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Thread: Looking for a first canoe to build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
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    2

    Default Looking for a first canoe to build

    I've been looking into building a stitch and glue canoe for a while now and I'm not sure if I'm quite on the right track. I am looking for a canoe that I can build to less than 50 lbs and can carry 2 people and a dog totaling about 500 lbs. I have found many designs between 14 and 16 feet that I think would do quite nicely. What I am not really sure about is how to pick which one to build, I have been looking at things like the Eureka 155 the Kymi river and the Green Valley designs. The vast majority of the use will be me carrying it half a mile to a small lake near my house for solo fishing. The rest of the time would be day trips with 2 people on lakes and rivers maybe doing some fishing.

    Am I talking about 2 different boats? I understand a 15 and a half foot boat isn't going to be as easy to solo as a 12' but will it still be manageable?

    My other question is about construction. How much more difficult is it to build a 5 plank per side canoe vs a 3 plank? Does it get a lot harder to keep everything strait when you are aligning more seams?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Southport, really in Lancashire, UK
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    2,023

    Default

    Over your side of the pond the choices are bewildering. There are many designs and kits available.

    A five plank per side makes a more pleasing canoe shape and they often include "temporary bulkheads" to help hold the shape.

    Solo paddling is not just a matter of boat length. But weight for the carry is important. A friend has a 16ft Peterborough canoe in stitch and tape, weighing in at about 40lbs.

    The Pygmy Boats Taiga Wilderness Tripper is one that I have admired for its smooth shape. But it is bigger and heavier than you suggest you need.

    Good luck with your project and keep us informed about your progress. I'm sure more advise will be along soon.

    Doug

    ps building canoes is addictive
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
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    1,650

    Default

    My Selway Fisher Peterborough is 15' 7" long. I'm recommending imy own boat because I spent quite a long time deliberating which to build and decided this was best.

    My wife can solo it.


    It weighs 25kg (55lb) so I can solo portage it cross country while also carrying a 60l portage pack.


    it's strong enough to trolley with a whole load of gear in (we added a little extra bracing in the centre of the hull and an extra layer of glass).



    You can pile an inordinate amount of gear in it then paddle it tandem (in fairness, this was as much as I'd be comfortable with). I weigh 250lb by myself.





    I have a detailed build blogg if you want to know what's involved.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...t=peterborough

    I will say it tends to be a bit slower to turn than some but is quick through open water. Freeboard is fairly low when heavily laden. A mixed blessing, it doesn't catch the wind badly but does take on water more easily if waves get up.

    Also, I really like the shape of her, which is what a 5-plank design will get you.
    Last edited by stinkwheel; 29th-August-2017 at 09:31 PM.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
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    Default

    That's a very nice looking canoe. I have been looking at a few of the SF designs and I like the multichine and tumblehome look. I like the low ends of the hazelnut canoe. I am having a hard time finding a supplier for marine plywood in my area, the only one I have found is very expensive, this is kind of ring me away from the SF designs that call for 4 sheets of lumber vs. 2 or 3 from some other designs.

    Seeing all the sailing canoes is interesting and something I may try down the line. What kind design and building consideration that need to be addressed to do this? I assume there are some extra strength requirements beyond just adding a mast step and partner.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
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    1,650

    Default

    It doesn't have to be marine ply. That's what was used on mine but if it's going to be epoxy and glass coated, it just needs to be good quality ply without any significant voids.

    Sailing canoes can vary from a normal canoe with a mast foot and thwart designed to put a light aluminium mast in and drag you downwind, through slightly more "proper" rigs which add a rudder and leeboard (often still bolt-on additions to a standard hull), sometimes outriggers. Right up to something more akin to an actual sailing boat with a partly enclosed deck, daggerboard and multiple sails. So depends what you want. You can put a sail on just about anything if you put your mind to it. If you look in the sailing section, someone there has converted a snake river 12 (normally considered a lightweight and manouverable solo canoe) to a sailing rig with a leeboard, rudder and a 26sq ft ?bermudan? rig. Looks right at home with it too.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Stratford, Ontario
    Posts
    59

    Default

    My two cents.
    Using ply that's not Lloyds certified (marine ply) could result in laminate failure due to voids in the inner cores holding higher humidity.
    15 foot boats are remarkably versatile. When configured as a solo they can be built light (ours are 30lbs) and when configured as a tandem they can manage as much as 450 lbs.
    At the risk of self-promotion I'll link to two of our designs here. The Ashes Solo Day is a light weight sports car ( http://ashesstillwaterboats.com/boats/solo-day/ ) . The Angler's Special can still be built at around 40 pounds but can handle as much as 450 pounds and is much more stable ( http://ashesstillwaterboats.com/the-ashes-angler/ ). Neither, I'm afraid is in stitch and glue, but in terms of total hours, there isn't a whole lot of difference when all's said and done.
    Trevor Paetkau
    Ashes Still Water Boats
    Canoe Plans | Custom Boats

  7. #7

    Default

    Don`t know if you are still looking for info but I built a Eureka 155. Things I like about it are the optional built in flotation chambers at each end. I fitted a screw in waterproof hatch at one end for storage. Reasonably easy to build with good instructions detailing different techniques and options. Easy to paddle 2 up or solo. Quite easy to keep straight as there is not too much rocker. Wind does not affect it too much. Felt a bit unstable at first but that was only for the first few minutes until we got used to it. Built mine with 6 mm marine ply, not Okoume / gaboon, so it is not as light as it could be. Too heavy to carry more than a few yards solo without a trolley .It is quite tough though. I am very happy with it for a first canoe. Have not tried any others so cannot give a comparison however.
    Good luck with whatever you build.

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