corrugated pvc plastic canoe

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by h20m@n, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. h20m@n
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    h20m@n New Member

    so i found a section of 10' low profile pvc corrugated plastic. folded down the middle and sealed at either end, it makes an approximate canoe shape. if i added additional supports and gunwhales i think it would be strong enough to use.

    i was inspired by this: http://svlittledragon.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/first-we-built-tin-dragon.html


    do you think this natural folded shape will handle at all well in the water?

    how is best to seal the PVC to wooden stem plates? do you think using rubber grommited screws, to a shaped surface to fit the corrugations, with a rubber seal would be enough? screw and glue?

    when folded the two sides fit snugly together into each others corrugations (oo er). i can imagine just stitching these togather, but i dont know how this could be made water tight.

    any ideas/reasons not to do this?
     
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  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    If you know how to swim, and wear a life preserver go for it. What is worst that can happen if there are no killer sharks around? You might be able to glue or seal ends with 5200 or pvc glue. Try a little first on samples. Epoxies usually don't work that well on pvc.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I think you will need to fasten the ends to strong stem posts like they did in the link, and plug the holes with some kind of tarry goo, the sort of think that plumbers use to seal metal chimneys that go through roofs of houses. You will need to use screws, not nails, to fasten them.

    When you say 'pvc sheeting', that covers a wide variety of products, some are brittle, some are not UV stable and will deteriorate in the sun.

    The strength of the sheeting will determine if you can stitch the product at all.

    Personally, I recommend that you sell the PVC to a local handyman, and buy some marine ply for a proper attempt at a boat.
     
  4. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    That large a peice of pvc pipe is very costly, you can build a wood and canvas canoe for less, and it will behave properly and likely weigh less too. You can build a skin on frame kayak or canoe for about $100 worth of lumber yard materials, much less if you are good a salvaging building materials. A friend an I have scratch built skin-on-frame canoes in under 10 hours with less than $50 worth of materials.

    Rwatson's advice of selling it would be well advised. A roundish hull cross section will roll over like a log, canoes have fairly flat bottoms with a pretty wide beam.

    If you had a piece of damage pipe that was run over by a tractor or something and want to give it a try, I think it would be a wastes of time. I think it would be difficult to control and not be pleasant to paddle. But if you are determined you can likely seals the ends with regular latex caulk, silicone or adhesive caulk would be more durable but it costs more, but either will stick to the plastic. make the center section as wide as practical with a flat a bottom as possible.

    If you had two of them and make a catamaran out of them flat bottom and wide beam are not necessary, of course it could not be paddled very well and it would cost twice as much to build, but it would give you a stable and pleasent ride with a rudder and simple lug rig sail.
     
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  5. h20m@n
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    h20m@n New Member

    the sheeting is corrugated roofing. it wont deteriate in UV. 10' costs £12 so is very cheap. i dont expect it to last forever.

    Petros- did you continue reading after you saw PVC?
     
  6. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    PVC plastic roofing panels will flex more than steel ones. My guess is that would make the handling sloppier, if you can modify the narrowish profile to stabilize/stay upright.

    Many years ago I had a porta bote 1/4" poly butylene and their 2 halves hinges/joints were sealed with a very thin layer of medium density foam strips that fit between the two halves. The two halves were then stapled with heavy SS staples and this compressed the foam to make a watertight seal. Slit PVC tubing then covered the staples for protection and appearance. The staples in heavy stress areas did work loose after about 100 uses or so, and I had to repair these areas by using small SS machine screws. Surprised to see they are still in business even after some refinements, because of this low durability factor. But they were good floating rivers because the flexing/deformation and lubrication allowed easy pulling through rocky dry sections of riverbed. Bad under human power, because the flexing disapated a lot of your rowing energy, like rowing a bowl of jello...

    http://www.porta-bote.com/index.php

    Hope this helps.


    Porta


     
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  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    My friend built a catamaran from corrugated metal roofing using the methods described by rwatson. It was propelled by a small outboard and performed well considering the materials. It had a lot of unfinished sharp edges on it so one had to be alert to the situation. It tended to "tin-can" in the midsections when it encountered waves.
     
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Two hulls for a catamaran would be the way to go. Joining the hulls to make one hull would be problematic, and designing some stability from such narrow sheets would be a problem.

    a 10 ft cat would be a good way to go.

    Mind you, the idea of a skin on frame kayak would be a lot less work, and in the end, a lot cheaper. You could use the pvc sheeting to put over the skin on frame kayak when they are stored out in the backyard to keep the rain off.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher


  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    h20m@n,

    I am not familiar with the corrugated PVC sheet, I read the post several times, but my mind jumped to what I am familiar with, and that is corrugated pvc PIPE. Sorry for the confusion, sounds like an interesting product. It could be used on a boat cabin roof; it has always struck me as odd that many wood boats have varnished wood roofs, yet no one would do that on a house and expect it to hold up, but they do it on a boat!

    Fabric covering, painted with 4-5 coats of paint should cost even less. I buy fabric left overs or surplus fabric cheap, like for $5-6, to cover a kayak. You just have to look around and see what you can find. Any low stretch (woven, not a knit) nylon, polyester or cotton fabric will work, fairly heavy weight. But I have also used light weight fabric too, not expecting durability (about the weight that would be used on a pair of pants). Since left over paint is now considered toxic waste, many places give away good paint at the end of a project. I have lots of both oil based and latex paint I got for free.

    Skin on frame constructions is one of the cost effective, and actually fairly fast way to build any small hull form that does not have any hollows. I have used it to build 12 kayaks and canoes, and fuor small sailboats. mostly using salvaged wood that I rip into stringers. Most were built for about $50-70. total material cost.

    A light wood frame wrapped with PVC sheet would make an interesting hull form, it would be better if it was not corrugated. Regular house or bathtub caulk would seal it up from leaking, install any screws "wet" with sealant.

    If you use the corrugated PVC sheet to build a boat, make a matching captain's hat out of it and post a picture of you and the boat.
     
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