Share your perspective?

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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:55 pm

Re: Share your perspective?

Post by CatFaber » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:05 pm

Why have you built your own boat?

I wanted a good solo boat and couldn't afford to buy one. I read Canoecraft and thought the wood strip canoes were very beautiful. A friend offered me her barn when I had no place else to build. Desire, inspiration and opportunity coincided.

Realizing that there is absolutely nothing so satisfying as sitting in the middle of the wilderness, trusting yourself and your gear to a canoe you built with your own hands, came later.

What method did you use and why?

Cedarstrip / fiberglass / epoxy. I got my information from CanoeCraft and from two other books, one by Susan Van Leuven and one by "Gil" Gilpatrick.

How do you respond when people say to you 'thats nice but I would never put it in the water'.

A boat is only really alive when it's in the water. Life involves risk, but you learn to deal with it. I didn't build this boat to hibernate. And besides--I built it; I can fix it.

What was your biggest concern before starting to build it? how did you overcome this?

Honestly my biggest concern was that I would run out of push in the middle and never finish. I overcame this mostly by spending money only on the stuff I needed right then. I bought the plans, and plywood to make the strongback. When I had the strongback done I went back and bought plywood to make the forms.. When I had the forms made and aligned, I bought the wood for the hull. When I had the hull put together and was just about finished fairing I bought the fiberglass and epoxy... and so on. That way I wouldn't have a thousand dollars worth of kit going to waste if I ran out of steam.

By the time I had the canoe off the forms and turned right side up it was ... I don't know how to explain it. There was this drive to finish. I would wake up before dawn, start thinking about the canoe, and be unable to go back to sleep. At seven in the morning I would be out working on the canoe because I couldn't bring myself to do anything else. I NEEDED to paddle that canoe. So at that point I quit worrying that I wasn't going to finish, but by then I'd bought most of the expensive stuff.

I love canoes. They're boats on a human scale. I carry them; they carry me. I took my canoe to Quetico year before last and while I was there I got a chance to paddle a Prism. I came back off the lake saying "sure that's a nice boat but mine feels alive to me and this one doesn't."

Anyway I know I'm too late for the drawing and that's fine. I just couldn't turn down a chance to answer the questions.

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