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Almost done!

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:41 am
by Tweedie
It has been a long time since I have updated on my progress. I have been a little preoccupied with becoming a Dad. My wife gave birth to my son, Evan, on June 11, so the canoe building has taken a back seat for a while.


I have started building again; I should say the finishing touches. I have attached some pictures of what the Gander River canoe looks like now (I also have some intermediate pictures on a friend’s computer which I will have to send in later).






I have added a yoke instead of a thwart at the center (complements to Matt’s free plans).

I added a small handle at the bow instead of a breathook.

For the front seat I built a small bench which can be placed anywhere in the boat; but will be able to be strapped down at an ideal spot for tandem paddling and an ideal spot for solo paddling (both spots yet to be determined).

I tried to use some white epoxy pigment on the inside of the boat but I obviously didn’t use enough.

I made two hatch openings on each deck for access; both have small raised edges which fit into recessed covers. I made a mistake with the aft deck; I didn’t take into account gunwales when I decided on the width of the cover so removing the cover will be a little inconvenient (this is painfully obvious in one of the pictures). I could fix the mistake but at this point I just want to start paddling.

I made some overly tough gunwales. There is 1/4” ply on the inside and outside of the sides of the boat, then a 1/2” space and then two more pieces of 1/4” ply.

I plan to paint part of the boat and leave part of it natural (I have not decided on which parts yet). I will send some final pictures and some on the water pictures when I get it painted between diaper changes.

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:34 am
by varp
Really like the look of this beast and I'm trying to not get too excited....but I am.... :)

Look forward to your progress reports!

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:43 am
by jem
We had a hacker come in and mess with a few things in the forum a couple days ago. :evil: Since then the forum has been upgraded and is now VERY secure. Changed some settings behind the scenes to ensure that.

So some stuff was lost including the final pictures and report about the GRC.

Here's some images:





Gavin - Would you repost your thougths on how it handled?

GRC Handling and building

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:08 am
by Tweedie
I have had my Gander River Canoe out twice now. Once on the Lake with my wife for a leisurely paddle to see how it handled and once on the River with my dog to do a little fishing.

The boat handles great. I was able to fly-fishing from a standing position while drifting down the river with the dog jumping around. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
I would not recommend this practice but the boat is very stable. For the type of fishing I am going to be doing I am thinking about getting a pole and poling up and down the river, like they do back in Newfoundland. I did not expect to have this much stability, I was thinking about building out riggers for poling, but the boat is just fine without them. I caught a couple of big rainbows and had no trouble reaching over the side to grab them. I think the tumblehome helped a lot with this.

It also handled nicely in the little bit of rapids I hit. I was more than able to control the boat by my self. I actually paddled upstream for about a half mile to the place I wanted to fish. The boat tracked well while going into the current and required very little effort to move. I ferried across the current easily and without loosing any ground. Paddling solo was a dream with the tumblehome; I did not feel like I had to reach out at all.

When paddling tandem with my wife the boat had a draft of about 5-6 inches and about 3-4 solos. It also tracked pretty well on the lake. I was the only one paddling because I have not built a second paddle yet and I had no trouble with keeping it on course.

The dry hatches and decks worked out nicely for fishing as well. I kept my lunch and fishing gear up and dry off the bottom of the boat. I brought in a lot of water since I was getting in and out a lot to wade fish in certain places.

As far a building goes I used about 7/8 the of the 3 gallon kit of Epoxy I ordered from Raka. I used about 2/3 of the 100 yards of fiberglass tape I bought and all the wood flour and then some. I think I over did the wood flour a little and I had a number of batches go off on me since I was getting use to how much I could apply at once. In all the boat cost about $400 to build. That is including everything from Popsicle sticks to paint to paddles to wood and epoxy. I used 2 sheets of 1/4" ply and 3 sheets of 1/8" ply. One of the 1/4" sheets was extra I bought and used for the Gunwales.

