Building a flat bottomed canoe

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by troy2000, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    You got the point, anyway.
     
  2. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    One of my favorite cartoons is a shot of a residential street in the suburbs, with a sign that says, 'drive carefully. The child you save may be your own.'

    There's a milkman driving down the street, and he's reading the sign with a big grin on his face....

    According to my dad, in both delivery jobs he was pretty regularly offered booty for the monthly bill. Especially the ice bill, because in the fifties the families with ice boxes instead of refrigerators lived on the poor side of town.... but according to him, you'd be surprised by how many women on the other side also wanted to save a few bucks on the milk bill. Part of it may have had to do with the fact that my dad was a strikingly handsome man in his youth.

    He said he never took any of the gals up on it, even though he was sorely tempted at times. He was too married, and it was too small a town to keep that sort of shenanigans quiet.
     
  3. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    OK, the trailer is demo'ed, and I'm pleased with what I see. Somehow my camera evaporated again, though. When I find it this time, it's going into a camera bag big enough to trip over....

    I took some pictures with my cell phone, but it uses a mini-SD card. I don't have a mini slot on my laptop, and I don't know what I did with the SD adapter/case for mini's that I normally use. Nor do I have ambition enough tonight to remember how to email them to myself.....

    Anyway, the side frames are 3" channel. They're bent to create the triangular tongue, and the cross members are light angles welded to the bottom of the sides. Originally, the wood joists of the trailer floor rested on those angles....

    It's six feet from the axle to the hitch, and there's a little less than two feet behind the axle. What we plan to do is replace the light, underslung angles with 3" channels between the sides. We'll cut out the hitch at the front of the triangular tongue, and run a square tube for a new tongue -- butted into the new forward cross member at its back end, and braced on either side by what was the triangular tongue...

    At the rear, we'll extend the sides back another five feet, and add a cross piece or bumper. Where the new channel pieces end-butt the old ones, we'll weld fish plates to strengthen the welded joints....

    That'll give me a trailer about 16' long, and Blue Rose is roughly 15 1/2'. The modifications are simpler than they sound when I try to describe them in words....

    If I have time, I'll figure out how to send the cell phone pic's in the next day or two, or do a quick CAD sketch to show what I'm talking about.

    By the way, this trailer is from the days when they did some things right. The spring shackles have grease fittings, and the floor joists were clear, old-growth Douglas Fir.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. lewisboats
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    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    For all that trouble ya coulda built a new one from scratch!
     
  5. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Considered that, and there's no way. It's a lot easier to remove and add bits to the existing one. Coming up with something as strong from scratch would've been a pita.....
     
  6. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I just learned something. If you carry a cell phone around in your jeans pocket for months, then use it to take pictures without thinking to clean the lens first, this is the sort of images you wind up with.:(

    Oh well, I think the general shape comes across..... I'll take some better pic's when I get a chance.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    One thing I was wrong about: when I originally stuck my head under the trailer, I'd have sworn it had torsion bars, or rather one that went all the way across. I guess standing on my head isn't good for thinking.... I must have seen the cross bar near the axle, and my overheated imagination did the rest.

    Not that it's going to need any anti-sway gear, with the load it'll be carrying. The idea is just to keep me from having to waste time tying and untying the boat on top of my truck. And it'll also allow me to use my Jeep, which isn't practical for carrying something that long... it would be teetering on the windshield and the roll bar, which are only a few feet apart.
     
  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    That trailer will make life simpler for you, once rehabilitated.
     
  8. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    This isn't to scale; I whipped it up from memory. But it's reasonably close.... after removing the angle-iron cross bars that the floor joists rested on, this is what we'll add to the trailer frame to make it work.

    Obviously, this is only a practical project because of free labor and materials. Well, almost free. Have you seen the price of beer lately?:p

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Angélique
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    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    You would drink it anyway and probably more of it without the project ;)

    Good luck !
    Angel
     
  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Now you have room to pull 2 canoes and better get started on the second one. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  11. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Well, phooey. I was planning to stay here this weekend to work on the trailer, instead of heading home. But it looks like I'm going to wind up working Saturday night and Sunday night, to cover for an operator on short-notice vacation.

    Might at least be able to get something done on it Saturday morning; I'll have to get together with George and see.
     
  12. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Making progress, slowly. I've rounded up some 3" channel to extend the frame and close the back in, and some 2 1/2" square tubing for the new trailer tongue. I cut the frame extensions and back piece today at work (during authorized breaks and/or lunch, of course...:)). George is hoping to weld them together, and weld the assembly to the existing trailer frame, tomorrow afternoon after work.

    I asked him how he was going to hold everything in place to weld it without help, and he looked at me like I was simple. "I'll tack a couple of plates to the bottom ends of the existing channel, lay the ends of the new stuff on them, and support the back end."

    Last time I was home, I scrounged around. I came up with a ball coupler for the tongue and a tongue jack. Gotta love living in the country, where you have room to stash things you might need someday. I'm reminded of a cartoon I saw years ago, where an old farmer in bib overalls was facing off against a couple of indignant Women's Club types in their Sunday-go-to-meeting finery and fancy hats: "and I'll thank you ladies not to refer to my spare parts repository as an environmental eyesore!"

    But although these particular parts are structurally sound and would work just fine, they're pretty rusty and sorry-looking. I may just bite the bullet and spring for some nice pretty new ones. I've bought bottles of whiskey that cost more....

    I know a thread like this is a lot more fun with pictures, and I'll try to take some tomorrow. Yes, I found my camera again. And the elusive little b_____d went into a small camera bag, and got strapped to the backpack I use for my laptop and miscellaneous.
     
  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Why not see about getting the rusty parts sand-blasted and primed? It might be cheaper.
     
  14. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Bolt-on trailer couplers start at $8.00 online; twenty bucks will buy a good one. I can get a wheeled trailer jack for another twenty bucks.

    And with the hours I've been working, who knows when I could get around to having the old parts sandblasted anyway.....
     

  15. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Well, I bought a good one locally -- and it cost me twenty bucks plus tax. But local prices for a tongue jack are about twice that, for one that pivots and lays alongside the tongue when not in use. Which is probably the way I'll go. But if I can find free shipping, I'll buy one online for half the price.....

    Having to work is seriously crimping my style. And it doesn't help that the mother of the vacationing operator whose shifts I was helping cover died, just as he got back into town. So he took another week. When I head home Tuesday morning, I'll have worked three weeks without a real day off.

    But twice I've gotten off work and showed back up 24 hours later, instead of 12. so legally, I've had two days off.

    Anyway, making slow progress in spite of it all. Mostly because this time of year I can squeeze in a little personal time in the evenings, before or after work.

    We're done stripping down the trailer and throwing old parts away, and getting ready to start adding new parts. We decided to leave the existing angle-iron cross pieces and just clip them at the frame, instead of removing them and replacing them with new channel (wasn't able to scrounge up enough old channel to do it, and went into shell-shock at the per-foot/per pound price of new iron....)

    I also cut the three pieces of 3" channel that'll extend the trailer at the back end, and the 2 1/2" square tubing for a new tongue that'll extend the front end. I drilled that, and bolted the new class 2 coupler on with 1/2" bolts. Which is massive overkill, for carrying a boat I can hold off the ground one-handed. But who knows? Some day I may cobble up a removable floor and/or sides, and use the trailer for some miscellaneous hauling.

    I'll take a couple of pictures this evening, honest I will.:)
     
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