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Thread: Which SF canoe for me?

  1. #1

    Default Which SF canoe for me?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking to build a stitch and glue style canoe. Browsing the plans on selway I see there are many options, I'm hoping to build a canoe that will primarily be used by myself although occasionally my wife would join. I would say max weight would be 400lbs, hopefully less. I was hoping for something in the 13 to 14 foot length although I'm ok tk go up to 15 feet. Was hoping for a plywood construction as well.



    I would be using this canoe on small rivers and creeks.and sheltered small lakes.


    With that information, does anyone have any suggestions as to help me narrow down my choices from the large list of plans? So far im thinking of: Raven (14'), Peterborough (14'), Huntsman, Hazelnut, Fischer prospector, waterman 13.

    thanks in advance!

    Aaron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Cumbria
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    1,605

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    A plywood boat on small creeks/rivers will need to be pretty manouverable to avoid grounding/rocks etc. As such, you may find a Peterborough a bit slow to turn. So likewise the hazelnut which is the same hull shape.

    The Raven/huntsman is a wee bit basic so if you have the time, a more complex hull might prove more rewarding? They would however be quicker and easier to build.

    The obvious one to go for given your spec is the prospector which should solo well and be manouveravble

    The Waterman looks like an interesting thing, I do wonder how much like a traditional canoe it handles but it certainly looks versatile. Mind you, I also like the look of their Adirondack 12' x 30" which looks like just the thing for exploring small creeks/rivers but I'm not sure how suitable for tandem work it would be.

    A guy was building a Christine when I was building mine and she looked a very capable and pretty boat. More open water focus than a Prospector but I think she'd be more manouverable than a Peterborough.

    The Prospector would be the definate "vanilla" option though.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Lancaster
    Posts
    196

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    I can't really comment on the Selway Fisher boats themselves as I don't have any experience of them (apart from admiring some I have seen built).

    My gut feeling is that something in the 13-14' range is probably too small for all but the occasional tandem on sheltered waters where you are both relatively slight.

    In very general terms a canoe 15-16' will hit the sweet spot for most people (says he who has just added a 12' canoe to the fleet!). If the focus is on solo with some tandem then 15' would seem to hit your sweet spot... but it depends on how small the creeks in question are... I've spent many enjoyable days messing around in small overgrown slow moving rivers/creeks in a 15'8" canoe with a straight keel (i.e. not very manoeuvrable!) and it is excellent for learning steering strokes/side slipping etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Cumbria
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    I think length considerations go out of the window to an extent with some of the shorter SF designs because some of their small hull designs also have a surprisingly large displacement. Some are more akin to a small rowing boat than a traditional canoe.

    In fact, they give an indication of max carrying capacity on the SF website. So the waterman 13 is rated for 329kg while the Peterborough 15' 7" is only 317kg (and when you look at the pictures of a Waterman tandem, it still has almost too much freeboard).
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  5. #5

    Default

    Stinkwheel and Lime

    thanks very much for your replies! Over the fall and winter i think i am going to build some paddles first, then approach a simpler build, i currently have plans for a "Yukon" by larry westlatke , I would post a link, but do not meet the minimum requirements, a quick google will show the plans im talking about., I realize the yukon isnt good for purposes i listed here, but It should be a simple build and I can use it myself, if my wife wants to use it, she can build her own .

    I should note that I dont NEED to use a SF design for the "nicer boat", I am open to suggestions but from what i have seen, i do like the sf designs best, but i come on messageboards here looking to learn from people who have more experience than i do!

    Aaron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    313

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    Hi Simko,
    I built an SF Prospector three years ago and I love it. It has loads of carrying capacity, is very forgiving in rough water, and turns on a sixpence. My wife has a 12 foot Apache which does not turn at all well as it has no rocker. The prospector has lots of rocker, works very well edged over, and is light enough (64lb ish)for easy car topping or portage on my own. Best of luck with whatever you decide on.
    Calefactio orbis? Culus meus!!

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