23’ Carbon Kevlar Texas Long Boat

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I thought I would post this rebuild here even though this is not your typical tripping canoe. It is a racing canoe but, thought people could learn from how it was built and may be able to apply it to another build. If not delete away.

For the 2022 Texas Water Safari my paddling partner and I have not decided on which division we are competing in yet. Could be aluminum or tandem unlimited.

I picked up this “ Trimble” design boat off Craigslist for a “ get it out of my yard price”. Only a couple of these designs have been made and this one is from what I can tell 10-15 years old. It was made by Wade Binion from Texas for the Texas Water Safari. From the TWS there has been a design of boat that has been born that is a long, skinny, tough no frills boat. Wade is only one person out of a few that have made boats specifically for the TWS.

So this boat is in some what of rough shape. It was not paddle-able as it was. I patched it up and my daughter and I took it out last weekend. And paddled about a mile in it. Talk about tippy! There was no secondary stability in it. When you started to go over that was it you was getting wet. Lol. The first time setting in it we lasted about 10 seconds before we was swimming.

The bottom has been patched many times and needs to be patched again. I believe the layup is from the out side in is carbon-foam-Kevlar. I have patched one hole that I have found but I believe there is more that I am not seeing. So I am thinking about sanding and skimming the whole bottom with 4oz glass to seal every thing up. I know it will add weight but not sure how to seal it up.

The gunwales have been broken in multiple places. My thought is to cut them completely out and just replace with cedar covered with fiberglass?

 

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Glenn MacGrady

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I'm not a build or restoration expert, but your thread is most welcome here, and we have many members who are very experienced in such repairs. Hope they chime in.
 
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I'm not a build or restoration expert, but your thread is most welcome here, and we have many member who are very experienced in such repairs. Hope they chime in.
Thank you Glen. Love the new site bye the way. Glad to be able to sign in a be able to post something. Been wanting to start a new thread for a while now.
 
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Without seeing the canoe firsthand, even with photos, it’s hard to suggest repair materials or methods. The good thing is that if you have most of the hull still intact any composite canoe can be repaired, ugly functional to near pristine, depending on purpose.

I traded a 24’ kevlar Sawyer Saber (for a kevlar Northern Light solo) to Water Safari racer Kaki Burris, who raced with her sisters as “Team Gar”, so named because a Gar leapt out of the water attracted by their bow light one night and hit her sister in the chest hard enough to break a rib.

I followed the Texas Water Safari for several years. That is some crazy stuff; love the history of the race, two guys making a casual bet that they could paddle from San Marcos to Spindrift in the early ‘60’s.

https://www.texaswatersafari.org/

One high water flood year I recall tales of a race team near the start, clinging to the branches of a tree, with their multi-paddler custom canoe wrapped around the trunk. There were a lot of boat casualties that year.

Given the potential for abuse I’d guess ugly but functional, including marathon-style outfitting, may be the way to go. Please keep us posted, both on the repairs and outfitting and the race itself.
 
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I'm not 100% positive, but I believe that a version of this boat has been built by the same builder and raced in the 440 mile Yukon River Quest as a C4 racer, as well as a C2 version a number of times. I paddled in what I know was built by the Texans in a 34' voyageur on the first Yukon 1000 mile race in 2009. It had very advanced seats mounted on wheels (except for bow and stern) that rolled side to side gunwale to gunwale for "huts". We had 7 paddlers that year, but the original design was outfitted for up to 12 paddlers, I think, before we spent an entire day to reconfigure it for my single file team of 7. We won the canoe race class that year on the Y1K.
 
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Clint, please keep us posted with text and photos as the rehab and outfitting progress. I am really curious about Water Safari outfitting.

When you get around to racing it, if you are of a mind, I’d enjoy following your times and tracker. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that race, but I do enjoy following along, especially if I have some background on the boat and paddler.
 
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I'm not 100% positive, but I believe that a version of this boat has been built by the same builder and raced in the 440 mile Yukon River Quest as a C4 racer, as well as a C2 version a number of times. I paddled in what I know was built by the Texans in a 34' voyageur on the first Yukon 1000 mile race in 2009. It had very advanced seats mounted on wheels (except for bow and stern) that rolled side to side gunwale to gunwale for "huts". We had 7 paddlers that year, but the original design was outfitted for up to 12 paddlers, I think, before we spent an entire day to reconfigure it for my single file team of 7. We won the canoe race class that year on the Y1K.
yknpdlr sounds like an interesting design! There a few Texans that build boat for the TWS Binion, Bugee, Spencer to name a few and I am sure there are that many more that I do not know about.
Clint, please keep us posted with text and photos as the rehab and outfitting progress. I am really curious about Water Safari outfitting.

