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JW Kite build - ready for Gunwales

My apologies, I'm not intentionally trying to create thread drift, but I have an alternate opinion about the twitchiness of the osprey/kite.

I'm not so sure about the trim sensitivity many people complain about. I've done thousands of kilometers in the Osprey, most of that with tripping loads in the canoe. I just put the seat further back from the center, usually the front of the seat is 9 or ten inches from the middle. I believe I remember reading John Winters saying he never included a sliding seat in his personal canoes either. The design is a good all around canoe, but the asymmetrical nature is not going to make it a dedicated white water canoe...you will still get through class 2 stuff, but you won't be back ferrying or carving wicked eddies. If you put more weight toward the stern, the back half will squat a little more in the water, and give you an easier time going straight ahead. If you need to be bow heavy or neutral. just move your packs around.

I'll be mounting the seat in my Raven ten inches back. The last osprey I built, I put it six inches aft of center, and I found that to be not enough. Anyway, that's just my random opinion which many people will disagree with so take it with a grain of salt.

Edited to say, I paddle the exact same way you do, in terms of foot and leg placement.
 
My apologies, I'm not intentionally trying to create thread drift, but I have an alternate opinion about the twitchiness of the osprey/kite.

I'm not so sure about the trim sensitivity many people complain about. I've done thousands of kilometers in the Osprey, most of that with tripping loads in the canoe. I just put the seat further back from the center, usually the front of the seat is 9 or ten inches from the middle. I believe I remember reading John Winters saying he never included a sliding seat in his personal canoes either. The design is a good all around canoe, but the asymmetrical nature is not going to make it a dedicated white water canoe...you will still get through class 2 stuff, but you won't be back ferrying or carving wicked eddies. If you put more weight toward the stern, the back half will squat a little more in the water, and give you an easier time going straight ahead. If you need to be bow heavy or neutral. just move your packs around.

I'll be mounting the seat in my Raven ten inches back. The last osprey I built, I put it six inches aft of center, and I found that to be not enough. Anyway, that's just my random opinion which many people will disagree with so take it with a grain of salt.

Edited to say, I paddle the exact same way you do, in terms of foot and leg placement.
Hi memaquay.

I don't think this is a thread drift at all, at least I am very interested to hear opinions on this. A fixed seat is lighter and sturdier of course. It also looks cleaner and is easier to attach one of those clever carying thwarts to.

I am 175lbs 6'3" and wear US size 10
I will paddle light most of the time carrying only a 15-20lbs pack and a fishing rod.
I will also pack for week long outings occasionally carrying myself plus 40-60lbs of gear.

I will paddle on forest rivers, lakes and in the Norwegian ocean which is the Arctic Atlantic in my case. I will not push the limits on the ocean out here Lofoten of course but I will go exploring the many little islands. Heavy sea swells with manageable waves will be common. Wind will often be a factor though.

Is a fixed seat in the Kite out of the question? If not then where to place it? Height and distance from center?
Do you have a sliding seat in your Kite/Osprey and if so, how much do you move it and where do you sit the most?
 
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I'm not sure this is relevant. My two canoes have open gunwales, when I sail them I lash on a thwart to support the mast. The rigs have around 40 square feet of sail, enough to apply plenty of strain. The lashing made of synthetic webbing sometimes stretches a very little, but never slips or lets go. I think the webbing is strong enough to support a seat with wraps on all four ends. You can test your seat location this way without drilling any holes, and bolt it in when you're happy. Or just leave it lashed, allowing a little adjustment considering hull width. If you find two good spots, make two seats.
 
The wrap around gunwale will look very nice.
As will the small decks. You could reduce the gunwale section by a factor of two, although that might look awkward. You don’t need much strength due to the hull’s inherent stiffness.
My seat pedestal allows me to do all of the things that you prefer…I can tuck one foot or both feet under the seat, I can straddle a single support to heel the boat to an extreme, and I can easily reposition my seat fore-aft using 3M Dual Lock, a sort of Velcro on steroids.
Keep in mind that I wear a US size 8-1/2 men’s shoe, if you need more height your pedestal may put your CG higher than you would like. I think I have 12 or 13 inches of fire aft adjustment.
 
The wrap around gunwale will look very nice.
As will the small decks. You could reduce the gunwale section by a factor of two, although that might look awkward. You don’t need much strength due to the hull’s inherent stiffness.
My seat pedestal allows me to do all of the things that you prefer…I can tuck one foot or both feet under the seat, I can straddle a single support to heel the boat to an extreme, and I can easily reposition my seat fore-aft using 3M Dual Lock, a sort of Velcro on steroids.
Keep in mind that I wear a US size 8-1/2 men’s shoe, if you need more height your pedestal may put your CG higher than you would like. I think I have 12 or 13 inches of fire aft adjustment.
I don''t know how tall you are but my stripper legs are very long. When I am sitting "one under one forward", the leg under the seat goes sort of diagonally backwards. Knee close to the turn of the bilge and foot almost in the center under or behind the seat. A pedestal would get in the way, especially when switching.

