Tips and thoughts on gunwales, thwarts and breasthooks

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AustinPynes
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Tips and thoughts on gunwales, thwarts and breasthooks

Post by AustinPynes » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:09 pm

Am finishing up my SwampGirl.

Almost finished with outside gunwales and planning my breasthooks, thwarts and inside gunwales.

I am planning on the thwarts being under the inside gunwales and the inside gunwales going up to the breasthooks and hopefully smoothly transitioning into the breasthooks.

Anyone have any thoughts, "wish I had done it this or that way" comments?

Also, recommendations on size of spacers and spacing?

Thanks,
AustinPynes
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Post by jt » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:39 pm

In the wish I had column...

I wish I had gone with smaller breasthooks, one less hatch, and maybe not done the gunwhale/spacer route. I ended up heavier than I would have liked and probably could have saved weight there--especially the breasthooks, which while nice looking, are twice as big--and twice as heavy--as needed. I notice every ounce when cartopping by myself.
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Post by Kayak Jack » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:40 am

Austin,

You may not like these thoughts, but here are my opinions.

First off, I would have avoided external gunnels/rub rails. To me, they are nothing but extra weight and knuckel knockers. My inwhale is a 2" wide strip of 1/8" plywood

I would use spacers about 1/4" to 3/8" thick. I like triangles, 45-45-90 degree right triangles. These are easily cut from a strip of wood by cutting alternate 45 degree cuts first sloped right then left then right etc. I drilled a large hole in each of mine to lighten them.

In application, I lined up these triangles with the longer side (hypotenuse) flush with the top and bottom edges of the gunnel. I alternated them with one along the top edge of the gunnel, then one on the bottom, etc. I spaced them about 2" apart so I could easily run lines trough a gunnel to secure camp gear.

This produces a ventilated gunnel so you can easily secure gear, pour out water by tipping your boat up on edge, and it is a very strong box beam structure.

Thwarts on my boat are cords securing the gunnels so they cannot be spread wide and break the boat. No need for a stick in there, unless you are going to apply a compression load inwards at the gunnels. Canoes get torn apart when the ends try to come together, and in the process spread the gunnels wide. Thwarts hold it together and work to prevent that damage.
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Post by AustinPynes » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:25 pm

Good stuff so far. Thanks guys. This is exactly the stuff I wanted to hear.

I was just now calculating spacers for slotted inwales. The triangle sounds like a good idea. Will use it. I went with slotted inwales since I am will be mounting seat (light weight fabric type) and any other attachments to it.
This will be my fly fishing boat so I do need something to give me flexibility on tying my stuff down.

Will relook at my cherry thwarts and may cut them in half.

Also will keep in mind that breasthooks add weight. I WAS tempted to have longer ones than prescribed. Will keep it minimal now.

Outwales are already in place but I did keep them on the thin side.

Will be fiberglassing inside today and later this week finish up thwarts and inwales.


All this talk about weight has reminded me of why I got started...wanted a lighter boat.


Thanks !
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Post by Kayak Jack » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:47 pm

Austin,

I forgot to mention this on the first post. My decks (the word breasthooks sounds terribly painful to me) are short - about 10". I have two, short chunks of small diameter (1/8") bungee in them. The bungees are aligned fore and aft with the centerline of the boat, about 6" apart, through holes in the deck, tied underneath. The part exposed above decks is about 4"-5" long. I coil up my bowline into a bundle, and tuck it under the two bungees. It is then stored safely out of the way, and I can grab it with one hand.

To stow it, I grab the end and bring it up next to the bungee, thereby doubling the rope. I keep bringing up the looped end/s until the bundle is a handy size to tuck under the bungees. Leave the working part of the rope NOT under a bungee, so that when you grab the bundle it comes free and clear for instant use. I do this arrangement on both ends of the boat.

Rather than separate grab handles, tie the rope through the hole in the front (and rear) of the boat using a bowline knot. Make the fixed loop of the bowline knot large enough to lay up over the bow, and back about to the bungees I described above. To carry the boat, slip your hand through the loop up to your wrist, the loop and knot will now be around the back of your wrist, and running under the heel of your hand. Grasp the loop and go. Of course, you need a buddy on the other end of the boat.

