JEM Watercraft

JEM Watercraft

Customer Service Forum
Direct Links To: Canoe Plans  --  Kayak Plans  --  Other Plans
 
It is currently Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:02 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Chicago
I live near a relatively large lake; (22,400 square miles, average depth is 279 feet, deepest over 900 feet);
Over the past 60 years or so, I have fantasized about canoing on this lake;
Sometime next year, God allowing, I will have built my own canoe (thanks to JEM) and will be itching to put in on Lake Michigan;

But I have a grave concern, Can I get beyond the breaker waves and back through them again with my canoe in one piece?
I am not so concerned about merely capsizing, I have gotten wet and subsequently dried off many times in my life,
what I am concerned about is hundreds of pounds of water dropping onto my canoe... Just how fragile are these expoxy resin and fiberglass encased 1/4 inch plywood fabrications? Especially when the undertow creates a shallow situation where the canoe is pounded against the sand bottom? What about deeper out where ther's no risk of being pounded against the bottom, will the force of a breaker against even a floating canoe smash it to pieces?
I have many times been badly bruised by Lake Michigan's breakers.
How did breakers even get that name? Is it because they break boats apart?

My ancestors crossed and toured this lake with impunity in birchbarks, but I am scared. Should I be? Or am I overly concerned?

I value the opinions and experiences of those who may respond. Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:23 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:14 pm
Posts: 4855
Location: Greensboro, NC
The hulls are quite strong when built according to specifications and with quality materials. Just as strong as any plastic boat you'll find (except in the case abrasion where plastic holds up a little better). They are not meant run rapids or spend intentional time on rocks. Plastic boats that do that are constructed in a specific manner to survive these environments.

Wooden boats are strong, but they are not a substitute for good judgment. I'd say don't paddle until you can safely avoid the situations you spoke of. If that's not something you're willing to do, please don't build my designs. I'd rather have an angry former customer alive and well rather than the deceased former builder.

_________________
-Matt. Designer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:20 am
Posts: 374
Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Even if your boat would survive, why would you want to go out in those conditions anyway? :shock: For me kayaking is for pleasure, it's not an extreme sport I want to get killed doing.

I learned something. I didn't know that there were even breakers on Lake Michigan or any fresh water lake. But according to a youtube video I found, there are people who actually surf on LM in winter. :shock: :shock: :!: I'm from Australia where the Southern Ocean breakers are something to see. It's not unusual to see 40'-50' waves along our southern coast in mid winter. No way would I even attempt to paddle through something like that, whether my boat would survive it or not. :wink:

_________________
My psychologist reckons I need lots of fishin' therapy!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:08 am 
Offline
Design Reviewer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Somewhere around Central Florida
Why build a wood canoe just to take it and really abuse it , almost or even to the breaking point depending on the conditions of the water.
I have run rapids in a wood canoe and survived , heck even the canoe made it threw without any problems. I list that as one lucky day and had no choice but to run them. If I would of known there were there there is no way in hadies I would of been on that river for 5 days.

Not knowing your canoeing skills and only knowing my own , I trust myself in a lot of different water conditions but I also know when to say NO. Guess it is just a part of canoeing for over 55 years. Since you are indecisive about it ... I would say to forget that idea about the breakers and paddle someplace where you can enjoy it, like you are suppose to.
If you persist in that thought then list me as your beneficiary since all that insurance money would be nice.

Chuck.........

_________________
Remember:
Amateurs built the Ark...... Professionals built the Titanic
Visit some fine paddlers at The Southern Paddler


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:22 am
Posts: 11
Canoe no, sea kayak maybe, if you learn how to Eskimo roll before you try it. Sea kayakers play in big breakers all the time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Chicago
Thanks much for the replies.

I am about 65 years old, but not too old to take good advice.

I do not expect old Lake Michigan will ever be wetting my canoe.

When the Lake Michigan water is nice and flat, it cannot be trusted to remain so for long, regardless what the weather forecast says.

Mostly because I go solo when hiking, camping, (or canoeing when that comes), and because I favor remote areas (those described as inaccessible are the best), I am very strictly conservative when it comes to preventing personal injury -- In the deep woods I never run, never jump, never go onto ice, use extreme caution when using axes, knives, etc., avoid berry patches when bears are active, etc. etc.
I intend to impose the same principles on my canoeing activities.

I think my canoe will turn out pretty enough to enjoy sitting around on dry land looking at it when conditions are not conducive to safe and leisurely handling. My people say I like to 'rough it' especially with my winter camping, but in truth I aim for safety, leisure and comfort. Yes I usually go in winter because the biting flies and the black bears are inactive, and it is less crowded with people too, but of course with the canoe I will have to go when there is open water, since I do not go out onto ice :wink:

So it is NO to Lake Michigan, I will stick to flat water that can be counted on to remain flat (well a little choppy would be okay).

Unfortunately, the rivers in urban and agricultural areas are more or less open sewers, and at least in my country (great lakes region of North America), the remote rivers beyond the urban and farming areas (3 or 400 miles north from Chicago) are known for rapid stretches.

I am not a wilderness 'tripper', I am a wilderness 'find a nice place and stay there awhile' kind of guy. So I would be happy in my canoe spending the whole day on a tiny lake or wooded swamp or backwater,
not counting kms or miles, just passing the time in one place. So I'll have no need to decide whether to run or line or portage a rapids, I just won't be dealing with the rapids at all.

and any lake big enough to change on short notice from flat water to 4 or 5 foot waves, that lake I will just only look at, not paddle.

Thanks again for your advice. I have no doubt I will be throwing many questions you all's way while I'm in the canoe building stage.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:50 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:14 pm
Posts: 4855
Location: Greensboro, NC
Where along Lake Michigan are you? I grew up in Milwaukee.

GO PACKERS!!!

_________________
-Matt. Designer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:20 pm
Posts: 347
Location: Lorena,texas
Go Packers? And to think I have been buying your plans. ;)

_________________
Darrell Sykora


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Threats to the structural integrity of S&G canoes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Chicago
Matt,
I live at the cul de sac (bottom of the sack), Chicago.
for my vacations, I would prefer closer the 'top' end of Lake Michigan.

I grew up here ( well my lovely wife might question whether I ever entirely grew up anywhere).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum