View Full Version : Montfort "Arrow" launched today.

03-29-2016, 06:27 PM
We have a condo on Old Hickory Lake, NE of Nashville, but its a hilly 300' walk from my garage to the lake shore. Sue and I have paddled our 40# CLC kayaks several times but schlepping them to the lake is a chore.

I've always been intrigued by the Geodesic Aerolite designs from Platt Monfort and now I had an excuse. The plan is to build a 14' two person canoe (21#) for when we both want to go paddling and a 12# 12' single if only one of us is going.

Launched the 14' Arrow design today - it worked fine. Not as fast or dry as my 17' kayak but a heck of a lot easier to carry to the lake. All up weight is 20.6 #. I can carry it by myself and its a breeze for Sue and I, even with a paddle, seat and PFD inside.

The instructions were pretty complete and the materials kit had everything but the wood. Plans include full size patterns for molds, stem, etc.

The heat-N-bond tape method of sticking the dacron to the framework worked really well. The 3.7 oz dacron had plenty of shrinkability to get all the wrinkles out.

I got some beautiful clear green ash from an arborist for the ribs which steam bent easily. The rest of the frame is white pine all ripped out of a coupe of 1x8 - 16' clear boards. Floor boards are 1/4" cedar.

Four coats of Miniwax water based spar-urethane on everything.

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a6dd08b3127cceebef0e5e535400000030O00AZM2rdm3ct2 IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107973753220160329221300778.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

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https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a6dd08b3127cceebef7cb7538400000030O00AZM2rdm3ct2 IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107973753220160329221256867.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a6dd08b3127cceebefa5be924900000030O00AZM2rdm3ct2 IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107973753220160329221256872.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a6dd08b3127cceebef51ae922300000030O00AZM2rdm3ct2 IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00107973753220160329225616464.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

03-29-2016, 06:51 PM
Looks good! I built an Arrow 14 a few years back and it was a cool boat. I used a nylon skin which was a bad choice since it inevitably stretched when it got wet. How do you find that paddle for drips in the lap?

03-29-2016, 07:45 PM

Rich Jones
03-29-2016, 08:35 PM
Very nice! A SOF is on my want-to-build list.

03-29-2016, 08:39 PM
Looks good! I built an Arrow 14 a few years back and it was a cool boat. I used a nylon skin which was a bad choice since it inevitably stretched when it got wet. How do you find that paddle for drips in the lap?

Andy, definitely lots of paddle drips on my legs, water that I never realized ran off the kayak's deck.

On the other hand there is room to move around a bit in the canoe. I find I get pretty uncomfortable in the kayak with my legs limited to one position.

The higher and wider canoe gunwales make the double paddle motion a little less natural feeling. Maybe will just take a time to get used to it.

03-29-2016, 08:44 PM
Looks great - congrats! I like skin boats, too.

03-30-2016, 08:38 AM
Using a longer paddle helps some.

Tom Lathrop
03-30-2016, 09:21 AM
HI Denny,

The new canoe looks just fine. I like the double paddle that Marc Pettingill designed better than the fanciest or costly ones. It is shown in WoodenBoat #132. It has a feature that helps with water dripping as well as is a very practical boathook that comes in handy more than you might think. Simple and very easy to make as well as great performance.

I got into trying the SOF canoe concept over the winter. After doing a design and weight study, I found that the weight difference between the SOF and my decked ply Birder kayaks (31#) that Graham Byrnes designed was not great enough to warrant the effort. The more rugged SOF boats were heavier (40#) than my ply model and the really light ones just don't seem rugged enough for other than light use. The window is still open on working on that some more though. Hauling even my 31# kayak gets old for long portages at this point and your 21# SOF must make the trek easier.

03-30-2016, 10:20 AM
A longer Greenland style paddle is cheap and easy to make from WRC (or a nicer wood if you prefer). Make up a set of rubber (or traditional leather) drip guards and away you go!


I end up bringing a 3'x3' scrap of canvas to act as a splash guard for my legs, and have anyone sitting ahead of me in the canoe wear a foulie jacket if paddling downwind.

More pics, please!

03-30-2016, 10:23 AM
super fine, agree with longer paddle,

03-30-2016, 11:40 AM
Looks great, it inspired me to look at the Geodesic boats site <again>

David G
03-30-2016, 11:52 AM
Nice. Very nice!

03-30-2016, 11:59 AM
Great looking boat and pictures. Thanks for the details. I'm tempted to build one.

You get drips with any kayak paddle I have tried - long or short. Drip rings help. If your paddle fits you and the boat and your stroke I would stick with it.

03-31-2016, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the paddle advice. I have a 15 year old carbon fiber paddle with drip guards. It fits me fine and is light as s feather. If I'm steadily paddling the water on the high blade doesn't have time to run downhill and drip.

Even with my lazy rose smelling paddling style I don't get very wet. If I decide to do anything at all it will probably be some kind of fabric "deck" I can rig after I get in.

03-31-2016, 10:13 AM
I forgot to add I might carve a Greenland style paddle just for fun. Maybe with a birds mouth shaft?

05-05-2017, 04:20 PM
Thought I'd update this old thread showing the final disposition of the Arrow canoe. Turned out I only used it once as it was still more hassle than I wanted to haul it down to the lake to paddle and the CLC kayak was much nicer to paddle, more secure feeling, no drips in my lap.

It does make a helluva light fixture though :)

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I rigged up a winch out of a broom stick in the attic and fed 1/16" ss cable through holes in the ceiling. Easy to hook up the boat on the floor and then crank it up. Lights are six 25w equivalent LED flood lights.

Rich Jones
05-05-2017, 07:55 PM
One of my glued lap solo canoes ended up as a light fixture also. Suspended over someone's dining room table. He didn't drill any holes in it so it could be used as an actual canoe again someday.

Chris Noto
05-05-2017, 08:35 PM
Beautiful little boat! It reminds me very sweetly, of the paper and fabric covered flying model airplanes I built as a boy, back in the 1950s and 60s. I wish I still had a few of them to hang in my study!