I know the 3M Dual Lock though. Very good stuff for a variety of applications. I recently fastened my nieces number plate on her moped with it because then she can easily take the plates with her and avoid getting parking tickets!
 
Well, you are much taller than I, but we have the same size feet, I am more hobbit sized. I had my seat hanging 3 inches down from the top of the gunwale. With your height, if you were to put a fixed seat in, I think at least six inches back. The suggestion about trying placement before attaching is a very good idea, we all have our different comfort levels.
 
Capping the hull is great ! It seals the hull from moisture getting between the glass and hull !
It appears you are using a separate piece, a narrow strip between the inwhale and outwhale.
I do mine with the outwhale.
A pic.

IMG_3446.JPG



IMG_3499.JPG
 
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I'll have to agree with Memaquay regarding seat placement. Once you figure out the best placement for the seat, you won't have to move it. The Kite is like all the newer canoe designs in that the rocker starts in the middle of the hull, or maybe even slightly aft of center rather than out towards the ends. If your weight is a little too far forward, the canoe gets squirrely. The Kite has this behavior anyway, but it gets bad if you weight is a little too far forward. If you fish or photograph this canoe will frustrate you a bit. The moment you lift your paddle out of the water it goes into a turn. There's no paddle and glide in a straight line with this one.

I have moved the seat a number of times and I think I've made peace with it. It started out with a pedestal seat, went to an ash contour seat hung from the gunwales because I kneel half the time, and finally to a laminated contour seat moved further back after cutting off the ash gunwales and replacing them with spruce. I have size 13 feet and have plenty of room with my seat height. Right now that canoe is in storage, so I can't give my seat mount location or height. I'll be out there later this week and can post my measurements.

Just to respond to a few other comments. I find this canoe very stable and very forgiving when crossing eddy lines or front ferrys and quite responsive to a paddle stroke if you aren't loaded down. Back ferrys are difficult as expected due to the skegged stern.

Edit: I just looked and the rocker starts over a foot behind the centerline of this canoe

Mark
 
I find this canoe very stable and very forgiving when crossing eddy lines or front ferrys and quite responsive to a paddle stroke if you aren't loaded down
I completely agree with this, and it is the main reason I have moved up to the Raven again. Mr. Thestripper, your body weight is well suited for the hull, you could add another 40 or 50 pounds of gear and still have a very responsive canoe. However, once you go past the sweet spot, it becomes very sluggish in fast water.

You won't see too many whitewater enthusiasts paddling asymmetrical hulls though
 
I completely agree with this, and it is the main reason I have moved up to the Raven again. Mr. Thestripper, your body weight is well suited for the hull, you could add another 40 or 50 pounds of gear and still have a very responsive canoe. However, once you go past the sweet spot, it becomes very sluggish in fast water.

You won't see too many whitewater enthusiasts paddling asymmetrical hulls though
I will not load this down that much, especially when travelling in faster water. I'm not a WW enthusiast by any means but of course I like the excitement of a class 2. From what I've gathered the Kite/Osprey is the hottest thing with available plans out there, until someone starts selling plans for the Phoenix or Wildfire I think I'll be happy with it.

I will mount the Gunwales, finish up the rest and then give it a few test runs before I decide on what to do with the seat, sliding or fixed.

I like to trim to the wind and sometimes put a bag, rock or waterbag in the front or stern to achieve a certain angle that the boat wants to hold to the wind. A sliding seat sounds great. I've never tried one though so I don't know how well it really works in practice.
 
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A Tip for the seat.
Make them deep enough, so you can shift your weight, fore and aft to adjust trim. Mine are 11", more would be better, but that is the dimension I use for all mine.

IMG_3494.JPG


I place my solo seats, so the front edge is 5 1/2"- 6" aft of center, This has been right for all the solos I have built.

Yes, play with seat location.

Jim
 
A Tip for the seat.
Make them deep enough, so you can shift your weight, fore and aft to adjust trim. Mine are 11", more would be better, but that is the dimension I use for all mine.

IMG_3494.JPG


I place my solo seats, so the front edge is 5 1/2"- 6" aft of center, This has been right for all the solos I have built.

Yes, play with seat location.

Jim
Thanks Jim!
Yeah I was thinking that too, that if mounting a fixed seat it should be deeper than standard to allow for some weight adjustment. May I ask what's your weight and height? I read about your seats in the canoe seats thread, very good stuff! I want to dimension this right but having troubble finding specific info on seats made from pine. I'm sure that the dimensions from a ash seat will need to be beefed up some though. I will be using nylon webbing 1&1/4"
What about height from top of seat? With a flat seat I'm guessing around 9"
 
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I ended up making it out to measure my Kite today afterall. The front of the seat is 8" from the boat midpoint and is 7.5" from floor of canoe to bottom of the seat at the center. I have a contoured seat that has a 3/4" drop in the middle. My seat drops are 1-1/4" in front and 3/4" in back to give the seat a little tilt forward making it more comfortable for kneeling. I now make the one piece angled seat drops like Bell/Northstar. I don't know if you're doing a foot brace, but I recommend one for stability and a little more leverage on the paddle when sitting upright.

