Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

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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brian
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Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 pm

Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:56 pm

Greetings All!

So, on a whim, I picked up a copy of Canoecraft before a camping trip. (I liked the picture on the front.) Read it twice during the trip and decided it was something I wanted to do. I've cut the sections for the strongback, and have a practice piece for the parts I haven't done before, but I'm stuck at which boat to build. I'm torn between the Ranger, Huron Cruiser, and Bob's Special. I'm probably overanalyzing the decision, and all three look like good choices. Unfortunately, I'm space limited to one for now.

I'm pretty much a beginner at canoeing, as my last experience was probably a decade ago. Most of my trips are going to be solo, but I'd like the capacity to take someone. The most common spots are going to be calm lakes, but it may get used on some very light rapids and rivers. Mostly day trips, probably some 1-3 day trips, and maybe a few longer than that, but I pack light.

This one will be mostly built outside, but I plan on bringing it inside if there's going to be a storm. That's the reason for the length, as I only have 16'3" to work with inside. My running plan is to set up the strongback inside, and assemble to the second strip. Then mount wheels on the strongback and move it outside.

I'm leaning heavily towards the Ranger, but I see the merits of the other two as well. Just trying to make sure I'm not missing anything. I'd certainly appreciate any advise, and I will be reading a lot more in the forum as I start construction.

Edit: Links to plans.
Ranger
Huron Cruiser
Bob's Special
Last edited by brian on Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:31 pm

Welcome aboard.

I much prefer to build inside. Where I live, Fall is approaching. Making it even more convincing to build indoors.
Temperature, and humidity also need to be considered.

I will keep out of your selection choices, as I don't have any of those canoes.

You've come to a great place for information on your build !
The Best of luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Joan and Ted
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Joan and Ted » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:59 pm

HI Brian - have you looked at the comparison chart on our web site at this link? http://www.bearmountainboats.com/pages/ ... g-a-design
It gives you the best information.
The chart can help you determine the performance of our designs before you build.
So the Huron Cruiser with a stability factor of 92 is a boat that many people will not be comfortable paddling. If you are new to canoeing you would be better to look at designs in the 100 range.

The boats with a rating in the 90 range are traditional designs which are swift and beautiful - however you will likely need to be paddling from a kneeling position much of the time.....and for many people this is not acceptable. Most people want to sit on the seat. You have to keep your weigh low in order to feel comfortable in this canoe.
The Ranger on the other hand is a good all around choice - you can take a good load but it also handles well with one or two people paddling for a day's fishing or pleasure.Check out the photos on the Canadian Canoes website to see examples of many of our designs being built and paddled.
Keep in mind that the optimum capacity number gives you the weight range where the boat was designed to perform best - you can add more weight of course (add 100 lbs and the boat will sit 1 inch lower in the water) ......but the boat should be loaded within that range for optimum performance.
I often hear people say after paddling the Prospector 16 that it does not feel all that stable and it won't unless you have 350 lbs at least - but if they were to add a plastic collapsable jug of water to get the weight up to the 350 - 540 range it was designed for it would handle well. This is a work boat and was designed to carry a good load. Not my first choice of canoe but many people love it once they learn how to handle it.
Hope this helps - please feel free to email us directly for more information.
best regards - Joan
Joan Barrett and Ted Moores
Bear Mountain Boats
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
705-740-0470

brian
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Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 pm

Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:04 pm

Hi Jim. I'd prefer to build inside, but that 16' I have to work with is most of my living room. While I have forgiving landlords, I probably couldn't get away with knocking down bedroom walls. :thinking But I live in Alabama, where the winter weather isn't that harsh.



Hi Joan, that helps a great deal! Thank you! I did see the comparison page, but I hadn't connected it to kneeling. I think the Huron Cruiser was there more because of the name, as I have family about 2 blocks from Lake Huron's shore, and spent about a week there each summer. The Ranger sounds like a pretty good fit for what I want.

I thoroughly enjoyed Canoecraft. At first, it looked interesting, but I didn't see me able to pull it off. It slowly dawned on me that I might be able to do it. From there it snowballed until I was figuring out where it could be built and which tools I lack. Now it's the reason why there's a stack of neatly cut plywood in my kitchen (and a confused landlord.)

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Jim Dodd » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:32 am

Hi Brian.
Tools are an interesting subject. Some builders are very well equipped. And others with far less, do just as good.
A skilsaw with a fence clamped to the base is the simplest, and BEST way to produce quality strips. No need to plane strips when you are done, the accuracy is so good. Your strongback works great to cut your strips on.
A router is essential for beading and coving your strips, as well as working your trim.

Good luck ! And hope we will hear more from you !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

brian
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:36 pm

Hi Jim,

For the tools, I wasn't quite sure what I had. Ends up that I still need a spokeshave, just haven't run to the pawn shops in town yet. (Long shot, but maybe.)

I planned on borrowing your ideas for cutting the strips on the strongback, and running the strips between router bit and fence. In fact, I was setting up to test cut strips when it started raining. Stopped that idea pretty quick.

In the meantime, plans for the Ranger arrived. Now I'll start drawing and see how to get the most out of the plywood. Will also let me get a little bit further on my test piece, and re-reading to make sure that I'm not way off base.

brian
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Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 pm

Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:09 pm

Thank you again everyone for the suggestions. I built the Ranger, and it had its first taste of the water Saturday.

Somehow, despite my best efforts, it turned out pretty well. (And floats!) Thank you everyone for the amazing amount of help.

Image

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Cruiser
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Cruiser » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:18 pm

Very nice looking boat, you should be proud of the result.

Every time you paddle it, you will feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment.



Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:02 pm

Pat yourself on the back !
That first canoe is a challenge, that any builder can appreciate !

Nice work and have fun paddlin !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

brian
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 pm

Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:09 pm

Can't believe that I didn't reply.

Thanks to you both. It's been a few months now, unfortunately, it hasn't been used much. But, it seems to work incredibly well and gets comments and questions wherever I go.


Although, do these tend to multiply? A Rob Roy showed up in my backyard. Not sure exactly how this managed to happen.
Image

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by Jim Dodd » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:16 am

OH ! Multiply ? I'm up to 14 under my roofs ! Too bad I can't claim them as Dependents on my Income Tax !!!

I've seen beautiful canoes, that never touched water. I can't hardly wait to paddle mine !
Enjoy them !!!

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

brian
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 pm

Re: Ranger, Huron Cruiser, or Bob's Special?

Post by brian » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:41 pm

Well, at least I'm in good company. :)

I want to use mine more, but it takes an hour or two to get to a good spot. But, I have the first hanging up in the living room, so that helps me dream.

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