New Canoe Build

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Bryan Hansel
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New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:00 am

I'm building a boat, and I'm debating between a canoe and a kayak. I haven't really decided yet, but I'm leaning towards canoe, because I can build it much quicker. It's going to be an outside build, so I have to be able to get it stripped, sanded, dyed and glassed within a weather window. So far, I've decided on the following details:

* Western Red Cedar 3/16 for the bottom and turn of the bilge. 1/8 for the sides to the gunwales
* 6-ounce cloth on the outside.
* 3.2-ounce tight-weave over the football.
* Outside dyed a deep brown -- almost black (brown walnut plus red cedar dye at a 2:1 ratio)
* Inside either dyed and 6-ounce glass or carbonfiber with a 3.2-ounce covering on the bottom.
* Thin Ash gunwales
* Ash seats mounted to the sides
* Ash deck, thwarts and yoke

Here's the canoe that I designed based on a Malacite design from the 1800s. I changed it considerably. I'm looking for something fun to paddle on day trips, but something that could also be used on overnights or week-long trips. Nothing too fast. Something that paddles solo Canadian-style like a dream, and that looks traditional.

With this boat, I'm going for a modern look on a traditional canoe.

Length: 16'6"
Width: 34"
Depth @ center: 13"
Height of Stems: 21"
Rocker at 2' from stems: 1.8" (Continuous much like a Prospector)

Any thoughts on the design or the plan?

Image

Here's the linesplan:

Image

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Glen Smith
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Glen Smith » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:06 pm

The lines look good and your layup seems reasonable for an experienced paddler.

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Jim Dodd
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:14 am

Sounds like a good plan !
Why the dye ?
Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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DSJ
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by DSJ » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:57 am

What kind of dye do you use? I'm interested in doing a project using a green dye on maple.

If your planning on paddling it leaned over, would a bit more tumblehome in the centre be beneficial?

Snowman
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Snowman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:45 pm

Bryan,

You will probably have as many thougth/comments as there are builders out there.

I have often considered going with a thinner strip on the wall - I would have likely gone 1/4" with 3/16", but that is because I don't have the experience with the thinner strips. I also remember seeing comments from other seasoned builders (can't remember - was it you?) that standard 3/4" gunwales are significant overkill. By going with these two changes, you will save a lot of weight.

It looks like you like ash? If I was after weight without loss of strength, I would use something lighter.

I might also consider cutting down the stem height, unless you want either the look or the functionality of better protection in the waves - always a trade-off in the wind, and of course weight. If I was strictly after functionality, I would chop it down a bit.

Tumblehome - I would leave just a slight tumblehome (as you have shown).

Glen - I am not sure why you think that "the layup seems reasonable for an experienced paddler?" It seems that the layup is actually quite robust - 6 oz + 3.2 oz outside/inside or carbon interior. This should be a good layup even with the thinned strips.

Great work - make sure you keep us updated on this fast and unique build! (with lots of pictures).


Snowman
Snowman back East

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Glen Smith
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Glen Smith » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:23 pm

Actually I meant it looks like a good layup for an experienced paddler who will use his canoe in the BWCA. I have read of a few people leaving there with damage to their canoes so a heavyweight layup is suggested for beginners and a bit lighter layup is appropriate for an experienced paddler. I only use 1 layer of 4 ounce inside and out but that is just because I always paddle in calm water and am very vigilant for rocks or submerged logs.

Come to think of it, Bryan didn't say he will use it in the BWCA. :thinking

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Bryan Hansel
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:38 am

Thanks for the feedback.

Tumblehome: I debated more, but with more the slight flare at the bow looks goofy or it has to go away. I actually think there's more tumblehome in this boat than the original Prospector.

Dye: I just love the look of a dyed boat after I used dye on my Iggy kayak. I've used Solarlux Blood Red with good luck. I want something dark and stealthy looking, so I'm trying Lee Valley's powdered stuff and mixing it until I get the tone I'm looking for.

