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Thread: The most rediculous build i can think of!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sheffield when it's Term time, Manchester area when it's not!

    Talking The most rediculous build i can think of!!!


    It's been a while since i posted, mainly as i've had no canoe related activity!!! Having completed a self build and taking her for a spin i got it to uni only to discover it weighs about as much as me and without a car it's physically impossible to get it anywhere..!!!

    Not to be put off by this minor setback i've gone back to the drawing board and come up with a design which could solve all my problems!!! Ok it's not gonna be the worlds most sturdy canoe and she wont be paddling any rapids but i was thinkin 5'10" long, 1'10" wide with steep sides up to about 2'8" deep. a keel running the entire length of the bottom, a rocker of about 3", as pointy as i can get it, and... wait for it... 3mm ply!!!

    I saw a thread about a build out of balsa and i kinda thought if you can make a stripper out of balsa last years then a 3mm ply stitch and glue would probably last me till i leave uni! I was thinkin cover it in heavy fiberglass and epoxy (or poly resin, again, ) and she'll be light enough to run down to the canal with!

    So whats gonna go wrong then?! I was thinkin the keel (2-2.5") will compensate for the lack of stability due to the weight and the fiberglass will compensate for the lack of strength from the ply! The width will be enough to snugly fit me in and, although it'll take a while to learn to paddle right, it should be functional! The equations work out at least!!! But i'm posing the questions to you professionals to see what you think! I know Polys not the way to go but i am a student and it's only supposed to last till i leave uni! I reiterate for anyone whose not seen my posts (as its been a while) treat me as a novice, nothing is too simple and you can confidently assume i know buer all about anything!!! I wanna give it a bash (the first will probably be my girlfriends birthday prezzie so i have the problems worked out for when i build mine!!!) but i dont want it to sink as soon as it touches the water (especially not if she's in it! I would never hear the end!!!) I'll find a way to get my plans up here sometime soon as that might make it easier to visualise but i have made a 10th scale model and it all fitted together!!!

    Cheers guys, i know you'll answer as best you can as you always seem to!!!


  2. #2


    If you want cheap, light, and recyclable why not go for a skin on frame?

    Easy to build from stuff you can have just lying around, honest!

    look up the Snowshoe thread for my trials and tribulations... Phil Hadley is building one at the moment too

    Ok you won't want to go into the rocky stuff but they are a bit more robust than they look, i certainly would'nt baulk at taking one down the Thames or suchlike.
    Obscured by Clouds

    Clipper Prospector 16

  3. #3


    Hi, look up a 1 sheet skiff, u can buid 1 in a day. It is on Simplicity boats site

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Try looking at
    The Bean Boat holds me at 12 stone and didn't take long to get the hang of - but it sits a bit lower in the water than with the lad in the picture! At one sheet of ply it's certainly light. At present the seat is a block of polystyrene foam, but I used to have one of those big bottles from a water dispenser until it started to dent.
    It's great fun on flat water, but feels a bit tippy when changing direction on moving water. Small people really like it because they can paddle it far more easily than big people!
    While I'm on, I may as well say a bit about myself. I am a fairly recent convert to open boating, but have sea kayaked for ages. I build my own boats (2 sea kayaks, general purpose kayak, bean boat and strip built canadian on the way) - I find small but regular payments for materials attract less criticism than large payments for whole boats! My big problem is that the garage is getting full of boats and kit so I will have to re arrange thigs once more to make space (not for the car, you understand)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Deepest darkest Wales


    I once built a boat in Tri-Wall cardboard.
    Light, Stiff and it floated...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Kingwood (Houston area), Texas


    Mousboats, designed by Gavin Atkins of the U.K. are among the least expensive, most stable boats one can build. Plans and lots of information can be found here:

    I'm in the process of building a 14 ft expedition mouse. Its rather canoe/kayak like, but Gavin provides plans for sail, the purpose for which he designed the boat. I'll most likely row or double paddle my mouse. I've no experience with sail and am too old to learn new tricks.

    The plans are free. My mouse, using PL Premium glue for fillets, glass tape, poly resin...had the evil stuff...and glass for the bottom will, with Luan, cost me about $80...includes the cost of the resin as it was unopened.

    Gavin provides support and participates in the forum. There are plenty of photos on the site, as well as an over load site that's photos and files only. Lots of designs to chose from. I believe that, on the site Samb posted, there is even a plan for his Cinderella canoe...a very nice solo canoe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Southern Oregon


    Sounds like a great project. I built a few cheap boats everything from a few cardboard canoes and a SOT.

    One of the best projects began with a poster board model (seen in foreground left)

    that turned into a solo canoe.

    Note the bow and stern are out of the water with the severe rocker.

    If you need a little larger cheap boat see my blog titled a modest proposal.

    i was thinkin 5'10" long, 1'10" wide with steep sides up to about 2'8" deep. a keel running the entire length of the bottom, a rocker of about 3", as pointy as i can get it, and... wait for it... 3mm ply!!!

    Your dimensions confuse me. It sounds child size. This one is 10'6" and a 29" beam. It was designed for teaching children. However I have had two adults in it. I replaced the thwart with two thwarts about 4.5 feet apart. One acts a back rest and the forward one I brace my feet on. The twin thwarts permit easy attachment of an alma.

    finished it weighs about 24 pounds and was made with 3mm ply wood.

    The thin plywood was sheathed up to the water line with glass cloth.

    While lifeguarding with this in the surf. I had a child broadside me with a kayak. The cracking plywood made a sick sound but the damage was minimal. The hole/crack was about 6 inches by 3 and at the water line. I pushed the broken section back into place and continued the day of surfing. The patch was a section of glass on both sides. It never seemed too thin as long as it was supported by the water when you stand in it.

    You can see this has a lot of rocker. The thought was to have it spin easy. When you want to go straight, you sit back to make the sharp V act as keel.

    My thoughts are your design is too narrow, 22" and too high 32" and possibly too short5' 6". I would swap the depth with the beam.

    This hull has only 1 foot of plywood on the sides. You don't need a keel if you have a deep V. One boat I built with a 3/4" keel on an 18' hull was impossible to turn. I shaved it down to make it usable. I would have removed it but hated to have all the holes to patch removing it would have left.
    Dr. Joe
    Electric Hospital
    Coos Bay Or

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Leek, Staffordshire


    At least I am not the only one with slightly different hull designs rattling around in my head. Love the cardboard canoe idea!

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