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Thread: Fisher Prospector build log

  1. #1
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    Default Fisher Prospector build log

    Although many before me have already posted logs on their selfbuild canoes, I will do the same and give some small tips for future builders.

    Since I wanted an allround canoe suitable for solo and tandem use,for a little bit of white-water and for carying a large enough load, I opted for the Sellway Fisher Prospector. The plans were bought and I have to say I was pleased about the whole package I received some days afterwards

    For materials, I ordered glass and epoxy at Berger Boot in Germany. They have some very useful video's on all the stages to build a ply stitch and glue. I especially liked that they do their builds "hull-up" on jigs mounted on some kind of 'strongback'.

    Some pictures:



    Drawing curved lines works really well by putting small nails on the coordinates and then using a flexible wooden strip held in place by some weights. Finally those weights came in handy after all those years laying around in the basement



    Finished planks. I took one finished plank to make 3 exact copies by using a router.




    Mdf jigs. Managed to make one mistake when measuring ... had to correct 2 jigs on 2 spots by adding small pieces of MDF... Measure twice etc !!



    Wanted to avoid another tennis elbow... invested in a special tool that twists the wire by pulling on the wheel. Worked well. A small wooden tool to drill holes at regular intervals. Tip: make sure you can use both sides.




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    Fillets in between the stitches.



    I like it!



  3. #3
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    That's looking very neat.

    About your gunnel question: I would not use cedar - it's too soft I think and would show marks each time you strapped it on to your car. Also, I think it might crush too much when you bolt seats and thwarts in place. Ash would be my first choice, but some boats I have done have used fir and pine.

    Sam

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    Nice work:-)

    The up- sweep on the FP prospectors gunwales is quite pronounced but there's plenty of advice on line on steaming. Search boil in the bag - among others.
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    Turns out I can get hold of Douglas Fir, so probably will go for that.

    On to todays work: got up early, eager to start the sanding, but the fillets that were applied after removing the stitches weren't fully hardened.... I had to wait until 2 in the afternoon to get started. Boring couple of hours sanding. I used my trusty Festool sander and did everything with it. Worked well that way.



    Then it was time for the serious transformation! I put the glass onto the hull and carefully took out the wrinkles. Cut with scissors.



    Finally it was time for the epoxy. The flat parts of the hull on top were done with a spatula, the rest with a foamroller. Tip: only go up and down with the roller . If you go stern to bow and back again, you get wrinkles!
    It now has a beatiful color Four hours later, I put on a second coat. That went on much quicker. I will see in 4 hours if I need to do a 3rd coat. Hope not.


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    Putting epoxy onto fibreglass cloth over a wooden boat has to be up there among the most satisfying jobs you can do. Along with wiping the first coat of oil on virgin woodwork.

    I also enjoy running a stanley knife balde along the overhanging fibreglass cloth once the epoxy has set.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  7. #7
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    Very tidy trim on the stem :-)
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    Thanks. The other side that is not visible is a bit less tidy

    I did a 3rd coating at 3 AM last night This morning I decided not to do a 4th, even though I still have some spots where the epoxy didn't cover the glass thoroughly... no matter what I tried, the epoxy on those spots slowly creeped away as if there's some contamination there . So now I have orange peel. I will have to take care of that by thoroughly sanding later on before applying the varnish I suppose?

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    Maybe going on too thickly? Or possibly needed a bit of a scratch over with sandpaper before applying the next coat? I rubbed mine over with sandpaper between each coat of epoxy to encourage keying unless I was laying it on top of a still tacky layer.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

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    http://www.epoxycraft.com/amine-blus...-need-to-know/

    Wash the area with soapy water before next coating - or sandpaper will remove it - but get quickly clogged.

    Sam

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    Yesterday I removed the temporary bulkheads and turned the hull over. First time I see how big it is



    This morning, I sanded the inside and did the fillets.



    The weeks before I started the build, I had already made an ottertail paddle to get going



    This afternoon I will get the rest of the wood and glue the scarfe joints of the gunnels. Tomorrow morning: sanding and glassing the inside. I just hope and prey that the remaining epoxy will be enough for the glassing and gluing the of the gunnels. I think I have less than a 3rd remaining of the epoxy ( originally 5kg resin, 2.75 hardener )

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    Nice looking lines you've achieved there. Worth cutting a bit of scrap wood to sit across the centre of the boat as a temporary thwart to set the correct beam as you offer up gunwales etc.