Gunwales: I've said that in the past. 3/4" are overkill.

Ash: Any suggestions that look like ash. I feel like a need the light color to work against the dark dye and carbon (if I go that way. I'm sort of feeling sticker shock at the idea.)

Stem Height: That's a good point. I'm going to have to think about that. The height looks good in the rendering, but I'm really not a fan of high stems, especially those that equal the height of Prospectors. They make for a miserable paddle in the wind. If I drop the stem height, it makes the canoe look "thin" at the stems in the side view, because the rocker and stem curvature raises the bottom of the stem. I remember playing with that when I first drafted these plans. I'll have to play around with it again, because it's a good suggestion.

BWCA: The primary canoe that I use in the BWCA is my Freedom, which I believe is 6 ounce with a layer of 5 ounce tight over the football. I redid the bottom after damage and used a harder epoxy. After changing to the harder epoxy, I haven't suffered any damage. Some paddlers beat the snot out of their boats in the BWCA (I'm one of them), but the layup I'm thinking about here should work for most paddlers in the BWCA as long as they take care of their boats. We'll be using this in the BWCA either on a long trip this fall or just on a few weekend trips.

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Bryan Hansel
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:18 am

Glass and carbonfiber and dye ordered! I just need to mill a few more boards and cut forms. Wooohooo! A new canoe is on the way.

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Moonman
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Moonman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:48 am

Hi Bryan,

A suggestions for gunwales would be Butternut. Lighter in weight than its cousin walnut good strength considering its lightness, light in colour (although not as light coloured as ash), and quite beautiful grain wise. I used it on my Winisk for trim (except gunwales which were cherry).

Also, available in long lengths, although you might have to go to a good mill.

Moonman.

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Patricks Dad
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:02 am

Gunwales: I've said that in the past. 3/4" are overkill.
Agreed. Remember the Uni-wale. It really worked great for me. I'm very happy with the look and the ease of installation.

Post pictures as you progress. I'm interested in how your carbon fiber experience goes.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Bryan Hansel
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:28 pm

Moonman, I'll see if I can find butternut around here to look at it. I'm going to guess that it's going to be hard to find. Is it lighter than ash?

Randy, I'm also interested in how my experience with the carbonfiber goes. :) I talked to the folks at U.S. Composites, and they set me up with a type that conforms easiest to compound curves. It's a $200 piece of cloth that they're sending me, and using that much at once is scary -- it won't be anything like the applications where I've used it in the past.

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Moonman
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Moonman » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:31 pm

Hi Bryan,

Sorry for the late reply. Butternut is much lighter than ash. Specific gravity of an oven dry sample is .38. white ash (oven dry) has a specific gravity of .60 so you can see its much heavier. For comparison, white pine is .36, white spruce is .35, cherry is .50, walnut is .55. Using those numbers you can calculate an estimated weight for your gunwales and see if the weight savings are worth it. As you know, ash is not only strong, its very elastic so takes a beating well. As you've built so many boats and and trying to go very light on this one, I think you are on the right track looking at lighter woods. As I mentioned, its quite an attractive wood grain wise, and it does get a bit darker as it ages. It looks fantastic with an oiled finish. I have compiled a wood densities chart, which I put together a few years ago. It has all the woods that might ever possibly be used in boat building and I then changed it from an alpha listing to one based on specific gravity. Its also nice to look at all the other strength properties as well. If you would like it, I can pm to you.

Best regards,

Moonman.

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Bryan Hansel
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:10 pm

I'd love to look at it.

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Moonman
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Moonman » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:36 am

Hi Bryan,

Couldn't figure out how to send it as an attachment so I saved it as a jpeg and posted it here.

Moonman.

Image

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Bryan Hansel
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Re: New Canoe Build

Post by Bryan Hansel » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:27 am

Nice. Thanks for posting it!

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