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Boat Design Stage to become a build

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I’ve been working on a new boat design that I’ll comment on more later but wanted to get this going so it keeps me on task to keep moving forward. I’m hoping to complete the design within the next week or so and then formulate a game plan for building. I moved from the burbs two years ago and now live in a townhome 1 mile from downtown Houston so work space is limited to non existent. I’ll figure it out though. More back story soon. 60928461-7EC4-46F2-8354-C5CBDCC12449.jpeg1071F9F4-6A02-4342-8265-B159E436517C.jpeg36140637-CBFD-4C67-84B3-C5B1BA260BCE.jpeg
 
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AWESOME !

Time to put that model in the Bath tub !

So lets see the bottom side !

Looking forward to more !

Jim
 
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So here is the back story on me designing a canoe and wanting to build another boat. Around 2012-2013 I had aspirations of building a canoe to race in the Texas Water Safari. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s a 260 mile canoe race in Texas that starts in San Marcos and ends in the gulf at Seadrift. Www.texaswatersafari.org

I raced and completed the race in 2001 and felt it was time to do it again. I have a bucket list dream to complete the Safari in a boat that I built. I built a boat that was designed by a friend of mine per my specifications but it took me longer to build than expected. My wife and I have 5 kids so juggling family and numerous sports, the build was finally done. Scheduling didn’t work to my favor so I didn’t race until 2018.

This is my post race write up when it was over.


17 Years Later- The 2018 Texas Water Safari



It is less than 24 hours from the final cutoff time of the 2018 Texas Water Safari, and I’m on a flight to Jamaica for some well-deserved rest. Instead of thinking about the water, sun, and sand that awaits me, I find myself reflecting on this year’s race and how I first learned about it.



My introduction to the Texas Water Safari was in the fall of 1999 while waiting in line at church to register my son in Vacation Bible School. My friend Paul asked if I had ever heard of the race and I told him no. He told me about the Safari and that I was the first one he thought of crazy enough to do it with him. Unfortunately, I was unable to do the race that year, so he completed the 2000 race with another friend of ours, and then he and I completed the race in 2001.



I remember thinking at the time that I could have 5 finishes by the time I was about 37 years old; however, life sometimes has a way of changing plans along the way. The 2018 race is only my second entry, and I could never have realized that it would be 17 years after my first one. When I reflect on what got me involved with the race again, I must thank two people specifically. Max Hambly and Michael Tecci. Before the 50th anniversary of the race, I decided to sell my C2 as it was collecting dust and I felt it should be paddled and not hung up in my garage. They saw my for-sale post and we met halfway between Austin and NW Houston after work one day to make the exchange. We briefly talked Safari and they told me of their desire to ditch the aluminum to go faster. I inquired about who their Team Captain was, and they said their previous TC would be unavailable. I’m not sure what prompted me, but I told them that while they didn’t know me, I’d be interested. They kind of shrugged it off, but I told them I was serious. We began a dialog and that year I was their TC. I have been a Team Captain four other times since then. Thanks Mike and Max for taking a chance on someone you didn’t know. I feel that if it weren’t for the two of you, I wouldn’t have ever gotten back into being involved with the TWS.



2018 is the only year during a 5-year span that I don’t have a child graduating from high school, so this year was the year to paddle. I ended 2017 knowing I was out of shape and had to make changes. Beginning January 2nd, I stopped drinking alcohol and sodas, changed my diet, and begin working out. By the start of the race, I had gone from 210lbs to 175lbs. The way I both looked and felt after the weight loss can only be described as amazing.



I wanted to paddle for a cause and not just for myself, so with the blessing of the Briggs Family, I paddled on behalf of Julia’s Quest. ***see bottom



I first must thank my wonderful wife Tracy Tipton Jouett and my children for their support while I trained and prepared for the race. I couldn’t have done it without them.



For me the Texas Water Safari is about the entire training experience and the friendships made along the way. Patches and trophies are nice, but that isn’t what motivates me. Those that I would like to point out specifically related to my training are Chris Stevenson, Alex Leonard, Lucjan Żołnierowski, David Kaiser, Max Dugas, Kim Kaiser, Liz Kilgore, Max Hambly, Mike Tecci, John Mark Harras, Geoff Waters, and David Froehlich. You all will hold a special place when I look back on the 2018 Safari. To Doug Johnson. I enjoyed paddling with you during the Texas River Marathon and especially during the Safari. You kept me motivated and I was really hoping to finish the Safari with you, but the Safari gods had other plans. I am glad I was there to be able to greet you at the finish. I had the good fortune to Co-TC with Ginsie Stauss a few years ago and she was such an encouraging factor for me this year. Her enthusiasm for me paddling was very motivating, so thanks for all your positive energy Ginsie.



One of my favorite training times was Memorial Day Weekend at Palmetto State Park. I met lots of new people and the camaraderie among the paddlers was fantastic. Safari people are some of the best people you’ll meet anywhere. Period! Liz Kilgore told me that her favorite training experience was when we paddled Tivoli to Seadrift together on a night run and I think I agree with her. That was a great night of paddling under a full moon.



