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Pack canoe redux

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After finishing a tandem tripper last year I had some paint and most of a canoe’s worth of strips left over so I decided to use them up on a pack canoe build (Ashes Solo Pack, extended to 14 feet). Very straightforward, stemless design with 3/16 strips and 4 ounce s-glass.

I didn’t really take many photos of the build worth posting, as there is not much that isn’t better covered in other build threads. But there might be some interest in what happened next, so I thought I would make this post.

The exterior came out nicely (for me at least) but I did not do a great job laying the fibreglass on the interior - I was using 30 inch s-glass which I decided to do crosswise instead of lengthwise. I know some have done this without a problem, but it did not work well for me - lots of lumps, bumps and wrinkles.

So I decided to sand down what I safely could and paint it - 2 coats of Rustoleum antique leather.

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Bad move and I hated it right away, but it was already November so I hung the boat in my garage and stewed about it over the winter. Come spring, I was ready for drastic action, armed with a heat gun.

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The fibreglass actually came off fairly easily over several hours of heat gunning and lifting with a putty knife, and I moved to sand down the rough epoxy undercoat. I then noticed this.

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Caused by this

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I guess the relaxation of the hull after stripping out the interior glass put a lot of stress on the gunnels, and the scarf gave way (the gunnels were probably too narrow, scarfed using Titebond instead of epoxy, but I can only guess why it couldn’t hold on that side but was fine on the other).

Anyway, since these were one-piece, slotted gunnels there was only one clean solution - cut them off completely. When building I always add an extra strip at the sheer for slotted gunnels, just in case, so had enough wiggle room to cut without lowering the depth below specs (11 inch centre depth in this case). Took about an hour using a multi-tool, while being very careful to keep the cut at the gunnel level.

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So basically I had half deconstructed the canoe. Now had to put it back together - interior fibreglass using full sized 4 ounce eglass went well

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I had already cut a one-piece cedar gunnel for this boat last year but chickened out on using it without some reinforcement. To my surprise I discovered that a roll of 3/4 inch carbon sleeve I had from past projects had enough expansion range to just fit over the 1x3/4 inch profile - at 2 pounds, 7 ounce including epoxy wet out I was sold.

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Gunnels went on without any fuss, using a board and clamps across the middle to let them set with the tops horizontal - otherwise they would follow the tumblehome recurve and set at an angle towards each other.

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I added a strip of 6 ounce glass tape on the top for extra abrasion/dent resistance from paddle thumps and roof racks.

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Bent some 1/8 inch aluminum flat bar and encased them in carbon fibre sleeve for thwart mounts, and made the thwarts by repurposing some broken carbon compostie hockey sticks (under 6 ounces each and very strong), again inside carbon sleeve.

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Seat is attached with 3M dual lock, which allows for about 4-5 inches fore/aft adjustment - I carved a minicell foam seat, and also put together a frame for a clipper canoe bucket seat that attaches to the dual lock. I think I prefer the bucket, but it is a bit heavier and unlike the minicell, I can’t quite pick the canoe up by the seat without it letting go. Will have to add a little more dual lock to the seat frame and/or a tether of some sort.

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Total weight is 27.5 pounds with the minicell seat, 28.25 pounds with the bucket seat. I have to add a strap yoke or something for carrying, which will add a little to the weight, but overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out, especially given the mess it was in a month or so ago. While it didn’t start out that way, the colour scheme basically wound up the same as stripperguy used for his Kite build from a ways back, which I always liked. Just to be prudent though, I am consulting my lawyer 😀

Had it out for a very short paddle and it handles well for such a small canoe - not something for rough waters though. I also need to figure out a graceful way to get in and out, but it’s definitely a keeper.

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Thanks all

Tony
 

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I like the black carbon on the red. It really is a distinctive separation between the wood and the red. Glad a disaster worked out in your favour, or at least I think it did.
Roy
 
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Brian, they are pretty light. One pound combined for the pair. The brand is Attwood and got them on Amazon (

Attwood 11940-2 Universal Adjustable Kayak Foot Pegs/Foot Brace with Trigger Lock, Black Finish, Set of 2, 15 Inches).​

Because of their light weight they are not as robust as some, but I have used this kind in several canoes and 2 SOF kayaks without any issues
 
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Brian, they are pretty light. One pound combined for the pair. The brand is Attwood and got them on Amazon (

Attwood 11940-2 Universal Adjustable Kayak Foot Pegs/Foot Brace with Trigger Lock, Black Finish, Set of 2, 15 Inches).​

Because of their light weight they are not as robust as some, but I have used this kind in several canoes and 2 SOF kayaks without any issues
Thanks, assembling ideas to lighten the next boat, hopefully get it done this winter. I think those may save 1/2 pound.

Brian
 
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Very nicely done, with a lot of critical thinking and creative problem solving along the way. Thanks for sharing!
 

Glenn MacGrady

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A classic story of comeback after failure. I believe Homer had the first copyright on that plot, but he and his lawyer are long dead.

Nice job!
 
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