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Thread: Selway Fisher Raven

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    260

    Default Selway Fisher Raven

    Maker's Spec




    Length 15' 7"

    Maker's Write Up
    Adrian Cabedo (see the Wren) came back to us for a second design. He wanted a slightly more sophisticated design, still of the Canadian type, for long distance portaging and camping in Spain. Basing the new design on the Wren, we increased her beam to 36" and by using 4 planks per side were able to give her section some tumblehome. This has two effects - with the beam at the gunwale less than the beam lower down the hull paddling is easier and with the increased waterline beam, she is a very stable design. A bulkhead is incorporated with some decking at both ends giving buoyancy or stowage space and she uses the stitch and tape method of construction. 3 sheets of 4, 5 or 6mm ply are used and the weight is around 50 lbs with 5mm ply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    273

    Default

    An owner’s review of the Selway-Fisher Raven.

    The Build

    Firstly the build itself. My plans arrived quickly and the one or two queries I had were dealt with quickly and helpfully by Selway-Fisher. Even as someone with essentially no woodworking experience I found the plans easy enough to follow as long as I took it slow and methodically.
    I built mine from exterior ply, 4mm up top and 6mm down below. I have skinned the lower half in glass fabric and all glue was epoxy. I used red pine for the gunwales, seats and thwart.
    I would say the reasonable simplicity of the design makes it a good build for the beginner builder.

    The Paddle

    The Raven is a pleasingly stable boat, feeling solid on flat water, and copes with medium waves without losing that feel of control. I have not yet paddled it in bigger stuff. Despite the large flat bottom (which gives it it’s stability) it feels quick enough and is fine as a solo paddler. The ply construction means it’s fairly light of course, which may contribute to that ‘leaf on water’ feel.
    The lack of rocker also improves the potential speed of the boat, and means it tracks well. However, this also means the Raven is slow to turn, but you can’t have everything!
    The ply construction and design of the Raven means it is not a white water boat, but with a glass fabric outer should cope with easy rivers OK.

    Ownership

    The indefinable stuff! I really like this boat. Certainly much of this is due to the fact I built it myself. That first experience of floating on a deep, dark loch in something you grafted together yourself is one of the most satisfying things I’ve done. I also love the traditional lines of the boat and complimented them (at least I think it compliments!) with a paint design copied from traditional Native American designs I found on the internet, combined with adaptations of Inuit petroglyphs, also found on the internet. This boat also, obviously, has the indefinable quality of wood. A quality that, for me, enhances the feeling of a connection with nature that canoeing already has in abundance.

    Notes

    I am fairly new to canoeing and my experience of canoes is restricted to the Raven and a couple of plastic hire canoes whose identity I cannot remember. My wordworking skills were extremely limited on beginning this build, although I am usually quite good at practical things. These factors should be borne in mind when considering this review.

    Matt J





    Last edited by Matt25; 3rd-March-2007 at 10:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nr Ipswich, Suffolk
    Posts
    588

    Smile Rave review

    After having had a fair bit of coaching and using a plastic club boat for several months now I now feel somewhat qualified enough to comment on my Raven.

    I'd agree with pretty much all of what Matt25 says in his review and it sounds like we have a similar amount of woodworking experience prior to this build too so if you're thinking about taking on a project like this and are handy with tools etc you will be able to do it.

    Compared to the club's plastic boat my Raven tracks well but is impossible to turn on its axis due to the bilge/ keel runners. Tipping the canoe whilst performing a sweep stroke helps a bit but since most of my canoeing so far has been with my kids I try to keep the boat flat. I don't really see this a negative feature since most of my intended canoeing will be touring unlike the coaching sessions which involve a lot more turning etc.

    I varnished the inside and painted the outside, I also glassed the whole of the underside and by the time I'd finished I felt my boat was pretty heavy (sorry no figure but I will try and update this when available) and having two people to lift and carry really helps although I can pick it up/ load and unload from the car on my own.

    To sum up I like it. It feels sturdy and safe and I'm looking forward to fitting it out for future camping trips.

    Gibbo.

    _____________________________________________________________ ________
    http://gibboscanoe.blogspot.com/ Please click on the adverts: it earns me money...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ulverston, Cumbria
    Posts
    525

    Default

    Would you say that the Raven doesn't have a rocker and doesn't turn very well? It's in the 'manouevrable' section on the Selway site. I'm confused - it looks good and could be exactly what I want but not if it has no rocker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    273

    Default

    Hi,

    The Raven does have some rocker but it's pretty flat. Mine also has extra runners to protect the bottom which increases it's resistance to turn. I guess if you left these off it would make it more manouverable, although I'd hesitate to do this unless you plan to sheath the boat in glass fibre.

    I would not describe the Raven as a manouverable boat however, I have limited experience of other boats so am not comparing it to much. The upside is that it shoots along at a fair old lick in a straight line.

    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    SOUTH WEST
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I am just about to start building the 14 foot version of the raven. I like the paint job on yours. Can you let me know any websites where I might get inspiration for the paint job on mine?

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