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Is it possible to build a Canadian canoe in 3 days ?
Yes 43%  43%  [ 3 ]
No 57%  57%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 7
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 Post subject: New Design: Iroquois
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Leicestershire, England
I've been building canoes of various shapes for the past 12 years, and have begun to run "canoe building weekends" for other home educating families. We generally make an ultra simple canoe, but I really wanted to be able to build a proper canoe, with a genuine Canadian shape. I'd come up with my own design, and built 3 of them, but was not 100% certain that I had ironed out all the wrinkles, so I contacted Matt at Jem to see if he could provide me with full size templates of a similar boat, the Merrimac. He proved most obliging, altering the Merrimac to accommodate my requests, and mailing me a set of full sized templates to England, under the new name of Iroquois.

It is a simple shape, flat bottomed with 2 panels for the sides, 15'6" long, and capable of taking an entire family. The key requirement for me was to be able to complete the boat in a weekend, something which Matt wisely cautioned against, ( not being familiar with my less than perfectionist approach to boat building).

We built 2 of these canoes in the last week, one took 4 days to get to the painting stage, the other 7 days including painting. That included a lot of personal changes to the design by the two families, which slowed us down, and since I now have templates of such details as the seat supports, I'm confident we could actually get the time down to 3 days, including a coat of varnish. ( but I've not done it yet!)

But I must tell you about the resulting canoe. Really lovely. The design works equally well as a solo touring boat or as a family fun boat. Gloriously stable ( the family changed places in the canoe on their first trip out, something I would not recommend, but they didn't risk tipping it !)
Glides easily through the water, turns well, but has beautiful directional stability. Easy to paddle, it took 2 large adults with their 2 teenage children, with room to spare, but was balanced and gentle when my daughter took it out on her own.

A true delight, a simple shape which is pleasing to the eye and behaves very sweetly on the water.http://www.birchcanoes.com/boats%2010%20apr/

We made a number of changes to the Iroquois plans: We lifted the shape of the top panel so as to produce a more Indian appearance, and we added a full length strake of timber 1" x 2" as a keel. We also strapped it together with cable ties, after butt joining the panels end to end, but without using any internal supports. We fit the seats instead, before resining the joints.

See photos here on the Jem site, and also on our site http://www.birchcanoes.com

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John Clohesy, www.birchcanoes.com


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 Post subject: 2 days to build a canoe ?
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Leicestershire, England
Hi

Since my earlier post I have been a position to prove what I suggested was possible, a full sized canoe in 2 days. I have run a canoe building session with a home-educating family, the 17 year old son has simply followed instructions, and pretty much single handed ( except for guidance from me and an occasional hand from 2 of his brothers), has managed to go from cutting the panels on Friday morning to completing the resin-ing of the inside and outside seams of his canoe by 5pm Saturday. The family have taken a break today ( Sunday), but will start again on Monday. They have still to complete the gunwhale strips and the seats, and of course the varnishing. They are planning to use Sadolin mahogany stain, which sounds an expensive option, but apparently lasts 10 years.

Have a look at http://www.birchcanoes.com/May%2006.htm to see the photos.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:54 am
Posts: 1965
Location: Queensland, Australia
Hi John,

Congratulations mate. What your clients have managed in two days is indeed a remarkable achievment. well done!

With respect though mate, their two days are up and the canoe is not yet built to completion. Simply sticking the panels together with resin so that it looks like a canoe does not, in my humble opinion meen that it is a complete canoe yet.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Leicestershire, England
I agree, Mick he hasn't completed a boat, as such, in 2 days. However, he has proved the principle that it is possible, without actually setting out to do so. He started at a leisurely 8.30am on the Friday, and continued until 5pm on the Saturday. If he had started on Friday at say 6am, and continued Saturday until perhaps 11pm, he would have completed a boat to the point of launch.

He had the following still to complete when I left for work this morning:

Gunwhales ( I think you may spell them differently but they are the same tricky bits of wood you always need more clamps for than you can find!)

Seats ( he has the seat supports in, but hasn't attached the seats themselves)

Varnish ( he is planning on using an expensive single coat Sadolin, but could use a quick drying water based product which would be ready to use in 3 hours.

Painter ( bit of rope to tie it up with).

I think it would not be impossible to get these things done. Remember this lad is working carefully and it is his first boat ever. I wish I could afford to build one in my own workshop, just to see how quickly it could be done. The point is, the method really does give you the chance to build a full sized canoe with a bunch of young people in a few evenings, certainly less than 20 hours of actual workshop time.

However, I take your point, HairyMick and will set out one day to see if I can prove myself right.. have a look at the progress on www.birchcanoes.com

By the way, I'm not doing this commercially, if anyone out there is, and feels I am damaging their business, do let me know and I will mend my ways !

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:03 pm
Posts: 1186
Location: South-central Michigan
John,

The young fellow is hooked on boats by now, so importance of percentage of completion may take a back seat.

I've never done this, so pose a question to other builders for thought. If a guy had a BIG workshop where he could work on two or three boats simultaneously, would it be easier to do the equivalent of one canoe in two days? IE: Doing X% of each boat while epoxy is setting up on another would help add up the tally, I think. Maybe, maybe not. What are your thoughts?

Now, in my thinking, only mine mind you, a boat isn't done until it's glassed inside and out. Taping seams and painting or varnishing is an invitation to disaster, in my opinion. Again, only my opinion. My boats take a heck of a beating on rocks, snags, etc. My boats are tools to be used, and I see no need to baby them. Wood without glass all over the outside and to above the waterline inside wouldn't last me long. A well scratched boat is a well loved boat.

