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07/04/2011 09:18PM  
So...I told myself that I was going to be done building boats this summer after my Bob's Special is finished. Actually, I told my wife that, but I was undecided at the time. I decided on Friday that I am not done, and after some research I decided that I want to build a 38 Special. One thing that confuses me is that there are two designs out there for the Merlin, one with rocker and one without. Have any of you paddled both? Which did you like better?

My intended use ranges from day fishing trips to long weekend BWCA adventures. On my trips I tend to avoid the large lakes. Any advice on which would better suit my needs?

Also, where can I get plans for the non-rockered version? I have the plans from Northwest, but they are the rockered version.

Thanks!
 
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HighPlainsDrifter
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07/05/2011 09:07PM  

I have been looking at the Chestnut Canoe Company designs offered by Bear Mountain
* 15' Bobs Special
* 15' Ranger
and (my favorite) 16' Prospector

Do you have some pictures of your Bob's Special ?? Comments good/bad?

I happen to have a set of plans for Bruce Kunz's 1985 Merlin (courtesy of Tom who used to go by "woodcanoe"). Those are the plans I used for mine. I realize that I have been incorrect in calling my build the NW Merlin....... it is simply a Merlin.

The no rocker hull tracks straight on. It is a bit stubborn to turn though.... fine with me, I wanted straight tracking.

I could send you a copy of the Merlin (no rocker, 15.5'). Anyway I can get a look at the Bob's Special plans?
 
07/05/2011 09:50PM  
HPD,

I am not going to be of too much help on the Bob's Special right now. I am fitting the decks this week, and it won't be on the water for another month or so. Hopefully by 8/11 so it can come up to the BW with me. The photo album below has some of the build pictures.

Facebook Album

I lofted the plans from Canoecraft onto poster board, then cut the board as I traced the forms. Unfortunately, I didn't scan the board before I cut it up. You should get a general feel of the shape from the pictures. I can help you out with the offsets if you want. I will say that it is a pretty squat boat. I like the overall shape, especially the sheer lines, but I wish it was about 2 or 3 inches narrower. It will be fine for paddling with my 5 year old, but I'm not too sure how this thing is going to solo without healing it over.

If you have the plans in electronic form, I would love a copy!
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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07/05/2011 09:58PM  

Ben

I finally found your pictures of the Bob's build. Beautiful canoe. I also realized that I had looked real close and used your scupper block placement design ;)

Question??? In an old post you wrote:

"I purchased my Freedom 17-9 plans, but lofted the Bob's Special that I am building now. The only thing that I miss from the Bear Mountain plans is the seat locations.

So, by looking at the table of heights and half-breadths in CanoeCraft, you can actually plot out the curves of these molds????????
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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07/05/2011 10:05PM  

Ben
No electronic form on the plans...... but maybe I can go down the print shop and have a pdf made

I could also roll and send by mail... if you want the hard copy email my your address
 
07/05/2011 10:12PM  
quote HighPlainsDrifter: "

So, by looking at the table of heights and half-breadths in CanoeCraft, you can actually plot out the curves of these molds????????
"


Yes, it was a piece of cake. It took me about 3 or 4 hours to figure out what I was doing, and actually do it, but it was really pretty simple. I had posted the Bear Mountain help sections in response to your question in the "What to build" thread. I would do it again instead of paying their price for 3 photocopies!

As far as the Merlin plans, I may take you up on your offer, but don't go to any trouble yet. I would like to find someone who has paddled both before deciding which one to build. I love building boats, but I want to be sure before I start.
 
tumblehome
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07/08/2011 02:45PM  
Hi guys,

I did a search on Bruce Kunz so I could put you in touch with him for the 38 special canoe. Regretfully, he passed away in 2008. I hope he is looking down on us canoe junkies that love his eye for the lines of his canoes.

The 38 special was named that because it is .38 times larger in all directions to the original Merlin. I never made the canoe even though it's always been on my to do list.

It was advertised as a solo canoe for people who are tall or need more room in a tripping canoe. I think it comes out at 16'.

The next best place to find the plans is to contact the MN Canoe Association. Somebody there knows who has the plans.

MN Canoe Association

I suppose you could just take the Merlin plans and scale them up .38% at a print shop.

Tom
(Wood canoe)

 
Woods Walker
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07/18/2011 03:55PM  
I built a 38 Special & love it, mine doesn't have any rocker & I love it. I use it all the time locally fishing on the lakes & rivers 7 it has been on a half dozen trips to the B-dub.

It is the fastest canoe I have ever paddled & tracks really well. Mine came out at 16' 4", it is a challenge to maneuver in tight turns, but I wouldn't change it.

Here is a link to info on my build.

38 Special Build
 
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