Both sides?

Chris' solo came in a tad heavy for my taste but it was our first one etc. etc.
Tim Eastman
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Be an example worth following

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Bryan Hansel
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Post by Bryan Hansel » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:32 pm

I only have one Freedom, and it was the first canoe that I built. It's a little heavy in the high 50s. I used 1/4" cedar, 6 ounce glass, and an extra 6 ounce on the football. I've repaired it a few times, but most of the repairs happened when I used it on rocky rivers.

My next canoe with be 3/16" cedar on the bottom and 1/8" strips on the sides. And either 2 layers of 6 ounce on the outside or 3 layers of 3.5 ounce tight weave, plus 6 ounces on the inside. I'd love to find a 5 or 6 ounce tight weave. Know of any?

The next canoe will have a combo of woods for the gunwales, probably cedar and spruce. Not sure yet. It'll have one thwart if I can get away with it. Small decks. Ash seats or alum seats, so I can buy them, and probably an ash yoke for portaging durability. I've snapped a cedar one. I'll probably mount the seats to the side of the boat and not off of hangers. If I can find alum gunwales for cheap, I might go that way.

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