Best Design for a Novice Builer?

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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fromagefro
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:31 pm

Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by fromagefro » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:26 pm

Hi,
Any design suggestions for a first-time builder?
I'm a first time builder, looking for a 2 person canoe, and want to make sure that I'm setting myself up for success.
Thanks!

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:14 am

Welcome aboard !

Most of the tandems are similar in building difficulty. Those with shearlines that have a steep up curve can be a challenge for bending the gunnels.

There is a lot of good advice here, you just need to search it out. There are some differing opinions, and you will need to sort them out for yourself.

Things I recommend for success to a beginner, First Bead and Cove your strips! you need only a simple router table, router and a set of bits. This will save you as much money, sanding and general difficulty as anything !
Simple tools, a 5" ROS. I love cutting my strips the "Skilsaw method", I've posted pics here.
A good Japanese pull saw, lots and lots of clamps.
If you chose stapleless, the time to strip a canoe is greatly increased as compared to using staples. I have no problem with staples, and have built all of my canoes using them.

Most of all have fun !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:04 am

You are in for such a great experience, it's takes some patience and persistence, but it is very rewarding.

Canoe selection for either buying or building is the same (mostly), it all starts with a list of "stuff" like:
- where am I going to use
- how am I going use
- how much do the regular paddlers weigh
- how much gear
- am I going to be portaging
- experience of the paddlers
- what appeals to my eye

I am in the middle of a Freedom 17 build, and I completed a Kipawa 16'6" last year, both are straightforward builds. I think either of these models would be a solid choice, there are lots of others, but at least they are a starting point.

There are lots of build pics in here, so you can get a fair idea of what each build entails and how it will look when complete, plus this community is pretty awesome support IMO.

Once you decide on a build, you enter a whole new world of choices, as there is not just one way to do any of the tasks, execution is completely customizable, to your building situation. That is where this forum is going to be a gold mine of information and help.

You aren't at the build advice stage yet, so I won't go into any suggestions for that ...yet, except a comment on Jim's post. Every month or so Jim will reference "the skillsaw technique", for my first 2 builds, I used my big saw to complete strips .... it just never occurred to me to try it any other way. For the current build, I decided to try "the skillsaw technique" ... I have to say that hands down it is the superior method for cutting strips ... period. So if you decide to make your own strips ( I do, simply because I like to do everything I can on a build), lookup what he is talking about and see if it fits your build environment.

When you pick your build and get ready to start, the forum will be here waiting to help where we can.


Brian

sedges
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Location: georgia

choose canoe according to users and use

Post by sedges » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:06 am

Most of the tandem designs from BMB are about the same as far as building. As said above the ones with tall stems may require steaming or laminating gunnels, an added step that first timers may want to avoid. It is not, however, beyond the novice to do those things.

Choose you hull instead according to who will use it and how you intend to use it. The weight of the paddlers and their level of skill is important. Children or dogs? Have you only paddled flat-bottomed canoes, like most aluminum ones? Canoes with shallow arch bottoms feel real different. As for use, consider if you are doing day trips or camping or plan of some several week long tours. Moving water(more rocker) or flat water.

Use the chart on the Plans link to narrow down your choices. Stability factor should be higher if you haven't paddled much or only flat-bottomed craft or will be carrying children or dogs. Capacity should be for the greatest you expect to need.

Part of setting yourself up for success is matching the design to your needs!

fromagefro
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by fromagefro » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:20 am

Wow. What a great welcome. Thanks everyone.

I took a look at the design section, and I think I've got a good handle on what I'm looking for: a flat bottom canoe for day/weekend trips on flatwater with 1-2 of my kids. (I have a 17 foot Wenonah Spirit Ii for bigger adventures).

Any suggestions?

And is a shorter canoe easier to build than a longer one?

Thanks.

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:16 am

Is a shorter canoe easier to build ?
I'd say the degree of difficulty is about the same, but the cost, and time required is less, as well as space needed to build.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Best Design for a Novice Builer?

Post by Cruiser » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:26 pm

Is shorter easier to build .... this is a relative question and there could be several correct answers.

If you are going tandem, then there isn't too much chance of you staying under 16' .... since 16' is generally the limit at the box stores and most lumber yards (at least around here) that means you are either skarfing or sourcing longer wood. Once that happens, then my opinion would be that whether the boat is 16'6", 17' or 18' (you get the idea) there is very little difference in the actual build. There may be a bit of difference in the material costs, but I suspect that would be a minor cost in the context of the build.

If you have a small work area, there may be a convenience issue, with how hard it is to move around a longer boat, but that really isn't a build difficulty, it's more of an environment restriction.

I would suggest you look for clean lines, not too much up sweep at the bow and stern, probably avoid tumblehome if you can, this makes for a more straightforward build. Easier to lay strips, fit decks, sand, fair and glass.

So I guess what I am saying is that IMO the design is more of a consideration for build difficulty, followed by length once you exceed the 16' point.


Brian

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