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Wannigan or storage box?

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How fine of a line is there between a wannigan and a simple storage box for a canoe? I don't plan on portaging it. I made one last year that was a rectangular box. It holds lots of my camping stuff. This year I wanted something a little lower profile, and maybe more traditional for day trips. Going to use same wood stripping I used on my canoe for rounding the bottom and up the sides toward the gunwales and the lid.

I Tried to think up a neat pattern because the front and back sides will be seen more. I had some sides of an antique wardrobe that had cherry vaneer on outside and eastern red cedar on inside. I wanted the red cedar, so after a few hours with putty knife and heat gun I was able to remove the old cherry vaneer. I used sassafras and the eastern red cedar for front and back. They were only 3/16 thick, so I glued them to a 1/4" hard board. I made a removable inside frame, so after I'm done assembling, sanding and glassing the outside I can remove it then work on the inside.

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I’be been using wanigans since 2015 and I started on 3 new ones, one for us as a food box and 2 that I’m going to sell... 1/4” Baltic birch ply with red cedar “feet” and red cedar lid contour. I put some sort of weather strip inside the kid for a pretty good watertight seal!!
 
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That is a beautiful bit of wood working. I would be afraid to take that off the canoe and use in camp. If I had something like that I would rigidly attach it to the boat as a dry locker and additional floatation. And the build a couple kitchen boxes that fit inside. Or a plastic cooler, which has been my wannigan of choice.
 
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Slow but sure progress. I haven't figured out how to make the top yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

Canotrouge, I would love to see some pictures of the ones you've made.

Almost done stripping the body of it. Then it's smoothing, sanding and fiberglass. Then I'll start on a lid.
I just had a large area concreted for carport and work shop. Been busy building retaining walls an stuff. I hope I never have to lay another 12" block.


Thank you all for the compliments.
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The woodworking like this that gets posted here never ceases to amaze me. I always struggle with canoe organization. Boxes are great if you can fit them, and carry them efficiently if needs be.
 
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What kind of canoeing or maybe where would canoe with this? Having canoed BWCA and the Q almost exclusively, with usually 5 to 15 portages a day if a few to hundreds of rods, it seems unnecessarily heavy and hard to carry on narrow, rocky trails.
 
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Roybrew said he was not planning on portaging. So I suppose it would be for river trips, day tripping from a base camp on a big lake, or the like.
 
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Daveo is right. This will only be day trips and base camping.

I would love to get up to BWCA or Quetico one of these days, but I think that is just a pipe dream for me. But if I ever did, I definitely would have a lot to learn about equipment and packing. I've got BWCA journals that go back to 1998. Not all of em, but I sure enjoy reading and dreaming of going there.
 
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Wannigans and such are more of a large group thing...like a canoe brigade...where you have lots of hands to share the loads. They were never intended for solo travel. Karin made one to fit her Swift that was insulated to be a cooler. It worked well for short trips but was a bugger to carry.
Roy...that would be slick for tent camping with a vintage setup like Robin has.
 
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Looking good! I built some Gilpatrick style trip boxes a few years ago. They have shoe box style lids which are simple and watertight. I like how your box fills its space without sticking above the gunwales.
 
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I've seen pictures of the real traditional wannigans being portaged, they don't look a fun thing to carry. As they say here in Tennessee "They sure do look purdy". Beside there isn't enough room to start another canoe build, so it's something to occupy myself with.
 
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Doing the finish sanding. I was planning to fiberglass it. Going to have to order resin and fiberglass cloth. With all the sharp edges and corners, would I be better off with a 4oz cloth? Would 4oz be better to work around edges then 6oz?
 

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Interesting design, kind of inspiring! Can I ask, why the "lip" on each end?
I've built a number of cedar strip and SOF canoes, this might be next winters project! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Traditional wanigans can be portage easily with a tumpline, as easy as any other portage bags or items!
 
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I'm going to make a lid to fit over the lip and sides. I didn't want the lid contacting the gunwales, less interference, and maybe less scarring this way. I haven't worked out the details with securing the lid down, yet. I'll also need some type of handles for carrying it. I don't plan on portaging it, but never for sure. Maybe building one to portage can be a future project. Got to order more fiberglass and epoxy.
 

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I always liked these ‘fitted’ wannigans, but looking at yours in the canoe how are you going to grab it to lift out when it is full of food or whatever?
Jim
 
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I'm thinking I'll run a rope thru the shoulder area?. Do it the same as running the painter lines thru a canoe.
 

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