When you get around to racing it, if you are of a mind, I’d enjoy following your times and tracker. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that race, but I do enjoy following along, especially if I have some background on the boat and paddler.
Will do. I have a lot of irons in the fire as for as boats go right now. The group of paddlers that I paddle and race with have not decided on what we want to do this year. So I am kind of in limbo on which boat I want to spend time working on. I started cutting forms out this past weekend for a solo boat also! Really need to just get one thing done at a time.

A couple weekends ago a friend and I hosted our first canoe race here in Dallas with the help and sponsorship from the Texas Canoe and Kayak Racing Association. So that was a blast and hoping to get canoeing and racing awareness more moving here. Now that is over I'll try and focus more on our plans for next years season.

Thanks for everyone's interest in the canoe.
 
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The 34' Richard Ameen voyageur is the very canoe that I paddled on the Yukon 1000 mile race held for the very first time in 2009 (finishing in 6 days as first place voyageur canoe). I have many other photos of it, here is just one as we made at our mandatory stop at Eagle AK, just after crossing the YT/AK border, where we had to show our passports. The famous Calico Bluff is seen in the distance, often featured on the TV show "Life Below Zero". Since the canoe had been previously stored outdoors for a long time it needed a severe polishing and clieaning and we modified the seats for a crew of 7 paddlers, keeping the side to side sliding seats. We worked on it for two days at the Kanoe People shop yard in Whitehorse before race start day.

23' C4 canoes have become very popular for racing in the Adirondacks and elsewhere, so much so that we couldn't understand why they were not seen on the Yukon races. So we petitioned they YRQ and succeeded in getting the C4 class approved in 2017. We brought two of them from NY that year for the first time and paddled in the YRQ along with the Texas C4 version that year.

y0bfknt.jpg


Here is another, taken after finishing the race (first voyageur!) while parked at or hotel in Fairbanks.

hotel voyageur.jpg
 
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A tangent: That water is SO sedimented, yknpdlr. What do seven paddlers do for drinking water for 1000 miles?
You are right. That was a big concern until I discovered a solution. The Yukon River in summer is clear water from Whitehorse through Lake Laberge and back into the river until about 80 miles into the race when the Teslin River joins and it becomes loaded with brown silt so much that you cannot see as much as a millimeter into it. Even in the clear tansparent water areas we could see what could only be residue of dead salmon flesh debris swirling in the water column. Much further down where the White River joins with its load of white silt, turning the river gray. The suspended silt is so heavy that it sounds like sandpaper or the static of a mis-tuned AM radio on the hull of the canoe. Local people, most of who never learned to swim in the cold water, tell us that if one falls into the river, his pockets and clothing will fill up so much with silt that there is little hope of recovery.

Seven paddlers need many gallons of water each day. Y1K race rules allowed us to paddle for only up to 18 hours per day, which we did right to the minute every day. i discovered that PUR produces packets of a combination silt settler and purfier chemical in packets, originally meant to be used in 3rd world countries to make potable water. We would pre-filter river water through cloth in a colandar into a couple of 5 gallon buckets during our mandatory "niight" stop (it never gets dark enoough to call it a night). Then mix in the PUR chemical. An hour or two later there would be several inches of a thick silty goo in the bottom of the bucket with disinfected potable water on top. It didnt taste very good, but it was safe to drink.

One time when we stopped for a very infrequent shore bio break, we happened to be at a very clean looking stream coming down off a mountainside. So we filled our bottles up with what we thought was pure fresh water. After starting to paddle again, one of our team noticed when she turned over her nalgene bottle that a flake of gold was settling inside. I quickly marked that spot on my
GPS. When I later looked up that creek's location, I did not see that that particular creek bed had ever been mined for gold. That was the only time we ever had the opportunity to stop, however briefly, at a clear running stream entering the river. Bio breaks on shore (rare) were elsewhere strictly kept at 7 minutes or less (we were a crew of 3 females and 4 males).

I home dehydrated all of our main breakfast and dinner meals (that's another story altogether). Meals were prepared on board without stopping our forward paddling in the race. One padder (seat #5) would be gallley cook, heating water on a stable mounted backpadker's stove and serving each crew member rehydrated food in a large mug. We ate one a time, each very briefly taking a break from paddling to eat.
pur.jpg
 
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