question about canoe style usage of a single pontoon log

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by solosailersomeday, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. solosailersomeday
    Joined: Sep 2021
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    hello, nice to meet you all.

    i have bumped into thus forum many times while exploring avenues to get on the water.
    i felt the name of this forum made it possibly the most appropriate place to request information about obscure ideas.

    in pursuit of a higher horsepower, more foul-weather capable, higher capacity, and perhaps faster canoe, i have begun to believe that a pacific/ Hawaiian style canoe is the ideal form.

    I believe that a pontoon log does not differ dramatically from a pacific style outrigger canoe. while a pair of logs would be too much for a lone person to handle, surely a single log with an outrigger could be wrangled ashore. [edit: i feel that the fair weather only nature of a pontoon boat is due to the occupation of and stresses on the superstructure, having only an 'ama' would in my mind eliminate the majority of stress a pontoon boat needs to avoid]

    with widths between 20 and 28 inches, and some logs offering chambers of 8 or more feet, a chamber could opened to use as a cockpit with relatively low skill level. a hatch could be installed on the bulkhead(s) for or aft of the cockpit, allowing for a pretty storm safe floatation storage compartment. ignoring safety issues, a hatch for the cockpit could be made out of the removed material [more likely a different sheet though] which could provide a hard cover for idk, commando camping or sleeping afloat. some of the logs come with motor mounts, boom already in business there. you could stay on the water for as long as your engine's maintenance interval with the enormous capacity for fuel, or with one chamber having a fuel tank installed like they seem to sometimes come standard.

    i suppose you may be able to do fancy metalwork to provide a narrower canoe-regulation-proportioned transom to get the whole thing to qualify as a canoe, but that wasn't the point.

    price point seems to be near where a brand new freight canoe, or a catamaran two canoe, or big capacity tandem kayak is, if not even cheaper for the pontoon log

    can someone tear into this idea and explain why a pontoon log cant be treated like a dugout canoe, or what you would expect to encounter as far as problems with heavy waves and motoring? and if you think it would even be possible to paddle it at all let alone turn it?

    experience of poster: paddled the standard aluminum canoes, square stern and regular.
    couple of sport kayaks and crappy inflatables
    ...so basically none

    thank you for your time, and i don't take offense to ridicule
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Solo.

    I am having some difficulty in trying to visualise what you are describing above - could you perhaps post a sketch or two (it does not matter if it is very rough or basic) and / or a photo of the sort of pontoon log that you have in mind please?
     
  3. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    Screenshot_20210920-210043~2.png Screenshot_20210920-205407~2.png i apologize for the elementary school drafting skill. while these crude images show the cockpit at the stern, the best place would be in a center chamber. i hadn't considered that the more numerous bulkheads in 5' or similar chamber length models could be cut open to allow reclining. obviously to run a motor you'd need remote steering, but simple setups for that abound. it was definitely not worth trying to draw in crayon though. i don't see the appeal of touch screen drawing apps...

    these logs can be had with more easily removed mounting points, i would go for a mostly smooth uper surface. i've seen them for sale with no mounting features at all. a sawzall will eat right through those and hours of hand filing would clean it right up.
    Screenshot_20210920-203519~2.png


    can't really even buy a new aluminum canoe for that price these days

    for the outrigger, i'm torn because it might be something close mounted like a sportboat/sportcanoe sponson on either side might do the trick, or a pair or two pairs of submarine style wing protrusions would be super cool and get the job done, but might have bad public affairs value...

    at any rate, the ama is an afterthought.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The problem with the pontoon log would be the abrupt termination aft, which creates quite a bit of "suck" drag at low speeds. Really designed for higher speed.
     
  5. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    You are working hard to make this difficult with all kinds of problems.
    Yes you can cut a hole in the pontoon, but what are you going to do to reinforce the hole to keep it from tearing there?

    Just make a plywood or strip planked hull with the reinforcement you need for all the attachments.

    Perhaps you could tell us what you want to do with this besides "get out on the water"?
     
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  6. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    An apt post for your user name, sir.

    I am not surprised to hear this. I have never experienced that myself, so i perhaps overlooked the significance of the suction. It's hard to imagine something with such slender proportions having a hard time coasting I guess.
     
  7. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    hahaha i resemble that remark.

    i had thought that might be an issue, i suppose merely bolting on an L or T extrusion around the edge wouldn't quite cut it would it?

    honestly, this use case is for a relatively long open water commute, with possibility [certainty] of overnighting. nothing worse than sitting in traffic except sitting on public transportation for an hour each way. 10 mph in an open canoe in cold water probably wont cut it.

    i'm hampered with the fact that i've got enough trigger pull for one go at boating for probably 5 years, so i need flexibility [like being able to legitimately anchor somewhere, overnight safely, travel with significant fuel reserves, be able to handle the boats components at least mostly by myself.] you know how it goes, i want it all so i'll get the ultimate comprise, a useless vessel. i still gotta try though.
     
