Merrimac This Time

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LesForgue
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Type of boat I like: JEM Trapper by Matt
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Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:00 am

Happy to report that I just now finished ordering Matt's Merrimac canoe.
Oh I am still in love with the profile of the Jem Trapper canoes, and yet in love with my first canoe build, the Trapper 15-38.
But I been itching to build another canoe for some time now, and for the last 2 or 3 days I been comparing the features of the Trapper 15-35 versus those of the Merrimac, and was also seriously considering the Swamp Girl 16 for a while.
In many aspects the Merrimac and Trapper 15-35 are similar to each other.
Despite the Trapper's more traditional ( and more beautiful) stem profile, I chose the Merrimac for my next build mostly for three reasons.
One - the 33% greater rocker would lend a bit more maneuverability for solo paddling.
Two - the 220 pound higher maximum designer recommended load would allow for one or two additional passengers.
Three - My fiberglass cloth dealer is out of 6 ounce plain weave 60 inch cloth which Trapper takes (Merrimac takes 50 inch).
Well maybe there's a Four - the prettiest thing about the Trapper, it's upturned stems, seems to be something the winds just love to push on and every cross breeze has me moving sideways on my knees between left bilge and right to lean the canoe severely downwind.
Six MPH wind that can be fun. it gets up to twelve MPH it's See ya Later Alligator I going to land.
(If the wind is like 12 MPH I don't start out in any canoe.)
On the trapper 15-35's pro side, the possibility of a much lighter weighted hull, and Matt's statement that the Merrimac would go slower than the Trapper.
Well I got the Merrimac coming now and I'm quite confident I'll be happy with building it and using it!
Eagerly awaiting being able to start studying those Merrimac build plans/drawings/instructions.
Les Richard Forgue

LesForgue
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Type of boat I like: JEM Trapper by Matt
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:01 pm

Hooray The JEM Merrimac canoe package of drawings and instructions arrived today!.
I've read through every one of the over three dozen pages. Already have the plywood and hickory quarter round for the outside gunnels.
Just like a child I am excited to begin drawing the panels onto the plywood!
Les Richard Forgue

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jem
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by jem » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:41 am

8)
-Matt. Designer.

LesForgue
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:52 pm

The three gallon epoxy kit and fiberglass.cloth are on their way from RAKA in Florida to me Illinois right now. RAKA 127 lowest viscosity resin and 608 medium speed hardener.
Twelve yards x sixty inches of 3.5 ounce tight weave fiberglass.
I've got enough left over six ounce std weave to reinforce the bottom panels.
I think I already have enough left over UV protectant varnish (Last n Last brand spar and door satin finish (almost) clear).
I won't be varnishing the outside bottom because it will have graphite powder in the final coats of epoxy.

For the outside gunwales three quarter inch quarter round hickory.
For the inner gunwales 1/4 inch by 3/4 inch oak.
With half inch by 3/4 inch pine spacers.
Les Richard Forgue

LesForgue
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Type of boat I like: JEM Trapper by Matt
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:53 pm

They're here! The epoxy and fiberglass cloth have arrived! I won't actually get to using them for a few weeks, we're having near and sub 0° F temperatures outside, I can barely get up to 40° F in my basement work area. But as soon as I can keep it into the sixties down there, maybe April?, Then I'll have at it.
Les Richard Forgue

LesForgue
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Type of boat I like: JEM Trapper by Matt
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:16 pm

Well April 2021 is now just a memory and not until last month (September) did I even begin to work on the panels. I marked with tiny nails and connected the dots onto a 4*8 surplus sheet of wall paneling, using a nine foot wood molding strip to define the lines. I used little steel binder clips and masking tape to hold the molding strip to the tiny nails. Then after all the lines were drawn I used a hand held electric jigsaw to cut out the three panel templates. Today I plan to smoothen the edges of those with a steel file.
Even after years of using that jigsaw I still cannot cut to the line without any waves going on. That might be due in part to not having nice woodworking tables and jigs to hold the sheet while I'm sawing it. But the Trapper panels came out close enough to design specs to look good and build well even with my level of skill and equipment. So I reckon the same will happen with this Merrimac build, help of God of course 😁
Les Richard Forgue

LesForgue
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:31 pm

Preparing to jigsaw the panels. Since I paid less than $15 USD per sheet, I decided to sacrifice a sheet of plywood by cutting all four copies of each panel at one time. I'll be cutting up four plywood sheets instead of the only three sheets required per bill of materials and instructions. I stacked four sheets of plywood, with the one having the three panels drawn on top of course, and I'm now in the process of nailing the four plywood sheets together so that they remain immobilized in relation to each other during the jigsawing. This is something I've thought about but have never yet attempted.
[https://photos.app.goo.gl/yPt6vx3TZBUceT1E7]
Les Richard Forgue

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jem
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by jem » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:55 am

Use a good quality blade and take your time.
-Matt. Designer.

LesForgue
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Re: Merrimac This Time

Post by LesForgue » Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:39 pm

Thanks for the tip Matt. So far I've cut out the bottom panel. Times past I've had my jigsaw blade slant to one side and I couldn't see what was happening until I was finished and looking at the work. This time though the blade remained perpendicular, glad for that. I still get a bit of wavy but I sawed outside the lines so I can sand/pocket plane/file the four pieces to the lines before I remove the wire nails holding them together. As I proceeded I paused every couple of feet to put supporting pieces to hold up the sawed part until I finished at the other end. Here's a picture. BTW I hope the JEM Trapper canoe in the background is not getting jealous.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/4umGcapT4sGqPFcXA
Les Richard Forgue

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