Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

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Cruiser
Posts: 619
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:13 pm

The last detail before getting to varnishing the canoe is to complete the seat.

This is a standard seat design for me, I find commercial seats 1) aren't wide enough (at least for my bottom) 2) tend to be too flat ( my bottom is round) and 3) the front edge always digs into the back of my thigh.

This design has curved rear and front horizintal struts, with the front strut having about 1" more curve, so it dips in the front, roughly so that the angle from rear to front approximates the angle of my out stretched legs ... the molds used to steam bend the struts is also used to epoxy them up.

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A small dado is cut in the assembled strut for the cross member support to fit into. To clamp the pieces together, once epoxy is applied, I just run a cap screw into the dado area. Once it is setup, I take the screw out and use a jig to drill a neat 3/8" hole and put in a hardwood dowel, it looks better and I believe is stronger.

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This seat will be mounted on cleats, so they need to mounted to the canoe now, so that the seat can be fitted properly. The cleats have been sculped to look less boxy and the backs have been shaped to fit the compound curves of the canoe area where they will be afixed. The attachment point is laid out with painters tape and the area roughed up well.

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The cleats are epoxied in, using both thinned and thickened epoxy, they are clamped in place with sized strips, which I found works surprisingly well.

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The seat was aligned and fitted to the cleats, then holes were bored through the seat and cleats (to make sure they aligned). The cleat holes were rebored and fitted with M6 locking helicoils (you can purchase locking coils vs free running). If you look at the pic, you will notice the 2 flat areas on the installed coil. These act to lock the bolt in place .... replacing lock washers and bolts. This allows using this sort of cleat, which wouldn't be possible with a traditional cleat using bolts and washers.

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Now on to getting the seat holes completed, 2 templates are used ... this keeps everything sysmetrical one the sides and ends.

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I like to use a smaller pilot hole prior to moving to the final size hole. Here the seat has recieved the layout and all the pilot holes... it is now officially a holey seat.

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All the final holes and counter sinks done (ease the rope transition)

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Final shaping, to remove some of the wood and give a bit of shape ... a camber is added to the struts and all edges rounded, then the whole frame is finish sanded ....

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Finished seat, ready for filling

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Weaving underway ... takes about 75 feet of material to complete this weave, so I am using a 100' piece

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And the finished seat ready for installation

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You can see in the above pic that the gunnels have a coat of epoxy applied, this has been delaying me a little on getting the final varnishing started. I am making sure that epoxy is fully cured before I put varnish on it, otherwise there is a good chance the varnish will have drying problems. I should be varnishng this coming week, looking forward to getting this one on the water.

Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:45 am

Looks great Brian !
Are the Helicoils Stainless ?

Are you going to apply varnish to the cord ? If it is Nylon, expect it to shrink !

That is a lot of fitting, and it looks like you handled the task very well !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Cruiser » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:56 am

Stainless HCs ..... and stainless bolts.

The cord is a polyester rated for outdoor exposure, the seat was fully finished before I did the weaving .... nothing goes on the cord. I just pull it hand tight as the weaving progresses, although it doesn't stretch ... it will get pulled out some once my butt sits on it for a bit, I find that gives it the right amount of slack.

I am hoping to start inside varnishing tomorrow or Wednesday ....


Brian

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Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Cruiser » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:16 am

Well, the new boat is done and all trim installed, planning to get it wet this weekend.

For now a few pics, I will make a final post after I get it wet and include some weights.

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Brian

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Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:58 pm

OK, got a chance for a first test float down at the harbor mouth today ...

Getting the canoe loaded up to go

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Ready to carry to the water

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Trim is very good, it tracks well .... but I felt a little smaller in the pic

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Even got a short clip ..... not long, but I am pretty happy, it is very responsive and stable

https://photos.google.com/u/0/search/_t ... ViJlEWE6YA_




Brian

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Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:47 pm

Just for those interested in such things, I kept a record of the components weights as I put this canoe together .... it isn't exact, but it is pretty close. The goal for this build was to lose weight, increase seat strength and not lose any structural strength, so I needed to know where I was spending my weight credits.

I feel it is the things you add on after the hull is complete that will make the difference in the final weight, I personally believe that gunnels are almost always overbuilt and add the most unnecessary weight to a build, followed by the decks and thwarts, I also cut down on the handle size and trimmed all the hardware to length.

Component Weight Summary
Component Lbs
Cedar Hull weight 18.59
Inner Glass 5.50
Outter Glass 6.05
Gunnel/Decks 2.86
Handles/Thwarts 0.75
Foot Braces 1.55
Seat Cleats 0.96
Seat 1.32
Varnish (7 coats) 1.80

Total 39.38

Just to give an example, using standard 3/4" x 3/4" x 16' ash gunnels will weigh in the neighborhood of 10-11 #s ... add a couple of 3/4" decks and that would easily float into the 13# region, this build spent 2.86 #s on the decks and gunnels, a difference of 10 pounds and I used cherry gunnels .... I didn't resort to softwoods.

I used 6 oz glass with 3 coats outside and 2 coats inside ... using lighter glass would give some weight savings, but it is clear from the list that this area a) isn't a major weight area b) it does/may compromise hull strength.

Just a few thoughts and extended build info ... I learned quite a bit on this build about where the weight piles on.



Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Location: Iowa

Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:22 pm

Great job Brian ! And Super canoe !
You looked great in it also !

I agree with your weight estimates. Gunnels on the new Composite boats, using Carbon, and Innegra, are really knocking down the weights of those canoes !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

Snowman
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:21 pm
Location: Gatineau, QC

Re: Freedom Solo 15' 3" or 16' 2"

Post by Snowman » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:46 pm

Brian,

Thanks for sharing. She turned out beautifully!

The extra info and and advice is also appreciated. I also agree with your stated targets for weights (on canoes...).
Snowman back East

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