Overall, I was running a good race even in difficult conditions. The wind from Gonzales to Cheapside took its toll on me, and then I hit Nursery which I think was even worse. I kept plugging along and I decided I’d need a short break in Victoria as I was fighting staying awake. A couple of miles above the boat ramp, I flipped my boat into a strainer which was probably due to exhaustion as I’d run this clean at least twice during training runs. Unfortunately, I pinned my boat. I was able to free the stern end, but then the boat flipped from the current and was then pushed completely under water. I tried to free it to no avail. It was at this point that I just jumped into the current and swam to the bank. I walked back up the shore above where my boat was pinned and just sat there thinking about my situation. My race was over, and I couldn’t help but think about my boat and all the gear that was in it. This was a hard pill to swallow as I built my boat, so it has extra meaning to me. After about 20 minutes a 3-man team came around the corner. I asked if they would alert the race officials and my TC of my situation and tell them that I was most likely out, but I wasn’t giving up yet. They immediately said, “we’ll help you try and get it out”. They kept asking where it was because you couldn’t see the boat at all. Another boat came around the corner and the first boat ask them to help us with my boat. They too pulled over without hesitating. I told them all that nobody’s safety was above my boat, but they were all in to help. We all walked upstream, jumped into the current, and swam to the tree and boat, grabbing on to whatever we could. After about 5-10 minutes of pushing, pulling, and everything imaginable to the boat and tree, we managed to free my boat. These guys were my heroes as they saved my boat and belongings. I had to adjust the rudder cables before continuing but got that done and paddled into the Victoria checkpoint. Unfortunately, I can’t remember names or boat numbers, but I’d like to thank these individuals. If anyone has a picture of the Victoria sheet with me (boat 56) on it, I can determine who the two teams were.



The first thing I did upon my arrival to the Victoria checkpoint was to go to the officials and nominate both boats for the Brad Ellis Spirit Award. Without even being asked, they put their safety at risk to help me. It was at this point that I asked the officials if I could continue or if I was out. They didn’t want to DQ me, but I told them I wanted to be open about everything and would live with whatever decision they made. I was informed that they had already disqualified someone earlier in the day for the same thing. They made a call to Robin Reeves and put me on the phone with him. He asked me to tell him what happened and so I did. This is when he informed me that my race was over because I received aid.



I’d like to take a moment to thank the TWS Board, race officials, and all the volunteers that help make this race possible. The Safari couldn’t take place without all your hard work. Thank you as well to the Social Media crew and the incredible job they did.



To say I was disappointed for being disqualified is an understatement, but the good news is I ended up with my boat and my belongings all because of competitor’s selfless acts of kindness. This was truly the Safari “spirit” that you hear about and is something I’ll never forget.



After letting my race being over sink in, I let my wife know that I was out of the race. My TC got us something to eat and we headed to Seadrift. I can’t begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for the job that Douglas Wheeler did. Especially as a first time TC. You would have thought he had been a TC multiple times. He was a rock star and I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did without him.



Once in Seadrift I was able to see friends finish and shake their hands. Witnessing them complete the course during a difficult year was quite rewarding and something I won’t forget.



I’m extremely thankful for the friends I made along the way and what we were able to do for Julia’s Quest. We raised stuffed animals along with over $1000 to purchase stuffed animals. After returning from my vacation, I will get with Vera (Julia’s mother) and we will go purchase stuffed animals that will then be given to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for dispersal. Thanks to those that donated, and I will have something for each of you soon.



I often comment that the Safari changes people. It changed me physically this year, and it pushed me to physical and mental limits during the race. This was my first time to experience hallucinations, and some of them were quite interesting. Even when things were tough, I felt alive and one with nature and my desire to come back and do it again is as strong as ever.



I will not be in a boat in 2019, but I hope to be back running the banks as a TC.



See you on the river!



Jeff Jouett



*** On May 30, 2009, thirteen-year-old Julia Marie Briggs, a former student of Farney Elementary, Black Elementary, and Hamilton Middle School, suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away from Mediastinal Lymphoma (a very rare and aggressive cancer).



Prior to her passing, Julia was beginning her quest to attain the Silver Award for Girl Scouts. Her idea was to gather stuffed animals for the Houston Police Department for homicide detectives to give to children to hold for comfort in times of crisis.



Julia was an energetic, charismatic, inspirational, and caring leader who demonstrated her leadership through athletics and community service. In addition to playing lacrosse with the Cy-Fair Iron Maidens, Julia played basketball, ran cross country and was also actively involved in the Girl Scouts.


