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Tortured Ply canoe

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So here’s an update. Following up on lashing the gore ends closed, I scarfed and epoxied into place the two cherry wood inwales - pretty straightforward process, but note the 25 pound plate on the plywood to prevent it from tipping over on me due to the weight of all the clamps (don’t ask how I found out that this was necessary).

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Then I wrapped the plywood in a bunch of short cam straps and began to tighten them up gradually, after wetting the bottom of the plywood with hot water and a paint brush. Again, a very straightforward process that took me maybe a half hour overall, and resulted in a very canoe-like hull.

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Only one small fracture in the plywood at the end of it all, resulting I think from some blow-out of the outer ply layer from sloppy drilling of the hole through the hull at the end of this particular gore. Easily fixed with a dab of epoxy and a couple of tiny screws to clamp it shut. I also got some dye bleed on the exterior from the wet hull and cheap cam straps I used, but again no big deal.

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I then secured the joins at each end with thickened epoxy and some 4 ounce fiberglass inside the stems, and aligned and filled whatever openings remained in the gores.

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At this stage the hull is already very smooth, nicely faired with gentle curves, and really needs only a little bit of touch up sanding here and there on the ends and gores before it can be glassed. Amazingly fast process overall that I am confident could be done in well under two weeks from start to finish, including fibreglass and varnish, if you put in more than an hour or two per day. Weight right now including the inwales and ribs discussed below is 20.25 pounds - I should wind up somewhere in the 30 pound range overall, while I expect the Baltic Birch core under fibreglass will be very tough.

But there are some downsides: first, this makes for a pretty flat bottomed canoe throughout the middle third, which needs to be kept in mind depending on how it is to be used. When I glass it I think I can push the bottom out to get a little rounding, but likely not much.

Second, I wound up with quite a bit more rocker than I would normally shoot for - probably 3 inches or so near the stems, after a steady rise from the middle. I think some of this is inherent in the build technology but is also in part due to me not paying enough attention to how wide I cut the gores (a couple of mm wider than the plan calls for in the middle probably translates into quite a bit more height at the ends once it is all closed up).

Third, at the bottom ends of the gores in the middle there is a little pucker in the plywood that leads to a series of 4 little bumps in the hull along each side (roughly at the waterline). As far as I can tell this is pretty well unavoidable. Some builders of these boats have apparently sanded these bumps flat and reinforced them from the inside with epoxy. I don’t think they are serious enough for that, and I will probably leave them alone, as they are not really noticeable unless you look for them.

And finally, while also not a big deal, I don’t like the look of the gores and plywood seams on the canoe (I will be painting the outside, so this is only an issue for the interior). So I decided to add some ribs to cover all the seams. Not having worked with steam bending before, I spent the better part of a week messing around with various options before settling on some thin cherry ribs (1/8 by 1 inch) that seemed acceptable. As these are mostly cosmetic given their thinness, I may also add some half ribs in the centre third to help out with any potential oil canning along the flat part of the bottom if that becomes an issue. These are just bent and laid into place for now, and will be epoxied in after the interior fibreglass.CA40D019-6041-43FE-B2B0-037609CE3619.jpegFA9C0D64-CCDD-44AA-A9DA-0102F1CBFE71.jpeg8B22CE00-5275-4418-8C88-F2BA39ABDD88.jpeg

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So that’s about it for now - no “hot mess” and seems like it will be a pretty decent little canoe overall.

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I will have to wait for spring before I can (hopefully) squeeze this out my basement window and into the garage for fibreglassing and final finishing. Will provide an update on the final product then. In the meantime, now that I have my personal “proof of concept“ so to speak, I have to find a way to deal with the divinycell earbug that Stripperguy has planted in my mind - I know I want one, but do I really need a 20 pound canoe?.
Thanks all
 
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Traveler, I think it turned out a lot better than I imagined it would. I look forward to the coats of epoxy and cloth coming during warmer weather. Please keep us posted.