    You can glue the gunwales on and together with polyurethane adhesive instead of epoxy which would save some epoxy and probably time too. You can get it from any builders merchants (and I think even screwfix or B&Q) in mastic gun tubes. Usually a choice between 5 and 30 minute setting times. I'd recommend the 30 minute for glueing them on unless you're going to be super quick but the 5 minute stuff gets a scarf joint assembled and out of the way over a tea break.

    Gorilla glue works well too but takes a lot longer to set.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  13. #13
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    Gunwales

    It's been said by many, and it's true; for fixing gunwales, you cannot have too many clamps.

    Honest!
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    Gunwales

    It's been said by many, and it's true; for fixing gunwales, you cannot have too many clamps.

    Honest!

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ghlight=Clamps
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    This afternoon, I did the trip to the wood supplier. In my other post, someone advised against Douglas fir for the gunnels, so now I had the plan to do the outer gunnels in Ash, and the inners in Douglas.. Since even the smallest amount of Ash had to be taken out from a solid 15*5 cm beam ( I would have to pay for the complete beam ), I opted to do both gunnels in Ash. Since it was very hectic at the supplier, and since I had to change plans on the spot, I asked for 15*15 mm Ash for the outers and 18*18 for the inners. I hope that will be enough? If not, I can always add another strip below the inner gunnel I think.
    Since the supplier couldn't make the scarfe joint cuts, I had to improvise at home...and cut the wood diagonally with my jigsaw I put both woodstrips overlapping on top of each other and made the cut so that the irregularities in the cut would be mirrored. Turned out acceptable and is now glued with the PU 30 minutes glue.


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    Glassed the inside yesterday. Then I thought to be smart by directly applying a second layer of glass on middle part that was still tacky... Big mistake! Couldn't get it smooth so had to remove it again I then just applied a second layer of epoxy. One thing I would do different net time, is to do the inside fillets without pigment. Now one can see brown chines...



    This morning I got ready to attach the outer gunnels. Luckily I could borrow a load of clamps from a friend.



    Turned out I needed them all just for 1 gunnel ....



    Now the big question is: when do I dare to remove the clamps to glue the other outside gunnel? I used 30 min PU glue.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzle View Post
    Nice work:-)

    The up- sweep on the FP prospectors gunwales is quite pronounced but there's plenty of advice on line on steaming. Search boil in the bag - among others.
    Ah! I see my mistake. It's the Peterborough that has the really pronounced up-sweep. You seem to have coped with the Prospector just fine!
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    Yes, since it was only 15*15 mm Ash, I could bend it by hand. However, the inside gunnel is 18*18 and it seems much stiffer. I did a try-out with a router to make a scuppered inner gunnel. Would this make the canoe too flexible? Of the 18 mm, there's 12,5 mm remaining in the scuppered part.


  19. #19
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    Scuppered certainly looks pretty - and helps in draining the boat as well as tying in gear - no need to drill the hull for "threading"....

    Whatever, I strongly recommend a trial dry-fit before any glue goes anywhere near. That'll tell you as well as anything whether you need to steam the inwhale.

    It's my belief that the thwart and the seats will add sufficient stiffness - others are better learned than I am in that regard.
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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    I agree with the above

    Sam

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    Scuppered gunnels it is! This morning got started to make the scuppers with the router. I must have been still sleepy because I made a stupid mistake: one of the clamps ( not the clamps in the picture ) was only loosely clamped down when routering, and it slipped...



    Grrrrrrvd
    I decided not to let this hick-up ruin my day and somehow I will repair the damage. Proceeded to glue the inwales on both sides on today.



    Tomorrow I have to work again, so progress will be much slower from now on. All in all I'm pleased with the amount of work I did in 10 days.