This will be my attempt to build a new boat and attempt the Safari solo again. I plan to race tandem in 2023 but hopefully solo in 2024.
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So my design inspiration is the attached boat. It’s a Landick 2 designed by Steve Landick and I had it built for me in 2019 by Fred Mynar. I absolutely loved this boat and never planned to get rid of it. Unfortunately once I moved into my townhome, getting it to fit in my garage was nothing short of a challenge. I had to remove the rudder every time and still had to get creative to make it fit. I finally decided to sell it. I wasn’t smart enough to take dimensions for study purposes and I wouldn’t have recreated it as is anyway.

From what I think I’ve learned is the Landick was based on merging a C1 with a C2. I have plans for a C1 and have a C1 hanging in my garage currently. I sold my C2 to get my C1 so I’m familiar with both boats. The front half of my boat is the front of a C1 and the back half of my boat is the front half of a C2. I’ve blended the two together and kept the pulled in gunwales to allow for comfort when paddling. I’m definitely going to change up the width around the feet area to my body so I have more room around the legs. I’d probably stop where I currently have my design if I weren’t doing the Texas Water Safari, but 260 miles is a long time in a boat so room and comfort is a must. I forgot my computer this weekend or I’d probably complete the design. I’m hoping to do that this week and then plan to print another scale model but this time 1”=1’. I’ll print a seat and a scaled person and if I think it’s good to go, I’ll next work on sections for making my mold stations.

I really want to make a wood strip but I also like my previous build which was foam core with Kevlar on the outside and inside. It was tough as hell and took a beating. I’ve got time to figure that out.

More next week.B124F285-2954-430E-9C16-B88220F696B6.jpeg
 
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I think I have the design where I want it. I’ve widened it a bit to add more volume. It will help with the load capacity and should add a bit more stability. I may pull in the gunwales slightly just behind the seating area but I’ll wait to see what I think once stations are mounted and I can flex a strip along the edge and manipulate it to see how it bends if I pull in a bit tighter.

My next step will be a 3D model at 1”=1’. I’ll also do a scaled seat and paddler. If I’m still satisfied, I’ll make full scale drawings and then start planning on making the stations.6A2D5A0F-318E-4E05-BA87-7148BBF5BE46.jpeg
 
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Looks awesome Jeff! Love it. Wish we lived closer you could build it in the shop, no problem!
 
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I put it in water to play around with it. Seems to sit nicely and looks like the trim is good. I wish photos would show better. Here are a few. On the one I’m holding at an angle, it will take quite a bit of lean before becoming an issue. I can feel the secondary stability as I heel it over. The more I push it over the more it pulls to try and right itself. Even though this is a miniature model, I like what I’m seeing. Time to work on a set of drawings.

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Hi Jeff,

I'm very interested in your build, and will follow along closely. I finished my first Yukon River Quest (think TWS but in the north) and am making plans for how to do better next year. Thus, I was looking for plans or stations of a Landick-ish canoe that I could use as a starting point for a build this winter. I will most likely do a cedar strip build as I've done this kind of build before. I wanted to know if you knew of where I might be able to track down some plans or if you'd be willing to share some of yours.

Thanks and good luck with your build!

Matt Smith
 
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Always interesting for me to read about folks’ “winter projects”. For me in Florida, winter is paddlin, camping, cookout, outside time etc. time. All the stuff y’all do in summer. Summer down here is awful, definitely not time to build a canoe in the garage. If it weren’t for air conditioning I’d move. And I was born here!
 
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Always interesting for me to read about folks’ “winter projects”. For me in Florida, winter is paddlin, camping, cookout, outside time etc. time. All the stuff y’all do in summer. Summer down here is awful, definitely not time to build a canoe in the garage. If it weren’t for air conditioning I’d move. And I was born here!
Woodpuppy! Have a friend move down here to Texas from Illinois and that is what he is use to doing during winter. A project of some sorts or spending time in the gym. Last winter was his first winter here and I had him out paddling the whole time. I think we clocked 200 plus miles of training in a couple months. He was wondering when was it time to rest................ now he knows with these 110 plus days! lol
 
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Always interesting for me to read about folks’ “winter projects”. For me in Florida, winter is paddlin, camping, cookout, outside time etc. time. All the stuff y’all do in summer. Summer down here is awful, definitely not time to build a canoe in the garage. If it weren’t for air conditioning I’d move. And I was born here!
I live in Houston so I feel your pain. I once built a racing canoe and when it was time to do the Kevlar work, I had to start at first light and work as quickly as possible. I had my epoxy jugs sitting in a tub of water a thermometer in it and added ice as needed to control the temp of the epoxy. I worked in small batches. Everything came out fine but I was dying by the time I finished. The epoxy cured quickly after that as it was basically in a big oven at that point.
 
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Hi Jeff,

I'm very interested in your build, and will follow along closely. I finished my first Yukon River Quest (think TWS but in the north) and am making plans for how to do better next year. Thus, I was looking for plans or stations of a Landick-ish canoe that I could use as a starting point for a build this winter. I will most likely do a cedar strip build as I've done this kind of build before. I wanted to know if you knew of where I might be able to track down some plans or if you'd be willing to share some of yours.

Thanks and good luck with your build!

Matt Smith
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