BWCA Research for canoe build, input please! Boundary Waters Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
      Research for canoe build, input please!     

Author

Text

gymcoachdon
distinguished member(590)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2016 09:03PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I am at the research stage of building my first cedar strip canoe. I am a hobby woodworker, and have most of the toys: Table saw, band saw, drill press, jointer, planer, sanders, hand tools.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but i am trying to answer as many questions that might be asked of me in order for you guys to give me advice!

My thoughts are to build a solo, I weigh around 200 lbs, and most of my canoeing would be on Indiana rivers and streams. Slow, riffle-run, twisting through farmland stuff. I will also be tripping in the Boundary Waters/Quetico once a year for 1 week trips.

I also think I would probably like to build a tandem. This brings me to my first question. Should I build a strongback to allow for different size canoes, or do most start over with each one? If I build a 15 foot solo, then want a 16 foot or more tandem, what size do I build the strongback? I also saw a picture where it appeared that the strongback was made from a prefab wooden I-beam. Worth the cost? What do you guys do with the strongback between builds? Can you break it down into components for storage?

I have considered building a tandem first, maybe using it for tripping, then building my solo as the second canoe. Thoughts?

I have paddled a friends Wenonah Prism, and rented a Northstar Magic for my first trip that I took in September. To me, the Prism had more initial stability, I wasn't ever able to feel comfortable standing up in the Magic, but otherwise both canoes were fine. Neither boat turned on a dime, the Magic was a bit easier to turn, and I didn't have any trouble keeping it going straight. I enjoyed a more leisurely pace, preferring to paddle on one side as opposed to hit and switch. I read somewhere that some hull designs are more efficient at slower speeds.

My emphasis would be on seaworthy, fishing stability, maneuverability, over speed.

Whatever I build, it's primary use will be in Indiana, and I will be fishing from it, and secondary use will be tripping. (Or, build a small tandem for fishing, and solo for tripping.) My wife will do a float down the river with me, but won't spend a week without flushing toilets and showers! We also own a kayak, so me building a solo wouldn't preclude the wife and I taking day trips down the river.

Sorry for the rant, but I have been researching this for over a year, and I am nearing the decision stage!

Your advice on strongback construction, tandem or solo, and what canoe plans might fit my needs would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Don
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Alan Gage
distinguished member(1084)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/01/2016 10:51PM  
If you're planning to build more than one boat you might as well make your strongback long enough to suit anything you might want to build. I think mine is 18' long.

My strongbacks are made from an I-joists and are probably the ones you referred to seeing; I haven't seen another one anyway. I've built three of them now and they seem to work fine. I already had some old 2x10's I could use for a top so I just needed the upright part of the "T". Figured an I-joist would work as good as anything and I don't have to worry about it warping or twisting like lumber. They're only a couple bucks/foot so a 18' I-joist cost me $36. Less $$ than building one out of plywood.

For the way you plan to use the solo I think it would be hard to go wrong when picking a design. Osprey, Kite, NorthWest Merlin, Northwest Passage Solo, and probably other designs as well, would likely suit you fine.

Good luck!

Alan





 
1JimD
distinguished member(541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2016 08:35AM  
2X Alan's post

Northwest Canoe, in St Paul Minnesota has free on line plans.
I've downloaded a couple, then to a print shop, and had them printed.
I had only one problem at the print shop, the first set was small. But they corrected that for me. Know the width of the hull before you go.

Jim
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(590)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/03/2016 10:11AM  
I sent a request to northwest canoe for plans for the passage solo, and the Merlin. I have the Canoecraft book, and was looking at the Redbird plans, and the prospector. Still undecided on tandem or solo for first build.
 
1JimD
distinguished member(541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/03/2016 04:28PM  
Great start !

You will do yourself a big favor, if you bead and cove your strips ! You will tend to build more, in less time !

The question of which one first ? I can always go paddling, by myself. I can't always line up another paddler.

The solo takes less time and material, and space to build and store.
A tandem shows your commitment to share the paddling experience.

That didn't help much did it ! Sorry !

Jim
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(590)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/03/2016 10:08PM  
That made me chuckle out loud. I do plan to bead and cove the strips. I have all the tools, so I was looking for rough lumber, but western red cedar appears to be tough to source locally. If I have to pay for shipping, the cost goes up. Basswood is available locally, but as for now I'm thinking of using some basswood as accents. I did find some pictures of basswood strip canoes (one was even a solo passage!) and it looked very nice with dark accents. More decisions.

Looks like menards has 1 1/4 x 6 x 16' Red cedar decking available locally for $20/board. They also have 2 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 18" I joist for under $30, to use as the strong back.
 
Alan Gage
distinguished member(1084)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2016 08:36AM  
I'd check with a real lumberyard and ask if they can get you clear 'D' grade cedar. It usually comes 7/8" thick so you can plane it down to 3/4". 'A' grade works as well but is more money and is usually already planed down to 11/16, which isn't always so bad. Usually better colors when you buy 'A' grade as well. You're also more likely to get quarter sawn boards with 'A' grade, which isn't something you necessarily want.

Alan
 
1JimD
distinguished member(541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2016 09:15AM  
Learning to sort planks is my first priority.
Look for clear, or as clear as you can find. I will look at a plank of #3, or D grade. If I can get at least half the plank clear from end to end, I buy it.
Go for flat grain, or slash cut planks. These produces the strongest, easy to machine strips !

I love sorting planks and remember the best planks, are usually on the bottom. When sorting lumber take the time to straighten up the stack when you are done.

Jim
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(590)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2016 11:54PM  
Downloaded the plans for the Passage Solo and the Merlin from NWC. Pretty similar designs with subtle differences that probably make them perform quite differently.
Merlin is more "V", passage solo is shallow arch, Merlin has less rocker, and shallower in the bow.

Between these two, I think the passage solo would fit my needs a bit better.

Not that I am at the buying stage, but would a 16 foot strip be long enough for a 15 foot canoe? I am guessing that it would take closer to 17 foot to bend around the widest sections of the hull.
 
1JimD
distinguished member(541)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2016 07:25AM  
I build many of my solos with 16' planks, and I can easily reach 15'9". #3 grade cedar planks from Menards are usually 16'1", at least the ones I've purchased.

Your choice of plans is good. I don't think you will be dissatisfied with either. If you go with the Passage, I'd be real tempted to stretch just a little. I'd ad 3/8"-1/2" spacing between the forms. If this is your first, maybe you'd better off sticking with the original plan.

Jim
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next