I would NOT recommend building the gunwales the way I did. I used cut pieces of ply and built up layers to get the desired thickness of gunwale. This was very difficult and time consuming and I am not pleased with the results :cry: . The bottoms of the gunwales are very uneven and difficult to sand on. I have a number of bloody knuckles to prove it :x :x . It is not an obvious flaw and does not take away at all from the strength or looks of the boat so I am trying to just forget about it. There are better methods for building gunwales that are outlined all over this forum and Old sparkey's forum.

In all I am very happy with my Gander River Canoe. I don't think there is any way I could find a boat like this one anywhere in the world, and certainly not for $400. That is not to mention the extreme satisfaction I get from paddling a boat I built. Many Thanks to Matt for the great design and plans, and thanks to everyone who help with their comments to all my questions.

Gavin Tweedie

Trolling motor

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:06 pm
by Tweedie
I just took my boat out this weekend to test out my new Troling motor on the back. I have a 30 lb thrust Trolling motor. The boat handled really well. I was out by myself so I ended up with a lot of weigthin the back and the stern was digging into the water pretty bad. but I brought some wire with me just for this purpose. I relocated the motor up to the front, just behind the front bulkhead. The boat trimmed nicely and I could cruise along comfortably while sitting on the back eeat near the motor.

I did find that the motor I bought (a Minn Kota) would not screw down enough to hold onto the transom. the smallest gap it will hold is about 1" and my transom is 1/2". I made do with a towel I had in the truck but I will need a block of wood or something in the future to hold the motor on. I may even thicken up the transom with some layers of 1/4" ply to make it fit better.

Matt, you may want to modify the plans a little for this type of senario or just mention it in the plans.

I plan to permenantly install some cables that run under the guwales from the front of the boat to the back of the boat (about 10 ft).

Does anyone know what guage of wire I should use or a rule of thumb I should be aware of wor this type of thing? I was thinking about just butchering a set of jumper cables for the job but I think they may be too big. Any ideas out there???

Thanks again for the great plans Matt, The boat is working like a dream, Therefore it must be perfect!!!! Right??

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:08 pm
by jem
Great report! :D

I will add the note about the transom needing a clamping board of some sort. That one slipped my mind.

For the gauge wire, I found this: Looks like a bit of work but not too bad.

The dream was yours all along. I just helped show you how to get there.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:28 pm
by Guest
Hi Matt and Gavin,

First, Gavin, that's a beautiful boat. You must be very proud of it, I especially like the movable seat. For a long time I've been thinking about the Buc-X-wide, but this might be a better boat for me.

Matt, could the buc-x be built with the fore and aft deck/compartments? Likewise, could this canoe be built with a permanent mid seat instead of a thwart or yoke? And what are the major differences in performance one could expect between the two?


-Sorry, i didn't register cause i'm in a hurry. I'll try to register next time.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:56 pm
by jem
Matt, could the buc-x be built with the fore and aft deck/compartments?
Sure. It would add some weight to the hull. How much would depend on the compartments and decking you want. Would take some extra drawings.
Likewise, could this canoe be built with a permanent mid seat instead of a thwart or yoke?
The BucX already has the option of framed seats instead of thwarts. The Gander River Canoe could also have this option. Would take some extra drawings.
And what are the major differences in performance one could expect between the two?
BucXtra is a longer and wider canoe, so it's heavier. It will hold more weight and because of it's design, it will be more stable. I wouldn't want to regularly paddle the Buc X solo.

The GRC will be lighter and easier to paddle because of reduced wetted surface area. GRC can be a solo paddled boat. GRC will be cheaper to build. It will move will less comparable effort than the Buc X.

The GRC would be a little easier to build and probably assemble a little bit quicker.

The changes you mentioned could be done to either hull. Might be an extra charge depending on what you want. Generally, if it's a good modification that others may like, then no charge. Just pay for the plans first.