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Thread: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

  1. #1
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    Default looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Hello,

    my name is Gerrit from Germany. I´m new to this forum. I´ve been paddling for a while, mostly in polyester kayaks and canoes.

    Now I wish to build a plywood solo canoe to be paddled with a single blade paddle. It will be used on lakes and streams with little or no whitewater or rapids. It will have to carry me (6´5´´ ,180lbs) and some 30lbs of gear. It should have sufficient stability to be paddled sitting upright on a seat/bench. Woodworking skills or tools shouldn´t be the limiting factor.

    Any ideas, suggestions or plans (free or commercial) ?


    Many thanks and regards from sunny Germany

    Gerrit
    Last edited by Gerrit A; 05-01-2014 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Hi Gerrit,

    Take a look at John Winters' Osprey or Kipawa. John is a guru of modern canoe design. Martin Best at Green Valley Boatworks sells plans, as stripbuild or S + G.
    http://www.greenval.com/
    There is a ply stitch and glue version of each.

    Kipawa S+G: An updated and improved stitch-and-glue version of the Kipawa. These plans are available in electronic format only, including Tables of Offsets and full-sized panel layouts in dwg or dfx formats.

    Osprey S+G: An updated and improved stitch-and-glue version of the Osprey. These plans are available in electronic format only, including Tables of Offsets and full-sized panel layouts in dwg or dfx formats.

    I built a skin-on-frame version of the Osprey. I'm no expert but it handles nicely and I took it down the Loire River for a week two years ago with camping gear. I use a longer than usual double paddle as it is wider than a kayak. I put an aluminium rail on each side and made a seat which slides on it to adjust fore and aft weight for different loads. The height is about half way up the side. Also made a back band like kayaks have, which supports the lower back. You can make a foot rest of wood.

    A simpler boat to build is Michael Storer's Quick Canoe. http://www.storerboatplans.com/wp/ne...er-in-4-hours/
    Don't believe the 4.5 hours though, that was his idea before the group who paddled the Loire, including Storer, built two of them. Our high standards of construction extended the time to a week. Glue has to harden, paint dry, etc. These canoes carried two people and camping gear.

    I am sure many others will provide suggestions, but these are the canoes I have experience with.

    Peter Lord
    Last edited by Peter Lord; 08-21-2013 at 04:18 AM. Reason: more information

  3. #3
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe


  4. #4
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Here are a few.
    http://www.bateau.com/products.php?cat=8
    The designer is a Belgian. He will even respond 'auf Deutsch' if you prefer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Perhaps work your way throgh this thread on Song of the Paddle

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...c-domain-Plans

    Brian

  6. #6
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Gerrit,
    Also have a look at Chesapeake Light Craft website www.clcboats.com/shop/canoes - they sell their good plans or pre-cut kits.
    Cheers from Martin B.
    Mandurah, Western Australia
    Yost Sea Cruiser skin-on-frame light weight kayak

  7. #7
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 08-22-2013 at 04:04 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    There is also a good book availiable, "stitch and glue boatbuilding" by Chris Kulczycki, and contains plans for 9 kayaks, of which the Mill Creek type of 13/15 and 16.5 may be of interest to you. Book on ebay, handy information and nice designs.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Thanks to everybody for the useful links !!
    I´m still browsing .....

    Gerrit

  10. #10
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    The late Thomas Firth Jones has free plans for his multichine plywood solo Chingadera canoe in his book "New Plywood Boats."


    Good book, great writer, nice canoe.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    I built a 15.5 ft plywood canoe a bunch of years ago, which I designed and still like and use. The offsets are here.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-from-a-rookie

    What is missing is the measurement of the beam across the chines and across the gunwales. I'll go measure that when I get home if you're interested.

    Dave

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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I built a 15.5 ft plywood canoe a bunch of years ago, which I designed and still like and use. The offsets are here.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-from-a-rookie

    What is missing is the measurement of the beam across the chines and across the gunwales. I'll go measure that when I get home if you're interested.

    Dave


    Dave,
    I´ve already been looking at your design in "the advice on white water canoeing" post and tried to get some more details.
    The measurements for the beam would be greatly appreciated if you don´t mind me copying your design.
    Is cross wind a problem with this canoe ?

    Thanks and regards
    Gerrit

  13. #13
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Crosswinds? No, the ends are low, and do not catch much wind. In fact as per the comments I'd raise them an inch.