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    Made a bit of progress during the weekend: I shaped the yoke ( now my basement has wooddust everywhere ... )



    Installed the carying handles and lichtweigt "decks"; applied a maple leaf on the decks



    Repaired the gunnel and used the router to bevel the sharp edges; isntalled the blocks for the seats and made the frame of the front seat


  23. #23
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    Just a quick question: how would you connect the seat frame to the blocks? Drill holes and put bolts in? ( this will be difficult because the drill will interfere with the gunnels ) Or would you use epoxy with filler and glue the frame? I was tempted to do the last, but Im afraid the flexing of the seatframe might work it loose... I used 18*38 mm ash for the seats and 18*18 ash for the blocks.



  24. #24
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    In most cases the seats are suspended from the gunwales using hangers and bolts. This has the added benefit of allowing you to adjust the seat height if required or even tilting the seat if you prefer kneeling. Sorry, not much use now you've already glued the blocks on

    Alternatively, you could try a flexible extension for your drill, it might just squeeze under the gunwales.
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

  25. #25
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    I have half a memory that the plans suggest a screw through from the outside.

    Or maybe you could bend up some brass straps?
    Last edited by Grizzle; 8th-January-2018 at 10:19 PM.
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

  26. #26

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    I'd be tempted to remove the blocks and either remake them, and bolt them to the seat before re-fitting. Or as others have suggested, hang the seats from the gunwales.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzle View Post
    I have half a memory that the plans suggest a screw through from the outside.
    Indeed, that's what is on the plans, but I refuse to drill 8 holes through the hull

    Removing the blocks now will be almost impossible. Before going this way, I contemplated the gunnel attachment, but since the back seat needs to be 14 cm below the gunnel at that point, I would need bolts of around 18 cm. I searched the web everywhere, and I haven't found those in staneless steel anywhere, at least not in M6.

    If I need to, I think I can manage to bolt the seats to the blocks. That way there is some flexing possible. I just don't know if those bolts after some time could split the ash from the blocks however.
    I've also send a mail to the shop in Berlin where I bought the glass and epoxy. I have seen on some pictures that they also use blocks from time to time. Hope that they can give a decisive answer. From what I've seen though, it seems they glue instead of using bolts.

  28. #28
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    You could glue and screw pieces of the 18*18 ash to the underside of the seat frame next to the supporting blocks.
    Then fit screws horizontally through them into the supporting blocks.

    Or make an L-shaped piece to go under and up the side of the supporting block, then bolt through it and the frame vertically, so that the frame is clamped to the supporting block.
    Last edited by watermark; 9th-January-2018 at 08:23 AM.

  29. #29
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    I would need bolts of around 18 cm. I searched the web everywhere,

    If these are what you mean - for future referenced maybe ? http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/bolts-p-570.html
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    @ watermark: good out of the box thinking !
    @ old man: if only I had found that a week ago... Since most canoe sites sell complete seat hanging kits for sometimes a lot of money, and since I only needed the bolts, I had limited my search to online metal hardware stores...

    The guy from the shop in Berlin recommends bolts or dubblesided tape.

    I will use bolts. If ever the blocks fail, I will remove them and fall back to the more traditional hanging kit. I have ordered a 30 cm drill. For the front seat I can go through the scuppers. For the rear seat I will just pass the drill next to the gunnel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbull View Post
    Glassed the inside yesterday. Then I thought to be smart by directly applying a second layer of glass on middle part that was still tacky... Big mistake! Couldn't get it smooth so had to remove it again
    Yes big mistake, in fact I am not sure what epoxy you are using and how well you have controlled temperature and curing time but could be that the problem you had with the epoxy flowing away from an area outside was also down to the time you left between coats.

    For laminating several layers of glass and epoxy don't wait, put the second layer of glass down right away whilst the first layer is still wet, ideally roll the cloth dry so that you can unroll it on the boat leaving minimal smoothing to be done. then roll more resin into the new layer so that it mingles with the resin you already put down and forms a continuous mass of epoxy when it cures rather than layers that have cured at different times. If you need to let a layer cure before applying the next let it cure overnight and then deal with the amine blush and mechanically abrade the surface to get mechanical interface between the layers of resin.