If you have longer decks, you could mount your bungees further in so you can grab the rope easily. But, have the loop of the bowline knot long enough to only come up over the stem end. Lay your line along the top of the deck to the bungees.

These are just opinions. I like this arrangement and it works well for my purposes. You may be able to adapt part of it to yours. Or, maybe not
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Post by Oldsparkey » Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:31 pm

From the other side on thoughts about boats.

All of the ones I made , excluding the kayaks , all of them have outside rails and inside ones , the kayaks only have inside ones to rest the deck on when installing it.

When I build a boat the hull is formed and then the panels spot welded with some epoxy. After that the outside rail is installed. Several reasons for that.
1... I want it with epoxy and wood on wood , no glass sandwiched between them.

2... They keep the boat from flexing as I move it around doing the inside fillets , sanding and all the rest that needs to be done. Without that outside rail the boat will really flex in the middle if you try to pick it up and that can break and ribs the boat has.

3... When the above is completed then it is flipped over and the outside is epoxy saturated , then glassed and the glass is trimmed at the bottom of the rail.

4... Now the inside is glassed and the inside rail is installed over the glass. I know bad idea but it sure makes for a easy glassing on the inside.

5... If it is a canoe then the Thwarts are placed in the boat and epoxied in position , next the seat which is normally wood with a Cain center. The thwarts are normally made from 1 1/4 by 1/4 inch pine lattice with three of them laminated together and then formed to the shape I want with a sander before being installed.

6... The 14 x 30 Sasquatch I'm building at this time has me arguing with myself about a front and rear deck , right now I plan on not having any , just fillet the ends to match the fillets between each panel running the length of the canoe.
The bow and Stern fillet would be the same as an end pour of epoxy about 2 inches thick and offer a lot of support to the boat , more then a thin deck. I will laminate some wood and make two hand holds across the ends ( about 8 to 10 inches back from each end) for carrying the canoe when on dry ground and as something to tie to when car topping it.

Different folks , different ways we make our boats. :D

Chuck.
PS. I'm making the 14 x 30 and am challenging Matt's 33 pounds , shooting for anything less even one ounce less. I did a pirogue at 15 1/2 feet and 32 pounds so this canoe is fun to make. Now if I was just skilled at this and knew what I was doing ... Matt might be worried. :lol:
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Post by jem » Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:46 pm

Oldsparkey wrote: Now if I was just skilled at this and knew what I was doing ... Matt might be worried. :lol:
what? Me worry?
-Matt. Designer.

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Post by hairymick » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:53 pm

G'day Austin,

Here is another train of thought.

I believe that the gunwhales (both inner and outer) combined with the mini decks at the ends AND the thwartes are the strength and heart of your boat.

They are what give the entire canoe hull its strength, durability and ability to take the rough stuff. The sum of the parts is greater than what they are indvidually.

There are options available to reduce weight - timber choices. At a MINIMUM I install 12 inch mini decks eachh end supportedby sheer clams and a cross brace. Again, at a minimum - outer gunwhale on my canoes is 3/4" X 1" strong but light weight timber. I use Hoop Pine, but Oregon (Douglas Fir) is similar. Inner gunwhale is 9/16" X 1" same timber and spacers are an option I like.

Different paddlers/builders have different ideas and this is what makes our boats unique and special. We build then to suit our needs and beliefs.
I am not sying my ideas are more correct than anybody elses but they work well for me and the hard abuse I put all my boats through.

This is what is so good about this forum. Different blokes come up with new ideas of doing things all the time. We pick the bits we like and try them with our own little twists and our boats are continually improving and evolving as are they way we go about the build. 8)
Regards,
Mick

JEMWATERCRAFT Swampgirl; Wadefish;Touring Pirogue;South Wind; P5 ;
Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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Re:

Post by Bemm 52 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:50 am

hairymick wrote:
This is what is so good about this forum. Different blokes come up with new ideas of doing things all the time. We pick the bits we like and try them with our own little twists and our boats are continually improving and evolving as are they way we go about the build. 8)

Your spot on here Mick With my Sabalo build the design was about 50% Matt design...40% forum ideas and 10% my ideas........ end result the boat I wanted 8)

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