    As for slipping sideways while flat-water paddling in a crosswind, it's the same as any canoe without a keel. Yes, it drifts a bit. But that ability to slither sideways is what you want in fast-water, or at least it's what I want.

    Hang on, I'll go out and measure the beam.

    Dave

  14. #14
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    She is 35" across the beam at the gunwales and 27.5" across the bottom, inside measurement. Her length is that of 2 sheets of plywood, which when scarfed, then curved into a canoe-shape, become 15 ft 6 in.

    Here is a photo I took of her last year.



    She is quite portable. Here I am mucking my way down a riverbank in high water, under a road bridge.



    In the above photo you can see the free-moving seat I use, which is very simple and sturdy. It allows you to easily move yourself from the stern to the middle if you want to shift your weight (which is what you want when maneuvering in white water).

    Getting under way.



    As you can see, the bow is raised. The boat is designed so that with me, and a small kid or a pack in the other end, the ends will just clear the water. Obviously with no weight in the bow, the stern is immersed more deeply. What I do in this river is pull over about a mile down, and put a few rocks in the bow. That way when I slide up to the middle for white water the stern is higher than the bow, and the boat can be swivelled around and back-ferried much more easily.



    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 08-25-2013 at 08:53 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Dave,

    many thanks for the useful details !
    I bought some plywood and ordered some epoxy to get started.
    I will report about my progress.
    Which product do you refer to as "boat sauce" ?

    Gerrit

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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit A View Post
    Dave,
    I´ve already been looking at your design in "the advice on white water canoeing" post and tried to get some more details.
    The measurements for the beam would be greatly appreciated if you don´t mind me copying your design.
    Is cross wind a problem with this canoe ?

    Thanks and regards
    Gerrit
    I paddle Cheap Canoe from Bateau. Because I have a portage yoke across the middle my weight is a little too far back and the front stem rides at about water level. In a head wind the stem isn't planted deep enough so the boat tries to turn downwind. On open water it makes you work harder. On a rapid it's a bit dangerous. I thought about moving the yoke forward but settled for three empty gallon jugs up front to take on ballast if the need arises.
    Some three panel canoes like the Six-Hour Canoe are designed with so much excess rocker there is no way to get the stems into the water. If the side panels are designed properly you can end up with a desireable 1" or so of rocker. If the side panels are drawn with the chine edge being a straight line you are likely to get a result that resembles the Six-Hour

  17. #17
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    "Boat Sauce" is a name for a concoction that is designed to soak into the plywood, and make it water-repellent. It's not a permanent solution. But it suffices for the short term, and if you're not leaving the boat afloat.

    There are different recipes, but I use:

    - 1 qt of a commerical wood and rope preservative, as a base, like http://www.coppergreen.com/wptgc.htm
    - a cup of boiled linseed oil [gives it body]
    - 1/2 cup of pine tar
    - 2 tablespoons of Japan Drier

    Paint it on and leave it in the sun to dry.

    If later you decide to paint it, you'll have to find oil-based paint, not latex.

    Dave

  18. #18
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    I posted a tutorial on building a plywood canoe here, http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...anoe-Levitates

    Dave

  19. #19
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe







    Dave

  20. #20
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Here's the two-part "Building the Peace Canoe" from "Getting Started in Boats" (plans & lots of photos):
    http://www.clcboats.com/print/peace_...boat_2007.html

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    Here's the two-part "Building the Peace Canoe" from "Getting Started in Boats" (plans & lots of photos):
    http://www.clcboats.com/print/peace_...boat_2007.html
    It's 100 lb.! That would wrinkle the roof on my station wagon!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyahoga Chuck View Post
    It's 100 lb.! That would wrinkle the roof on my station wagon!
    wow that sounds like quite a special vehicle! where did u find a rag top station wagon? custom job I assume.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    wow that sounds like quite a special vehicle! where did u find a rag top station wagon? custom job I assume.
    This is it.
    http://gallery.bateau2.com/displayim..._display_media
    The sheet metal roof is rather thin. To carry this 35 lb. kayak I made special wooden crossbars with suction-cup feet to spread the weight and keep it off the middle of the panel. Even so I can't be certain the roof isn't flexing a bit when I boogie down the interstate.
    BTW, in the canoing world folks pay big premiums to get very light canoes. A rotomolded version of a hull might be ~$1000. The same hull in Carbon/Kevlar would be ~$3000 and the weight difference might be 20 lb. or less. A canoe that weighs 100 lb. empty will never have a big following.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Yes, that's for sure. There's a world of difference on your shoulders when you're portaging a 100 lb canoe vs a 75 lb canoe. And a 50 lb-er is even better.

