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Thread: Help me choose a plywood S&G design

  1. #1

    Default Help me choose a plywood S&G design

    Hi all,

    Newcomer to the forum, and to open boats - since our daughter was born almost two years ago the two kayaks that my wife and I own haven't seen much use so I've been hankering after something that can be used for whole family adventures. As I'm already a (beginner and not very good) woodworker, I'd like to build one, and a recent birthday has provided a budget for this. I'm looking at courses, both to benefit from someone else's knowledge and skills and because time and space limitations in day-to-day life mean that it might never get finished. From preliminary enquiries the most likely option is birchcanoes.com - the location is conveniently close to family who can provide accommodation and potentially some babysitting, and John responded enthusiastically to my initial contact with the result that I was able to visit him last weekend and have a paddle in one of his 15' 6" Lakotas.

    I'm also looking at some other designs though, particularly the SF Prospector and Peterborough. John has kindly agreed to have a go at building one of these if that's what I decide, with the provisos of increased cost due to higher material costs and more complex build, and of slightly less confidence in the final product (fair enough as he hasn't built one before).

    So I'm looking for some advice/opinions on the different designs mentioned, or others you would suggest. The Lakota is a fairly basic design, with a flat bottom and two planks per side similar to a SF Wren, although I think the Wren has the top panel vertical whereas the Lakota has some tumblehome. It seemed to paddle very nicely with good stability, but my only reference points are bottom-of-the-range plastic hire boats. What would I gain with the more complex SF designs, beyond a (subjectively) more aesthetically pleasing shape? I'm guessing perhaps slightly better tracking and speed with the shallow vee hull? Anything else?

    The main uses would be day trips/general mucking about on the river, but I'm hoping we might one day manage some longer trips with overnight camping so I'd like something that could carry two adults, one small child and camping kit.

    John also made the sensible suggestion that I should try to find a Prospector or a Peterborough to have a go in, so if anyone has one of either anywhere near Cambridge (UK) that they'd be willing to let me have a brief play with I would be very grateful.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Belgium, Gent
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Hi James,

    I have build a SF Prospector this winter. It takes some time and effort, but it's very rewarding at the same time. What's nice about the whole build, are the very different fases. Drawing and cutting the wood. Stitch the planks. Epoxy filler. Glass. Gunwales, seats and thwarts.

    If you like working with wood, you should definately go for it. The 5 plank designs are not that more complicated. They do however cost you more time. In the end you end up with a very pleasing canoe. If time is really an issue, you could go for the 3 plank desings.
    I relied heavily on the step by step video's from the German guys from Berger Boote. Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvxLEfsqq3E&t=5s
    For more info: there are some build blogs on this forum with lots of info. My build: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ctor-build-log
    Stinkwheels SF Peterborough build: http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...verwater-boats
    Last edited by greenbull; 24th-May-2018 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Currently N. Somerset. Oftimes Quebec Province, Canada.
    Posts
    365

    Default

    Whatever you choose, do seriously consider having the sheet timber CNC cut. Knowing that you are dealing with accurate pieces is both reassuring and helpful

    Have fun

    (one x S-F Peterborough, two x S-F Prospectors, one x S-F Little Kate)
    G

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Belgium, Gent
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Waw, did you build 4 SF's ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Currently N. Somerset. Oftimes Quebec Province, Canada.
    Posts
    365

    Default

    With the great help of swmbo and young cousins, yes

    Blush

    But nowhere near the quality of others on this site....
    G

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

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