BWCA Building bug has bit: Looking for ideas Boundary Waters Group Forum: BWCA.com Builders Group
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: BWCA.com Builders Group
      Building bug has bit: Looking for ideas     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2021 09:25PM  

I was in my shop working on another paddle. Back in 2018 I decided that the Damselfly (13 foot, 38.5 lbs) would be my last build. But, today I said to self, self you need to build another canoe. And with that thought, the fire was lit.

I have always liked my Prospector Ranger 15' (but I do not like handling the weight). I love the lines of the Prospector hull. Chestnut Canoe Company had a line of Prospectors from 12'-18' The Forest was 12', Fire was 14', Ranger 15', etc. Is there a way to get my hands on the plans for the Prospector 12' or 14' ?

1) So I am thinking that I want a small "play boat" (not a tripper) maybe 12-14'. Free style paddling has always interested me. So I am looking for a hull shape (like the Prospector) that behaves (feels comfortable) when heeled over.
2) Just what are the hull traits of a good free style canoe??
3) I want to build with wood and with that in mind I am looking for good tips on construction methods that will cut weight (no inner and outer stems, 4 oz glass, etc..).
4) I would like this canoe to be not over 30lbs. Is that possible?? I am currently 73 years old. If I start today and work at a leisurely pace, my canoe might be finished when I am 75. Something to think about when shouldering a heavy canoe.
3) I would like full scale building plans

Any ideas floated my way would be appreciated.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
sedges
distinguished member(865)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 09:07AM  
http://www.redrivercanoe.ca/p/canoe-models-and-pricing.html

Look at Doug's Esprit model designed for freestyle. I bought plans for his Fox many years ago, so they may be available for the Esprit. The patterns are for the mold of a wood/canvas hull, so there is some careful drafting to be done to modify plans for woodstrip building.

Doug's Facebook page says he is in the process of closing up shop due to health issues, so don't wait if you are interested in this canoe.
 
1JimD
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 09:55AM  
My very first build sounds like a perfect fit. The plans came from the May 1990 issue of Popular Mechanics. There is a grid pattern that you simply enlarge on graph paper.
I know you want to purchase full size plans, but I think you would enjoy the simple process of drawing these up. https://www.amazon.com/Popular-Mechanics-1990-Going-Forever/dp/B00C3I5746
 
1JimD
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 10:10AM  
As for building a Light weight Cedar strip can ? Here is a good link. Brian does a great job of explaining his process. https://www.canoetripping.net/forums/forum/paddlecraft-construction/105054-light-weight-solo-tripper-build
 
sedges
distinguished member(865)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 10:31AM  
As for a lightweight build there are several things to consider. If you are going to be using this for play and freestyle and not tripping you can really lighten up the glass. The weight of the layup is really not from the glass cloth, but from the resin that fills it. So be looking at the thickness of the cloth.

I build my tripping canoes with 4 ounce over-lapped below the waterline. They have been used hard with heavy people and heavy loads and have stood up well. I think you could lighten that to a 2.5 ounce cloth and still be plenty strong enough for your purpose. The plain weave 2.5 ounce cloth has twice the threads/inch as the 4 ounce and much thinner, so the resin is reinforced well and you will be amazed at how little resin wets out that layup.

Gunnels thwarts and seats. I have started to build a laminated gunnel. I start with WRC and glue that to the hull, no screws. Then I top that with an 1/8 inch plate of harder wood that spans the top edge of the hull. This take the beating of car topping just fine and the box construction is stronger than old fashioned gunnels. Depending on your gunnel line one piece may not bend to the curves. I just ran it out and started another piece. My 15.5' MR Indy had three pieces. Thwarts can be laminated with WRC cores and hardwood plates, seat frames as well.

This photo shows the gunnel with a shortleaf pine plate.