Mark
 
I've been up to 240#, and the Ash seats gave no indication, I was too heavy.
At 5'10", I don't tuck my feet under the seat, if at all possible.

My rule of thumb, set the seats low. It's a lot easier to raise a seat, than to lower one.

Depth of a hull needs to be taken into consideration, when dealing with seat height.

I'll try and get an actual measurement on mine, tomorrow.

Jim
 
I've got my gunwale stock planed and routed ready to go. I've spent the last few weeks putting on laquer on the inside, 4 layers and also two layers of paint on the outside. It's true that every little bump and mistake will show up with high gloss paint. It doesn't look bad at all though, not to me at least. You can tell that it's a hand made object with some flaws but still, it's a looker! I will put on one or two more layers of paint and then take a break to go on a river trip with a plastic prospector 15. Gunwales will have to wait untill I get back.

I tinted the clear coat on the inside with a little bit of the outside paint. This helps a great deal to block UV from reaching the epoxy. It looks a little pink right now but the spruce will darken. I suspect this will result in a warm brow inside hull color after a while.

Also started to look for hardware to fasten the thwarts and seat. I have scraped my knuckles over sharp screw heads and washers too many times so I'm set on something with soft edges. I got some 5mm screws and stanless countersunk washers and did some experimenting with rounding of and polishing the washer and screw head. It looks very nice and all edges are low and soft. The washer will allow for a bit off-angles in mounting as well. Washer is 16mm outside diameter. It might be a bit small but I think it will work. Just got to find some longer 5mm screws to hang the seat. This is easier said than done.

What do you guys use for this?
 

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I would say your two choices are fine.

I just use stainless 1/4" carriage bolts, and countersink them, so they are flush.

Yeah, I don't like any bumps in my gunnels either.

You could countersink either of your choices.

Your paint looks good !

Jim
 
Over here, those washers are known as “ finish washers” (haha, not Finnish washers)
I’ve used them years ago when I fastened seat frames in place directly through the hull.
As others have mentioned, you could simply add some “lumps” to your inwales to hang the seat.
As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of a bottom mounted seat pedestal.
A month ago, MDB and I did a day paddle on a small lake on a surprisingly windy day.
When on our return leg, my carbon copy Kite was uncontrollable heading almostupwind, until I shifted my weight well forward of center. I had to kneel about a foot in front of my seat.
While true that the Kite can be trimmed using your gear, what to do with an empty boat and bigger wind and waves? IMHO, an adjustable seat is a must.

Oh, and I have to say that your paint does not look good!!
It looks fantastic.
 
Over here, those washers are known as “ finish washers” (haha, not Finnish washers)
I’ve used them years ago when I fastened seat frames in place directly through the hull.
As others have mentioned, you could simply add some “lumps” to your inwales to hang the seat.
As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of a bottom mounted seat pedestal.
A month ago, MDB and I did a day paddle on a small lake on a surprisingly windy day.
When on our return leg, my carbon copy Kite was uncontrollable heading almostupwind, until I shifted my weight well forward of center. I had to kneel about a foot in front of my seat.
While true that the Kite can be trimmed using your gear, what to do with an empty boat and bigger wind and waves? IMHO, an adjustable seat is a must.

Oh, and I have to say that your paint does not look good!!
It looks fantastic.
Hi big stripper. Thanks for the kind remark on the paint. It does look good. The picture I posted does not show all the little defects and specks of dust but all in all it looks pretty darn amazing, at least that's my opinion.

As I sanded the fill coat prior to painting, I burned through to the glass weave on a few spots. Those areas showed up like a sore thumb in the glossy paint. I wet sanded those areas with 600 grit on a rubber pad and went over the whole hull with Mirka Mirlon red cloth. The second coat hides most of the blemishes and I think the third coat will be the ticket to gloss-land.

I'm not dead set on what to do with the seat yet. I will put on the gunnels and thwarts and try it out on the water before deciding on whether to go with a fixed or sliding seat. A fixed seat has so many advantages so I'm leaning towards that but we will see.

I will probably trim down the dimensions on the gunwales quite a bit so I might need to glue on some "lumps" to widen it where the screws go through (I take it this is what you meant by adding lumps right?).

I have experienced the battle of kneeling way up front to aim into the wind a few times. No prying or J-stroke on those days just a frantic stroke and switch each side. I've even struggled in my glass fiber canoe with keel and no rocker with this in real heavy wind. A sliding seat, at least the ones I've seen, will not be of any help in those situations. If you don't have any gear to move around then a good size rock or some bags filled with water up front helps a great deal.

I'm having troubble finding 5mm screws (that is just over 3/16") that are long enough to hang the seat. I can get threaded rods but I havent figured out any good solution on how to get them flush, or nearly flush above the gunwale. Anyone?
 
Something like these?


Or maybe these, epoxied in place?

 
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