Years ago I built the 6 hour canoe, a shorter version of what you did, and it was the first build I ever did. It was pretty much a torture session with the final blow being epoxying the entire inside, built in a garage with doors open, and a heavy wind blew a "cloud" of dried leaves into the garage and then they all drifted down onto the fresh and very sticky resin and no amount of trying to pick them out worked, every time I tried to grab a leave it crumbled and made more of a mess and of course with no gloves on. I may have cried but I can tell you that those nice brown dry and brittle leaves lived in that boat until I GAVE it away, couldn't wait to pawn it off. I have never tried to build a boat from scratch since then! You did a great job on this hull!

dougd
 
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I think it looks great!! For the hours you have invested, it seems to be a bargain.
Sorry about the Divinycell earworm.
You're right, whoever could possibly need a 20 lb canoe?
You know, a full 4 ft x 8 ft sheet of 1/8" H80 is about $75...
 
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DougD’s leaves in the resin reminded me of some early boat repairs.

One of the first boats I ever worked on was not a canoe, but a small sailboat my friend Dave had bought cheap. It needed some repairs, and Dave was my resin “guru”; I was scared to attempt resin repairs on my own and Dave was my go-to guy. He even knew what to buy and where to buy it; polyester resin and E-glass at the auto-store.

The sailboat wouldn’t fit in my shop, so we were working in the back yard. Guru Dave may not have counted drops of catalyst correctly; it was taking forever for the resin to set up and oak catkins were dropping on the sticky resin.

While we were pondering the stuck tassels Dave decided to brush Lucy, his Golden Retriever. There may have been beer or other things involved, but Dave suddenly opted to clean the brush and slap a big wad of Lucy hair onto the sticky resin.

Lucy was part of that hull until Dave sold it. I learned to do resin work all by myself.
 
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Knock on wood, but the worst resin contamination I have had so far was a couple of dozen sets of fly legs permanently embedded in the first canoe I did, after removing the little buggers with chop sticks from the partially set resin - didn’t think about moving the garbage cans stuffed into a corner of my garage until too late. Pretty insignificant and would not even think twice about it now, but as this was my first build I was totally crushed at the time.

Stripperguy, actually $109 CAN a sheet where I am (I checked a week or so ago). One problem is I either have to drive 6 or 7 hours each way to pick it up, or let them cut the sheets in half so they can ship it to me at an acceptable cost. Doable either way, but with this build I now have two unfinished canoes waiting for warmer weather. A rational man would get them done before thinking seriously about another one (I guess).
 
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I have had good luck picking junk out of curing paint and clear coat with tweezers and using a nib file when it cures. I don’t see why that would work on epoxy too.

Bob
 
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“Knock on wood, but the worst resin contamination I have had so far was a couple of dozen sets of fly legs permanently embedded in the first canoe I did, after removing the little buggers with chop sticks from the partially set resin - didn’t think about moving the garbage cans stuffed into a corner of my garage until too late. Pretty insignificant and would not even think twice about it now, but as this was my first build I was totally crushed at the time.”

The OOSOBO rebuild, with many epoxy and paint coats, has had no insect visitation. Perhaps because it demonstrated peculiar Arachnida issues. I kept (keep) finding little black spiders crawling on it as I work.

Compact ¼” wide, tight legged little guys, all black. I have not yet been able to identify them. Friendly little guys; I like my shop spiders and accept the weaver’s detritus as annoying insect control (read “Too lazy to dust cobwebs”), and kept having to “rescue relocate” them before epoxy or paint work. And the next day, hello again little friend.

I started relocating them outside if it was warm enough. And the next day, hello again little friend.

I still have not identified the species; one son suggested that they were perhaps juveniles, hatchlings from egg sacks deposited inside the hollow gunwales. Poor little guys, now I feel bad about the ones I rudely brushed off onto the shop floor.

Best (worst) insect and canoe tale has to the racing Blue Mountain Outfiitter’s Clipper Mariner. The heavy fiberglass version, it was hauled on a trailer. And had been parked and not moved all summer.

Mariner Ttrailer launched at the race site, eight paddlers climb aboard and paddle off towards the starting line. Eight human passengers, eight thousand eusocial passengers. Eight thousand biting eusocial passengers. The start of that race was a Keystone Cops clusterf*^#.

The good part was that we found a tattered label half bottle of Sailor Jerry’s rum wedged under one seat. Ant colony aged Sailor Jerry’s, the Kopi Luwak of aged rums, it was a race treat. Even before the finish line.

I think we still took first in class. Because there was no other entry in our class; think mixed gender, junior/senior kids and grannies, eight person canoe class. We were, for years running, the only such entry. First place every year.
 