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  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    All the modifications are not without cost.

    For safety, flotation foam...more weight.

    Bonding the coaming to it is costly.

    Starts off with probably too much displacement for what you want.

    Buy a nice used canoe and make a Dierking ama for it; total cost under $500
     
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  9. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    yeah, my less abnormal fallback plans are more ore less along that line. i do like those longer amas, the dinky single pole ones are not pleasing to my eye nor imagination. i think absent any dissent on the issue of reinforcement of the cut segment, you guys [ or rather i have lol] have poked a pretty solid hole in it. flatwater is one thing to play around on but i don't need to get sliced up in an aluminum pop can if it folds in a wave to then have to contend with the weather while hemorrhaging. those pontoons man they just seem so ready to torpedo right on through some nasty stuff. anyone think there is any worthwhile aspect of the idea? i guess if it was a viable cheat it would have aired on youtube already.
     
  10. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    You do realize a nice cedar canoe 19' long, big laker freighter weighs about 1/3rd of that thing?

    Add some 2# foam and make the coaming and you are easily at 400#. That toon is designed for a bigger operation.
     
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  11. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    I might be missing something, but other than for insulation, is there a requirement for foam? I could see having the cockpit aft with the engine would require floatation, as that's the heaviest part of the boat, newly open to filling with water. But leaving a chamber closed on either end should cover the need for foam right? Since it could still be a multihull there should be no extra legal requirement.

    Even with a multi inch gash to the bottom, you'd probably have some serious glugs to go before you lost all your air. as you noted the displacement will be higher than my needs.

    The coaming might need some work, but i don't think its weight or cost prohibitive just to provide the user comfort. structure might demand more though so i cant say your wrong.
    I only need 16 inches left to right to fit through, maybe less. i think the sides of the coaming could be horizontal and straight, and could be built erector set style with a L extrusion on the inside and the outside tightly sandwiching the hull with a series of small cheap bolts. if the opening was 2 ft front to back, make the side coaming longer like 3-4 ft to tie into the uncompromised hull fore and aft. then just use a sheet metal sandwich to match the curvy parts for safety and asthetics, maybe make it thicker in the front to deflect some water. forget having a hard top, the L extrusions could have strap fittings mounted on the outside to tie a tarp over the opening, minimizing the concern i had about ventilation in a confined space.

    Sheet aluminum should cut with tin snips or wood blades, wont be the most fun but surely a decent coaming could be made without a reaching 30 lbs.


    Afterthought edit: as for any canoe, yeah they are lighter, but require conditions that are difficult for me to provide to make. pontoon i can leave outside in all phases. also, the pontoon puts their capacity to shame and provides a hard top over the gear.
     
  12. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    I greatly appreciate the input i have received. I don't know why but it's making me more optimistic about it, though you've convinced me I need to re attack the issue from scratch with these new considerations.

    edit: wow, you are right about the freight canoes, a little digging and you can get them cheap as a pontoon, all ready for 80 percent of what I'm looking for.

    There's something disappointing about being a normal consumer though, confined to other people's margins of safety and ease of production.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The pontoon is at least 350# alone or about 2.5 times a good canoe. Notice GLS does not advertise the weight...cuz they want to sell them.

    Larger displacement means the thing will be slower.

    As Mr E points out, the stern drag will be an issue.

    It would not need flotation foam, but 7 cuft of 2# foam is 14 pounds. Not foaming it is silly, because it is a trailer vessel anyhow.

    Can it be done? Sure.

    Will it suck as a boat? Yes. Indeed.

    Those are for sale, but best as a replacement for a pontoon. Are you close to GLS? Freight would be like $1000 on them.

    The reason people build boats is to break the consumer barrier and get what they want. It seems to me you are stuck on consumerism; deciding to convert an unwanted good into something undesirable by most everyone. It is a philosophical conversation, but for a boat, determine first what you want. Kind regards.
     
  14. solosailersomeday
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    solosailersomeday Junior Member

    'people build boats is to break the consumer barrier and get what they want. It seems to me you are stuck on consumerism; deciding to convert an unwanted good into something undesirable by most everyone. ' fair, i walked myself into that. thanks again for the perspective.

    until next time.
     
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  15. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    You are miles ahead of many that post here with odd ideas by accepting perspectives.

    If you want a boat, start by writing all the things you want from it.

    This is the 'statement of requirements'. Many people buy a boat that is well marketed to them; not the most suited.
     
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