    I love portaging my little 10 ft S-O-F, which weighs 14 lbs, then at the put-in place toss it up and balance it on one hand like a garden rake. Always draws a smile!

    The 15.5 foot boat I've detailed above weighs about 70 lbs using the 1/4 ply I happened to find. Some lauan layups would be lighter, but a close inspection is necessary with lauan to ensure that the surface plies are more than just paper-thin. They need to be thick enough to add strength to the sheet, not just dress it for paint.

    Dave

  25. #25
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    This 14 footer is a Cheap Canoe that weighs 45 lb. It's made from a three veneer underlayment called Multiply that goes about 20 lb. per sheet. The veneers are about equal in thickness and the glue is exterior grade.

    http://gallery.bateau2.com/displayim..._display_media

  26. #26
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    I´ve made steady progress....
    The sides are 4mm birch multiply, the bottom is 1/4´´ birch multiply, both exterior grade. All other parts are pine/fir.
    I´ve raised stern and bow just over an inch.

    Gerrit




    Last edited by Gerrit A; 09-15-2013 at 02:39 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Ready to be launched

    The bottom and the seams are fibreglassed, the rest has got a waterproof coating. I haven´t decided about the colour scheme yet.
    I´m hoping for some sunshine for the maiden voyage....





    Last edited by Gerrit A; 09-20-2013 at 04:18 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Its awesome!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    I hope that little seat in the back is not screwed down. Contrary to popular opinion you don't want to sit back there when paddling solo because it will lever your bow out of the water. You get the most glide per stroke when you have the longest possible waterline. Also the wind will catch an elevated bow and make the boat point toward down wind even if you don't want to go there.
    Since your photos are mostly from the bow it's hard to get an idea of the dimensions. How long, how wide, how deep and how many kilos?

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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    To get your seat placement right, you need to know the boat's center of boyancy.

    For a symmetric solo boat, it's best to put a piece of pipe athwartships to help you find the center of boyancy. Roll the boat back and forth along the pipe until it balances. Put a piece of tape there. The front edge of your seat should be about 2" behind the tape (toward the stern). This will give your boat good balance. As Chuck points out - the seat is quite a bit too far back from appearances.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  31. #31
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Hi,

    the seat is movable to allow shifting of the center of gravity.

    I copied Dave Hadfield`s design mentioned above.

    She is about 15´6´´ long, 28´´ / 35´´wide and the offsets are here:

    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y79...woodlayout.jpg

    (copyright Dave Hadfield)

    I estimate the weight to be about 20 Kg.

    Gerrit

  32. #32
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Looks like a boat, Gerrit! Good for you!

    That seat has uprights that don't look very wide. It may slew sideways under load and collapse. Then again it might not! I used 2" lumber for that purpose, which over here is actually 1.5". Also, I stapled on some dense foam onto the top for my butt, and on the bottom to avoid marking the hull.

    For solo portaging you'll want to make a yoke that's contoured for your shoulders.

    But if I were you I'd get it in the water at this point too -- just to see it float!

    Have fun!

    Dave

  33. #33
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    So, Gerrit, did you get it wet?

    Dave

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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Hi Dave,

    yes indeed !! I had a successful maiden voyage on the Hanover branch of the "Mittellandkanal" (linking Berlin with the Rhein-Ruhr-area, although I didn´t get that far...). The sun was shining and the boat got wet, not me. She paddles well but I have to work on my J-stroke. I´ve made a second seat to have some company. Presently the weather is dull but she is ready for her first river trip.
    Have you ever tried a bentshaft paddle for a solo canoe ? Might be a useful project for the coming winter.

    Dave, thanks for sharing your plans - they´ve been a great help.

    Gerrit
    Last edited by Gerrit A; 10-05-2013 at 06:11 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: looking for plans for a solo plywood canoe

    Congratulations! Launching the first boat you've built is always a milestone in life.

    Got any photos?

    When solo, I tend to paddle with the boat leaned to the paddle side -- I sit off-center, towards the paddle. Then you don't need to J-stroke quite as hard.

    And the J-stroke is less when the whole boat length is in the water, and for that you need ballast up front (as you probably know).

    Dave

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