I think you could get a 14 or less boat down to 30 pounds.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 09:06PM  

These are good ideas and places to start a bit of research. Thank you all for the positive ideas and leads. I have not been very willing to take risks in building my canoes. Ted Moores's Canoecraft has been my canoe building bible. My canoes turned out great but they have been heavier than I expected. I know I want to try different building methods. It will make the project more of a challenge than a task.
 
1JimD
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2021 09:21PM  
Eliminating stems, and going the Minnesota, or Gilpatrick method for Stemless construction would certain lighten a hull.
 
mkdixon
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 10:50AM  
If you really like the prospector 15, and you want a 14 foot version I would consider having the plans copied at 93%. You end up with a 14 foot canoe that is 32.5" wide. You'll have to change the form spacing to 12" x 0.93 too, or about 11-1/8". The height at the center is about 12.5" which is also good for a solo canoe. This will change the characteristics of the boat a little, it won't track as well and it will have a little less initial stability, but it's pretty straightforward. The other bonus is that you can use all of your existing forms to make it.

My last 3 solo canoes were built using 3/16" strips and 4oz glass inside and out, stemless. They also have a 4oz s-glass football. I used spruce for gunwales and alder for thwarts and a lightweight laminated seat. The hulls are plenty stiff and strong enough for any kind of lake tripping. I would be hesitant to use them in a rocky river. My 14' boat, not a prospector design, has slightly less total suface area than a modified 14' prospector, 48 vs. 50 ft2 and is just below a #30 finished weight. This is totally doable. Good Luck, Mark
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 06:10PM  
I can’t remember what type of cedar you used on your first canoe. Here are my building suggestions.

Use whit cedar instead of WRC. The former is lighter in weight, and has the advantage of being more flexible and softer which makes it easier to work with. It doesn’t splinter like WRC.

Make your strips 3/16” and find a router bit that will permit bead and cove. Sand the strips smooth before you build so there is less sanding after the hull is complete.

As mentioned, use 4oz or 3.75oz glass on both sides. Only use one coat of epoxy on the inside and squeegee off the excess leaving the weave shown. You can add a second layer of glass on the layup of the outside on the football if you feel the need. However, if you are going to take care of this canoe and not planning on heavy use, skip the second layer of glass.

If you can find Sitka spruce, use that for gunwales. Or use black ash. Both of these woods are strong and light.

You should be able to build a canoe under 35 pounds.

Tom
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 09:06PM  

Hi Tom
I built my first canoe (Merlin) out of material that I bought from you. I think that was WRC. You also loaned me the Kunz Merlin plans and let me take your Merlin out for a spin. I always appreciated that. I knew after I paddled your canoe that I was hooked on the Merlin. No regrets.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 09:24PM  
mkdixon: "If you really like the prospector 15, and you want a 14 foot version I would consider having the plans copied at 93%. You end up with a 14 foot canoe that is 32.5" wide. You'll have to change the form spacing to 12" x 0.93 too, or about 11-1/8". The height at the center is about 12.5" which is also good for a solo canoe. This will change the characteristics of the boat a little, it won't track as well and it will have a little less initial stability, but it's pretty straightforward. The other bonus is that you can use all of your existing forms to make it.


My last 3 solo canoes were built using 3/16" strips and 4oz glass inside and out, stemless. They also have a 4oz s-glass football. I used spruce for gunwales and alder for thwarts and a lightweight laminated seat. The hulls are plenty stiff and strong enough for any kind of lake tripping. I would be hesitant to use them in a rocky river. My 14' boat, not a prospector design, has slightly less total suface area than a modified 14' prospector, 48 vs. 50 ft2 and is just below a #30 finished weight. This is totally doable. Good Luck, Mark"


I like this idea, but a little apprehensive. I am not sure how my existing forms can be used (what is left of them). Don't they have to be reduced 14/15 ? The thing I like about reducing a 15' Ranger to a 14' is that the general hull shape would stay the same. I would even tempt fate to go 13.5/15 (0.9). I have always wondered how the Chestnut builders produced a "line" of Prospectors that ranged from 12'-18' and (apparently) the hulls of these canoes all had the classic Prospector lines. I have a lot of respect for the early builders who went by the seat of their pants, but knew what a good bush canoe should look like. Also the big problem living in Brookings,SD is finding the wood that you guys talk about. Anyway, good food for thought. Thank you
 
mkdixon
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2021 01:20AM  
Reducing your existing plans by having them copied by some factor means you have to trace them onto your existing full size forms, then trim them down. You’ll be able to use them all because the new size is smaller.