    Applying extra coats of resin without reinforcement is sort of a little pointless, unless you are looking to build up a high gloss finish and are using a suitable coating resin system (for west you can use 207 hardener with normal resin but I have been using a differen brand standalone coating system recently), in which case the instructions should tell how soon you can apply another coat (needs the first to be tacky) and how long before you need to let the previous coat fully cure and then abrade it before applying more coats - the times will vary with temperature. The issue is that if you allow epoxy to develop too far along the cure it will have started to produce the waxy amine blush so subsequent coats will not become homogenous - I have never witnessed resin shrinking away over other resin like you describe presumably because I have never let it cure that far before overcoating, but I have tried applying epoixy directly to release waxed surfaces and that is exactly how it behaves.
    If you have some hollows or even porosity in the resin soaked into the cloth this can continue to be evident through subsequent coats of resin - my reccommendation is to thicken some resin with colloidal silica (it will cure nearly clear) and go over these areas with the thick mix using a spreader or squeegee (taking care not to move the cloth) to fill the hollows, and then apply a full coat of clear coating resin immediately taking care not to work it in and dissolve the silica (i.e. minimal brushing/rolling to get even coverage).

    I refurbished my glass/carbon/kevlar wild water racing kayak last year and stripped all the old gel coat (and lots of repairs) off, made new repairs (using peel ply to speed up amine blush removal) and once everything was cured and I had put it back together (I cut the deck off temporarily to make good internal repairs) I used a coating resin on the hull. After 2 coats I still had plenty of pin holes through the laminate (that the original gel coat effectively sealed) but had missed the overcoat time window so had to let it all cure, sand it all again and then I used a silica thickened mix all over to seal the pin holes, before applying 2 more coats of coating resin. It has worked pretty well, there are a few areas where I have scraped rocks and the topmost 2 layers have flaked off due to the mechanical bond being less strong than the chemical bond you get if you can do them all in one go within the overcoat window, but all in all I am happy with the result.

    How hard can it be?

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    Thanks Jim for your extensive post. The temperature and humidity were perfect. The only thing that wasn't, is the time window. Since I was alone to epoxy the hull, some parts were not that tacky anymore, will others were... On the other hand, in all of the pictures I have seen on the web, I haven't seen an epoxy coating that was flawless.
    This weekend or the weekend after I will start to sand the hull. With a little bit of elbow grease, I think I will be able to get it smooth once the varnish is on.

    One question: if I have bare parts of the glass due to the sanding, do I need to reapply epoxy, or will the varnish cover it smoothly?


    Below a picture of the current progress: I varnished the gunnels and seat frames and applied PVC rattan. The rattan is too glossy to my liking... Should have taken natural material. For the moment I will leave it, but might redo the seats later on.
    I also weighed the canoe and I'm happy with how it turned out: 24 kg. I don't think the varnish will add a lot to it, since a part of the epoxy will first be sanded down.
    Before I finish the inside hull, I will first test the canoe in the water to see if I need to add a bit of strengthening ( second layer of glass and/or a couple of thin ribs )


    Last edited by greenbull; 17th-January-2018 at 06:51 AM.

  33. #33
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    Maiden trip today to test the canoe.



  34. #34
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    Lovely Job GB. Such a great feeling to paddle something you've built yourself.

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    Nothing short of brilliant.
    Great achievement, great blog, a real inspiration to many.
    I think it's a marvellous, usable canoe.
    You've made an heirloom!!!

  36. #36
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    Good job sir, lovely looking boat.

    So.

    What you going to build next?
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  37. #37
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    It somehow, always feels like a little miracle when they work!

    Nice job.
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

  38. #38
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    Thank you guys for your kind words.
    @Stinkwheel: I'm always open to suggestions for my next project! A glider plane maybe ?

  39. #39
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    Lovely canoe, well done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbull View Post
    @Stinkwheel: I'm always open to suggestions for my next project! A glider plane maybe ?
    http://m-sandlin.info/
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  41. #41
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    Urgent call to my fellow builders for advice:

    today I started sanding the hull to apply the varnish. As you can see in the picture, the depressions are very visible. Should I sand until all the depressions are gone and thereby expose the glas surface, or should I stop before exposing and apply a sacrificial varnish layer to fill the depressions and then sand again ? I appreciate your help!


  42. #42
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    Ooof!

    When you write 'depressions', do you mean bubbles that have opened?

    Never having been one for the mirror finish, I've accepted irregularities in my surfaces, but this looks rather different.

    Are we looking at pock-marks here?
    G

    'Adventure is relative. My adventure is another's commonplace.'

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