Building a flat bottomed canoe

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

  1. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I surrender....
     
  2. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    That's one of the oldest jokes around, but I've never before run into a boat that was actually given the name.
     
  3. hoytedow
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    hoytedow - .-. ..- -- .--. .-- --- -.

    Thanks. I accept. :D
     
  4. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Thank you, Daniel. I'll pass the compliment on to my son. It's the first time he's been involved in building something like this.
     
  5. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I wish you wouldn't encourage them ...
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow - .-. ..- -- .--. .-- --- -.

    If it had been a catamaran, I would have suggested "Beside Myself", especially if the owner were a shrink.
     
  7. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Why we didn't get more done on the canoe while I was home for a couple of days: the wife decided we needed some 'family time.'

    Among other things, she dragged us off to Sea World San Diego for a day. Here we are on the Atlantis ride: me in the blue shirt, my wife Cindy beside me, and our two boys Donovan and Dwaine behind us. As anyone can can clearly see, I was having a wonderful time.....

    [​IMG]
     
  8. hoytedow
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    hoytedow - .-. ..- -- .--. .-- --- -.

    I am glad you all had a good time. Who is your lovely wife surrendering to? I see the front of the boat was fitted with a bug-catcher.
     
  9. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Wasn't bugs I was worried about; too bad it didn't catch some water instead. Here's what we were headed for:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow - .-. ..- -- .--. .-- --- -.

    SeaWorld did a great job designing that place. God gave you a beautiful day, by the looks of it.
     
  11. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I'll have to figure out some way to get even with Him for it.....:D
     
  12. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Two steps backwards and one forward the other day. Didn't get much done, but what did get done improved the boat....

    It had a twist in it. Not too noticeable with just the stem, transom and a center mold in place, because it was distributed from end to end. But installing symmetrical frames forced the twist to the stern, and cocked the transom. Roughing in the rear watertight compartment made it glaringly obvious.

    Unfortunately, it was my own crappy work that caused it, because I cut the sides of the transom on a table saw. The proper miter slide was buried somewhere, so I grabbed one that didn't fit the slot in the table tightly. I thought I was compensating for the slop by pressing to one side of the slot, but it didn't work. Apparently one side of the transom leaned out an eighth of an inch, and the other leaned in the same amount. Add them up, and the transom was a good quarter inch from being symmetrical at the top.

    So I pulled the planking screws on the starboard side of the transom, except for the one under the gunwale. I drilled a couple of holes, worked a hacksaw blade through the glue joint, and cut that screw. Then I grabbed a thin-bladed Japanese-style saw, and cut the glue joint all the way down. As I came to each of the three small nails I had originally tacked the plank into place with, I cut them with the hacksaw blade.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yes, the saw had a little rust on it. I should've steel-wooled it, I guess.:)

    Then I drew a line from zero at the bottom to a quarter inch at the top of the side, and re-cut it. I used the Japanese saw, an angle grinder with a sanding pad, and a rasp, and dressed the cut by gently pulling the plank against first the saw blade, then against a piece of 60-grit sandpaper. When I glued and screwed the plank and transom back together, almost all of the twist disappeared. It still isn't perfect, but I doubt anyone would notice unless they were determinedly looking for it.

    Then I went after the second thing bothering me: the rub rails. Although I had tapered the width of them from the center of the boat to each end, they were still full-thickness all the way. It looked clunky--especially at the bow.

    So I grabbed a belt sander and tapered them back from each end, leaving them about half the original thickness at the stem and stern. With some paint on them again, it's going to be a noticeable improvement.

    Then we cut the caps out of Douglas fir, and temporarily screwed them into place. We'd have glued them permanently, but we were short on PL Premium.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The two five gallon water jugs were there to help straighten the boat out before refastening the transom; we leveled each sawhorse under a frame, then set a water jug above it.

    The original plan was to paint the caps blue, as a boundary between the white rub rails and the light blue interior. But we're seriously thinking of leaving them natural, and putting some sort of oil finish on them. It would not only look interesting, but the caps would be easier to touch up after the inevitable bashing they'll be taking.

    In the second picture above, you can see the breasthook and the lid of the watertight compartment temporarily fitted. The rear compartment has also been roughed in, but it wasn't assembled in any of the pictures we took. But here's a shot from last week, before I redid the transom:

    [​IMG]

    Each piece of wood is curled a little, because they had a fresh coat of water-based paint on only one side; they straightened out as the wood dried. And yes, the angle of the camera was deliberately intended to hide the twist in the transom. That's when it started sinking in on me: if I was ashamed to take a picture of it, I needed to fix it.

    I get off work this coming Monday morning, and don't need to come back until the following Tuesday morning. Even at the pace we're moving, that should give us time to finish the boat and try her out.

    By the way, I've abandoned the idea of protecting the chines with wood strips. We'll use the boat with just the glued, nailed and painted chines until they start looking abused. Then we'll dish them out a little on either side of the joints with an angle grinder, and go ahead with some fiberglass tape and epoxy after all. I'm stubborn, but not stupid.

    At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it....:D
     
  13. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    It's easy to forget the little extra work you did to fix a problem, but if you don't do it the problem is there forever!
     
  14. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: S.I.T.

    hoytedow - .-. ..- -- .--. .-- --- -.

    This is still a great little project with a lot of good work done; very educational too.
     

  15. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    If you change your mind about using wood strips for protecting the chines they will increase hull drag much since they will be added to the sides not the bottom. Lots of boats are made like that Bolger types, 6 hour canoe, pirogues etc.

    The main damage will likely come from hauling the boat over sand and gravel, which I avoid by using a simple wheeled cart.

    I find most of the damage to my boats occurs at the stem foot, which tends to act as the parking brake during launch and arriving back at the beach or launching ramp. If you have a dock that should not be a problem.

    I don't, so I run a shallow keel full length from stem to stem and wrap half-round brass molding around the stems and down the keel for a foot or so, that takes up about 90% of the wear and tear. Looks nice too: it's sold at all boat building stores. I polish it and give it a couple of coats of clear varnish to keep it shiny.
     
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