Mark
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2021 07:53AM  
HighPlainsDrifter: "
Hi Tom
I built my first canoe (Merlin) out of material that I bought from you. I think that was WRC. You also loaned me the Kunz Merlin plans and let me take your Merlin out for a spin. I always appreciated that. I knew after I paddled your canoe that I was hooked on the Merlin. No regrets."


Yes I do remember our time together. I can’t remember what wood you used.
I’m glad you’re building again. I think my next build will be another wood/canvas.
I still need to get my Merlin in the shop and re-glass the outside. It’s been through so much and it’s time to get new life into her.
Tom
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2021 10:07PM  
mkdixon: "Reducing your existing plans by having them copied by some factor means you have to trace them onto your existing full size forms, then trim them down. You’ll be able to use them all because the new size is smaller.


Mark"


Mark
About the forms, I figured that is what you meant to say. Anyway, Thanks to your suggestion, I now have a goal in mind and that is to stick with the hull lines of the Ranger. How much I reduce the size of the Ranger 15 is still a question. I am tempted to think 13.5' because I think that I might be able to reach my goal of having a 30 lb. canoe. The weight thing is an issue with me because of my shoulders. But my wife says that I need to take the dog when I go out so maybe 14' is better. But, I cannot see me in a heeled over canoe with a 70 lb dog. Actually, I can see me and the dog in the water...........
 
HighPlainsDrifter
distinguished member(2361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2021 10:40PM  
tumblehome: "I can’t remember what type of cedar you used on your first canoe. Here are my building suggestions.


Use whit cedar instead of WRC. The former is lighter in weight, and has the advantage of being more flexible and softer which makes it easier to work with. It doesn’t splinter like WRC.


Make your strips 3/16” and find a router bit that will permit bead and cove. Sand the strips smooth before you build so there is less sanding after the hull is complete.


As mentioned, use 4oz or 3.75oz glass on both sides. Only use one coat of epoxy on the inside and squeegee off the excess leaving the weave shown. You can add a second layer of glass on the layup of the outside on the football if you feel the need. However, if you are going to take care of this canoe and not planning on heavy use, skip the second layer of glass.


If you can find Sitka spruce, use that for gunwales. Or use black ash. Both of these woods are strong and light.


You should be able to build a canoe under 35 pounds.


Tom"


Where can I get (or where do you get) Northern White Cedar or Sitka spruce ?
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2455)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/22/2021 07:35PM  
The spruce I can't help you with. The last time I had it, it came from Alaska. There is an unoffical grade called 'spar grade' for use on sailboats. Clear tight grain. Black ash is not hard to find. It grows tall and straight. And the emerald ash borer is making the lumber plentiful. Always look for private mills for this stuff.

The cedar will have to come from a small private mill. It generally cannot be logged from public lands so only private land owners permit the cutting. At least in MN this is true. It take a cedar tree more than 100 years to become marketable.

This past weekend I was looking at some cut cedars in the BWCA that had been cut on a portage trail due to blowdown. A 7" diameter log was 75 years old. Since you live in SD, you are certainly not geographically located to buy lumber of this type.

I can PM you a few ideas. It's not impossible to find but takes a little sleuthing. And you will have to drive or have it shipped.
Tom
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Group : BWCA.com Builders Group Sponsor:
Visit Cook County

Community Links


 Poll: Should we keep trip reports in the listening point forum?
(117 responses)