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“Knock on wood, but the worst resin contamination I have had so far was a couple of dozen sets of fly legs permanently embedded in the first canoe I did, after removing the little buggers with chop sticks from the partially set resin - didn’t think about moving the garbage cans stuffed into a corner of my garage until too late. Pretty insignificant and would not even think twice about it now, but as this was my first build I was totally crushed at the time.”

The OOSOBO rebuild, with many epoxy and paint coats, has had no insect visitation. Perhaps because it demonstrated peculiar Arachnida issues. I kept (keep) finding little black spiders crawling on it as I work.

Compact ¼” wide, tight legged little guys, all black. I have not yet been able to identify them. Friendly little guys; I like my shop spiders and accept the weaver’s detritus as annoying insect control (read “Too lazy to dust cobwebs”), and kept having to “rescue relocate” them before epoxy or paint work. And the next day, hello again little friend.

I started relocating them outside if it was warm enough. And the next day, hello again little friend.

I still have not identified the species; one son suggested that they were perhaps juveniles, hatchlings from egg sacks deposited inside the hollow gunwales. Poor little guys, now I feel bad about the ones I rudely brushed off onto the shop floor.

Best (worst) insect and canoe tale has to the racing Blue Mountain Outfiitter’s Clipper Mariner. The heavy fiberglass version, it was hauled on a trailer. And had been parked and not moved all summer.

Mariner Ttrailer launched at the race site, eight paddlers climb aboard and paddle off towards the starting line. Eight human passengers, eight thousand eusocial passengers. Eight thousand biting eusocial passengers. The start of that race was a Keystone Cops clusterf*^#.

The good part was that we found a tattered label half bottle of Sailor Jerry’s rum wedged under one seat. Ant colony aged Sailor Jerry’s, the Kopi Luwak of aged rums, it was a race treat. Even before the finish line.

I think we still took first in class. Because there was no other entry in our class; think mixed gender, junior/senior kids and grannies, eight person canoe class. We were, for years running, the only such entry. First place every year.
I rowed in a mixed 8 in high school. Also men’s 4. Good times on the Hillsborough River. We trained in waves, so we killed it when waves gave other teams trouble.
 
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Now that’s interesting stripperguy - I assumed they would have to cut it to deliver by UPS based on what I was told a year or so ago when I was going to order a 1/2 or 3/4 sheet to try out for gunwales (this is from Composites Canada in southern Ontario - I did not follow through once I was told this). Never having used this stuff, I had no idea the 1/8 sheets would be that much more flexible.

Which brings me to another question - given that level of flexibility the layup for such a boat would obviously have to be pretty substantial. Any thoughts on what would be a good combination of Kevlar/carbon/fibreglass with a 1/8 divinycell hull? Probably double up the divinycell in the football?
 
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Wow ! Very impressive !

The hull shape reminds me of a Prospector. Lots of rocker, and high sides.

Anxious for more ! Thanks Traveler !
 
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Thanks Jim - yes, I agree it kind of looks more like a prospector than anything else
 
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I’m in the planning stages for a short solo pack boat build for my adventurous granddaughter.
11-13 ft, should be stiff enough with 1/8” foam core and a layer and a half inside and out using 4 oz cloth. If I’m completely wrong (and that’s never happened😉) then I’ll just add a bit more 1/8” foam where needed. Whether that’s a football shaped area or isolated areas using a wide rib I’m not sure. A lot depends on the hull cross section, the flatter it is, the more stiffening it would require. A shallow ver to shallow arch would be ideal, and not just from a structural stiffness point of view.
 
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thanks stirpperguy - much lighter than I had thought. BTW - there is a plan for a 12 foot boat using this method, and calling for just a single 48x96 sheet
 
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So where did you get the plans ?
A 12 footer sounds interesting.

I have 4 sheets of Okume , 2, 3mil and 2, 4mil. They have been in my basement for years.

Need to do something with them.

Jim
 
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Here is the website with the plans Jim - http://flo-mo.weebly.com/one-sheet-boats.html - it has downloadable pdf files (all in metric) There are also a few build threads here and there on wooden boat.com and songofthepaddle.com, as noted at the beginning of this thread. The 12 footer requires a bit more cutting to get the sections required, a scarf as well as a fibreglassed butt joint along the keel, but doesn’t look any more complicated once that is set up. If you decide to go with it, you will probably be shocked at how fast it comes together.
 
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