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Kayak Jack
Doing what you like is FREEDOM
Liking what you do is HAPPINESS
I spent most of my money on whiskey and women - and I'm afraid I just wasted the rest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Somewhere around Central Florida
Jack

As you ...... I have thought of the same thing but did not want to say anything till some brave soul brought it up. :D

I voted YES on the above pole because most things are posable ... even you liking a big bowl of gritz is posable but not probable.

If a person had the room then they could set up a production line that would make Henry Ford envious and accomplish the feat. A single person working at home in cramped quarters and rechecking everything three times would not be able to accomplish the same thing.

Speaking for myself ..... I like to take my time, think everything out like it is a chess game and know the moves 4 steps down the line. Then proceed with the 1st step knowing the other three that have to be taken. I realize this comes from building several boats but I do every one of mine just like the very first one ...... Slow and sure, for most of the process ... slow it is guaranteed .. sure is up for discussion. :roll:

I also feel that a boat is not completed till it is finally done and for me that is having it made and testing it for leaks in a local lake ...or taking it for a 5 day paddle thru a swamp , which I have done..... Then taking it home and drying it off ... letting it sit (Or paddling it) for 30 days so the epoxy has totally cured. At that time it is three coats of varnish and this takes three days or longer depending on the varnish and it's curing time. So my boats take some time to make.

A person can slap one together and paddle it in a lot less time but is it one you feel safe in or take pride in or is it just something to paddle and when destroyed ... build another.

I will continue to build them the way I have done in the past but if I was running a business with lots of space and a production line making/producing them then things might change but I dough it.
It is still my reputation on the line with the boats I make and they like any fine wine should not be enjoyed before it's time. :D

My last boat which could of been made in no time because it is nothing more then two side boards and the bottom boards........A Pirogue
http://www.neilbank.com/phpBB2/viewtopi ... 283e6c9678

Started .....Jan 16th ... to ... Mar 21
3 months and 5 days from start to paddling it , then varnishing it and the actually compleated date of May 16th.

A break down of the time.......Jan the construction began , Feb , March (wet trials , local lake) , Apr ( Edisto River in South Carolina for a paddling & camping trip ) and May (Final sanding and varnish) ... 5 months total time. As I said I do not get in a hurry when building boats , going someplace or when camping.

For me building boats is relaxatation and using them the same. :D

In all fairness it does have 14 coats of rollen on epoxy , both sides , 3 coats to epoxy saturate the redwood then the glass and 11 more after that. Not counting the coat for the glass. Then 4 coats of varnish each one sanded before the next coat on both sides.
That Pirogue is like my other boats , As I like to call them .. Bullet proof boats ....They will out last me and which ever daughter or there husband wants whatever boat then it will last them there life time. Just some light sanding and varnish on it one time a year and they have a good boat as long as they want to paddle it.

As I said I was holding off till some fool brought this question up ..... "O"oop's :oops: ...... Some brave person brought this question up.... Sorry about the Freudian slip ... Jack. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Chuck.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Leicestershire, England
I see I am in the presence of some very dedicated enthusiasts. Your boats sound brilliant, mine would not stand next to yours. I like to spend longer paddling than I do building, and young people in particular enjoy the process of seeing a boat grow in front of them, its very inspiring for them.

I've never glassed a boat all over. My oldest boat is a Selway Fisher Beaver, we've been all over the Lake District, and on the sea around the Inner Hebrides, we've made it into a temporary catamaran when the sea was rough, and we've kept it outdoors. Its made of 4mm birch exterior ply, not marine, and has only ONE coat of a green fence-care type product. I built it in 1993, and we still use it. All the seams are polyester resin. So I have broken all the rules, and don't really deserve a place among these dedicated and skilled people on this forum.

On the other hand we have helped a couple of dozen young people and their parents build their own boats, allowed them to make their own mistakes. We only have one rule. Perfectionists are banned ( sorry!)

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John Clohesy, www.birchcanoes.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Somewhere around Central Florida
jclohesy wrote:
I like to spend longer paddling than I do building, and young people in particular enjoy the process of seeing a boat grow in front of them, its very inspiring for them.

So I have broken all the rules, and don't really deserve a place among these dedicated and skilled people on this forum.

On the other hand we have helped a couple of dozen young people and their parents build their own boats, allowed them to make their own mistakes. We only have one rule. Perfectionists are banned ( sorry!)


.You are a Perfectionist and don't know it ........ :D

You are building young people and then the boats so they can enjoy what we enjoy and that is a darn site more important then any boat we could ever make or will make.... You are building experience, self confidence, self reassurance in each boat builder along with envirolmenists that could and probably will save the environment for us. :D

1st the boat then the understanding of it and the area a person enjoys it in. It is there future , or should I say ... They are our Future.

YES , Sir .. Your are a true Perfectionists. :D My hat is off to you.

I know Matt will agree with me on this. When they build there boat then have them post it on this forum or if you wish they can post it on mine in the boat bragging section. http://www.southernpaddler.com/

I would suggest both forums since we work with each other all of the time but are seperate web sites.

We always like to see what a person has done and it is better to share it with the world , something we can do today that was not possable a few years ago. Plus when a person can post there boat on a World Wide Web Site it gives them a boost .... That is why I call mine the Boat Bragging Section. :D

Chuck.

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


Last edited by Oldsparkey on Mon May 15, 2006 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Leicestershire, England
Hi Chuck

You are too kind, but you have just succeeded in getting me banned from my own workshop!! :wink:

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Somewhere around Central Florida
Might help you get back in there ... I changed some things on my post just above yours. :D

Chuck.

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


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