New builder, same old dilema - which boat

You don't know which boat you should build to suit your personal needs? Please post your questions here and our many contributors will surely have some good advice.
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Cruiser
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New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Cruiser » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:14 am

I have made the first decision, that is to build a boat .... that has led to a lot more questions, options and soul searching ( as it seems is the normal case).

My main use would be tripping, likely solo, typically for a week or so. I want something that is good on lakes and rivers (no whitewater). The normal trip is along a meandering small river, then open lakes where waves can hit the 1.5' mark ( the group typically doesn't like too much more than that) when the wind kicks up (mostly Algonquin Park). Person will be 220-240 with about 60 lbs. gear. I have been renting a Swift Osprey with a combi seat and I find that a pretty comfortable arrangement and I like the twin paddle style. There are quite a few portages and while I know I will be heavier than the weight of a production of a kevlar boat, but I am hoping to keep it reasonably light, and quick. I will need to keep up with the Kippawa's in the group.

I originally had visions of a Freedom 17, to take the wife out on day trips and then reconfiguring the seats and thwarts with a lowered seat to solo for my camping trips. After doing more reading, it seems I would be better off just picking the boat based on the primary purpose and needs (camping) , and if I can use it for day trips that would be a bonus. It looks like the Freedom for my main purpose would be extra weight and work to make it something it isn't designed to be, although as a second project, it sounds promising.

After wrestling with all the "candy in the window", I am thinking Freedom 16'2" looks to be a good fit for my purposes and maybe an easier first build project. The only likely mod would be the seating, which I would like to lower and make a slider to help trim the boat as required. I would think having a second person in front for a day trip is well within the canoes capacity and size as well.

Any opinions on the selection or advice on the build would be appreciated. I am a few weeks out from any real decisions, like a lot of builders, I have a garage to get cleared out and ready, a few outdoor projects to tidy up, but I am hoping to start by the end of may.

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Patricks Dad
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Re: New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:32 am

As I was reading your post, I was thinking Freedom Solo also. It's a great boat! It's not a trivial build (that shoulder chine is a bit tricky). I built the 15'3" version a couple years ago. I built the seat so it is movable in 2 positions (one for paddling empty and one further back to balance a 50 lb pack for tripping). It's a great solo boat. Mine weighed in at 44 pounds. I used the "uni-wale" approach to gunwales.

Search on this site for "uni-wale" or look here:http://bearmountainboats.com/phpBB3/vie ... it=uniwale

that thread is very long but covers other topics such as seat / yoke design, weight, etc.

I also built a yoke that doubles as a backrest which is switchable in about 15 seconds.

If you decide to build this boat, I suggest you soften the shoulder chine a bit to round it off a bit (in my opinion, it's too sharp, begs for dings - to the chine and your knuckles).

I (and everyone else on this forum) will be happy to answer any questions you may have as you build.

Enjoy your build.
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Patricks Dad
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Re: New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:39 pm

one more tidbit on the Freedom Solo:
http://bearmountainboats.com/phpBB3/vie ... f=8&t=4265
Randy Pfeifer
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Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Cruiser
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Re: New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Cruiser » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:41 pm

Patrick's Dad :Thanks for the fast responses, the seat treatment looks very slick, but I have spent the evening trying to find carbon tube in Canada and I don't think that is going to happen. But I do have a friend who runs a machine shop, since I have a good idea of what the design looks like, I am sure something can be done with local materials. Rather than the gear arrangement and magnets, I have it in mind to look at shock cord and maybe leave the magnet holes empty, and put a couple of pegs in seat back coupler where the other set of magnets are, so that its pegs that hold the bar in place, and the cord keeps it all snug.

Also I recall several posts about easing that chine a bit and that is likely what I will try, otherwise I may just do a few strips at half height to allow for the tighter bend. Since I intend to do my own strips anyway that wouldn't be much extra work.

Randy: Trying to get stuff across the border these days can be a real pita and BMB is just an hour away and I want to call them anyway and see if there is anyway they would let me watch a boat getting fiber glassed, it's the only part of a build that I am nervous about.

I am so looking forward to get started, and it is nice to have a boat picked ... I completed a shed last fall to allow me to reclaim my garage workshop, so it's on to moving the stuff and throwing the trash and completing a few smaller yard things for spring.

A forum like this is a big bonus, having people that know what they are doing and willing to share and answer questions is a bonus and I appreciate you guys taking the time.

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Patricks Dad
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Re: New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Patricks Dad » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:53 pm

Best of luck on your build. The glassing was the scariest part for me too (you spend months building a beautiful thing and then put "goop" on it and hope it all works out. It's not as scary as it seems however. It's good to have a helper mix epoxy while you apply it.

One benefit of the gear arrangement I used in my yoke/backrest is you can activate the far side from one side of the canoe. You don't have to reach across to put it in place (but I'm sure your approach will work too).
Last edited by Patricks Dad on Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Randy Pfeifer
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Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Glen Smith
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Re: New builder, same old dilema - which boat

Post by Glen Smith » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:47 pm

Huh?

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