Pondering modifications to a plan

Ask your questions here. Guests welcome to post!
Post Reply
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 3:04 pm

Pondering modifications to a plan

Post by topher » Sat Sep 04, 2004 2:30 pm

Hey Howdy!!!

Am posting here to ask a question or twelve or what have you. Am new to the concept of boat building, however am not new to wood working in various permutations. I have acquired plans for a 14’ Chenoa canoe and upon reviewing the plans have been considering some modifications and was looking for feedback from those more experienced with stitch and glue building techniques (which would include umm everyone who has ever built a boat ;>).

My objective with these modifications is to make the canoe sturdier, more impact, and abrasion resistant. My first proposed modification would be to install laminated stem pieces at the front and back of the canoe. As the plan, of course, does not come with stem molds I would have to create a fair simulacrum of one based on the actual, semi-assembled parts. I was also considering adding a keel that would tie in to the stems (from the outside of course with the plywood between). My biggest concern with the keel would be changing the maneuverability of the canoe. My concept of a “typical” canoe keel is a board that is 7/8” tall by ¾” wide at the base, tapering to 3/8”. The 3/8” edge is fitted with the same size half-oval band that continues from deck to deck. . It would be completely acceptable to me to create a “half depth” keel so to speak. Something along the lines of ½” tall and ¾ wide tapering to 3/8”.

Next series of questions (looks to see if anyone is still with him). These are not as critical and are probably at my own discretion, but am going to ask anyway, so nah! The plan calls for a one part gunwale in the form of an outwale. Conversely, me being the perverse creature that I am, would prefer to make it a two piece gunwale consisting of a ¾” scuppered inwale and ¾” outwale. Though the inwale does effect the structure of the canoe am I correct in thinking that since it would make the hull more stable any net impact would be positive? I also wanted to make the decks out of wood.

On to fiberglassing. If I use 6 oz. cloth would I need to tape the bottom seam(s)? Also should I only glass the bottom of the canoe or should I glass the entire exterior?

That finishes the questions, any comments and observations (besides on my sanity for complicating a simple plan) would be appreciated.


User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 4871
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:14 pm
Type of boat I like: Wooden
Location: Greensboro, NC

Post by jem » Sat Sep 04, 2004 5:54 pm

Chenoa has a slight V-bottom so adding any kind of keel on the centerline would be tricky. And a keel will take away from maneuverability.

As for adding stem posts, yes it could be done. But not without some creative sanding.

As for the gunwalls/gunnels/rubrails, yes you could add them inside and out with no problem.

6-ounce will add some strength and abrasion resistance. But a soundly designed hull that meets you paddling needs is better.

Now let me ask some questions: Why all the heavy duty building? Do you plan on paddling some abusive waters? What's the primary paddling environment you'll use this boat it? I ask because perhaps selecting a different design would yield you better results.
-Matt. Designer.

Post Reply