steel canoe plans

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Hacklebellyfin, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Hacklebellyfin
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    Hacklebellyfin Junior Member

  2. pkoken
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    pkoken S/V Samadhi V

    Have you considered lead or (ferro)cement as alternatives?
     
  3. Hacklebellyfin
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    Hacklebellyfin Junior Member

  4. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You dont need plans. Just get a 20ft length of roofing iron, fold the ends together and rivet them together.

    It will work well
     
  5. Hacklebellyfin
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    Hacklebellyfin Junior Member

    That is a pirogue not a canoe but thx.

    By the way, in middle of Thailand teak is very expensive ,marine plywood is difficult to order in small quantity, aluminium sheet ... no one is able to weld it , Strong canvas and fiber glass tape and epoxy by gallon is as difficult to find than marine plywood...

    So I shall do with materials accessible around: steel and rivets or weld , ferrocement, bamboo and asphalt.


    Adapt and overcome .
     
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Your innovativeness is to be commended. I went through that exercise as a kid, when I had neither the money or skills to get my canoe built.

    Now, what is the difference between a pirogue and a canoe - basically size and an outirgger.

    So- use a smaller bit of roofing iron! Innovate!

    If its only the shape of the ends - then the angle you cut the sheet is all that matters..

    If you dont like the very fine entry formed by accepting the "natural" bend of the metal, get a panelbeaters hammer and dolly, and round out both ends to have a bit fuller shape after you join them. The same goes for the gunnel line. If it doesnt suit - a bit of panel beating is the go, with a bamboo inwale to get a fair line.

    A flat bit of galvanised steel will produce almost a zero rocker hull - like my canadian canoe, and 80% of commercially built canoes. But if you want a bit of rocker -simply cut a V at the bow and stern, and when you join the ends - instant rocker.

    Experiment by making smaller models out of scap metal - you will get the idea soon enough.

    You will be pleased how easy it is to make an "instant" canoe this way. The reason there are so few plans for "metal" canoes, is that they are so easy to form using the instant bending technique - or so complicated that you need to be a panel beater.
     
  7. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    I made canoes from sheet iron when we were kids, but we had a piece of 3x2 wood at the stem and stern to nail the sheets too, we used road tar to seal them, They were very good and lots of fun, but my neighbour used to shoot the bows off while i was paddling to see how quick he could sink me....such is life, we all had fun trying to get away, lost a few into deep water as a result, but it was all in fun.
     
  8. Hacklebellyfin
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    Hacklebellyfin Junior Member

    Thank you for enlightment.
    :)
     
  9. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    It's good to see all the knowledgable senior members rushing to the aid of this newbie who is seeking our advice. Gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

    I have never seen a steel canoe, aluminum ones seem to be getting rare lately, too. For me the main attraction of a canoe is light weight, that may be impaired somewhat by making it from steel although the concrete ones were surprisingly light.

    Hack, my inclination is to look at local tradition for guidance since that would employ locally available materials, although that sounds a bit obvious. You clearly have supply problems for any wood except bamboo. Steel is not as easy as aluminum to form, sounds like a lot or work; if you can get aluminum you don't have to weld it, riveting is common enough in aluminum boats.

    Did you consider a fabric covered canoe? If there are any suitable fabrics available, bamboo would make an excellent frame. Sheet rubber over wicker maybe. Let your mind run free and let us know how it turns out. And good luck!
     
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I dunno ancient. I dont think aluminium is easier to form than steel myself. Steel has one attribute that aluminium lacks (besides cheapness and availability) - and that is ductility.

    You may have seen pressed steel toys in a shop, or hand hammered objects from third world countries, or have done some panel beating yourself.

    With a curved lump of metal, and a suitable hammer, you can "form" steel to some very sophisticated shapes, while the metal still retains or even enhances its strength.

    Aluminium can be formed with sophisticated dies, and welded with expensive machines - but steel can be hand hammered to shape, welded with hot coals and hand hammers.

    You can also use a thinner gauge of steel for a canoe, which in the end, largely alleviates the weight disadavantage.

    Bamboo frames and nylon skin would also make a good canoe. HB doesnt say if the boat is for work or pleasure. I suppose the intended use will affect the material choice a lot.
     
  11. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    RW: All valid points. Since I make ply boats, I was thinking of Aluminum's relative softness, ease of bending and drilling for rivet holes, and resistance to corrosion. The ductility of steel might eliminate the need for long seams, and it sounds like Hack has welding capability as well as access to rivets.

    Hack: Getting back to the topic, you’re looking for plans, and I can’t find any, other than the link you have found for an Aluminum canoe. You may have to buy plans for a wood canoe and modify them to accommodate the limitations and exploit the capabilities of steel.

    Given plans that appeal to you, the main issues will be, achieving the hull shape with a material that arrives as flat sheets, seams, weight vs strength and stiffness, and safety.

    If you have the resources or ability to form the steel to sophisticated shapes then you may be best suited by plans for a rounded hull shape, such as a cedar strip canoe. If you are limited to cutting out flat panels and joining them with long seams, then a stitch and glue ply design would be a better starting point. Your alternatives for making seams seem to be welding or riveting, whatever you can handle in that department.

    The thickness of steel would depend on the canoe size and intended application. If you have ability to add stiffening members like ribs and gunnels you could reduce the gauge but it’s still going to be heavier than a wood boat. That being the case you should select a design with adequate load capacity and add more floatation than the designer called for. Some of the bouyancy chambers should be above the water line as it will be difficult to turn it over if you are left swimming and the boat is flipped over.

    A final point. Since the material will arrive as flat sheet form, canoe types that start as flat sheets may be the best starting point. North American birch bark canoes, for example, are made by forming a sheet of bark to the required shape, cutting darts along the sheerline above the waterline to eliminate the hogging that results when the material is brought in to form the stems, and then reinforcing to add stiffness. It may help you to obtain a book that describes the process.

    Beyond that I don’t think I am qualified to advise but maybe someone else can step up to the plate. Once again, good luck!
     
  12. Ramona
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    Ramona Senior Member

    I'm with the other Australians on this topic re steel canoes. Never saw any other sort when I was a kid. I started with a sheet of corrugated iron, flattened out the corrugations with a hammer on concrete as best I could. Bent the ends up and used the bit of timber to nail to, then tar off the road melted in to seal. Stomped about on the inside to get a flatter bottom for stability. Light and easy to carry by myself. The bigger kids used spacers and thin timber gunwales and painted canvas for decks.

    My rich kid cousin had a double canoe made out of new flat steel with buoyancy tanks by a local plumber. It was a heap of crap.
     
  13. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    OK I was being lazy. I finally did the numbers: assuming 24g galv at 1.16 lb/sq ft a 14 ft canoe works out to about 44 lb plus gunnels and fittings. Even 22g comes in at 48 lb and I wouldn't think you'd need thicker than that. Not bad actually, compared to an old glass one I had which was way heavier than that. I admit am biassed, because my woody cans come in below 20 lb I just had difficultly believing that steel is a practical material for such a small boat. Anyone got a good crow recipe?
     
  14. clmanges
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    clmanges Senior Member

    As a matter of fact . . .

    www.crowbusters.com

    has some.

    Sorry for the off-topic, couldn't help myself, lol!
     

  15. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Thanks. It will complement my recipe for Peking Roadkill.
     
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