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Thread: Design for first build

  1. #1
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    Default Design for first build

    Hello all!

    This is my first post here and if possible I'd like to pick the brains of the more experienced builders / sailors here, and get some advice on which boat to build this summer.

    I do ask for your patience as I'm quite sure there are a million old posts which ask similar questions -
    However, my wife and I live off grid up in the hills of Washington state without internet access, and the only time I get on-line is once a week while I'm doing the weekly washing at a laundromat or when I visit the local library. Thus, my internet browse time is severely limited, and that's why I hope others can point out some appropriate designs.

    OK, I want a small sailboat capable of carrying two adults ( total weight, 325 pounds ) as well as about 110 pounds of gear ( about what we normally pack for a week or two on the water in a canoe ).
    Means of propulsion should be sail and oar, I do not ever see myself clamping on a motor.
    It must row well enough so that I can make five miles to a camp site in a calm, if needs be.

    This craft is for camping on the large lakes of the Inland Northwest, Priest, Pend Oreille, Coeur d'alene, Chelan, Roosevelt and Ross, as well as day use on the smaller lakes near my home, such as Loon and Deer lake. It will likely never see salt water.

    I would like it to be light enough to be hauled out of the water by two people. The shores of these lakes are often nothing but boulders. To land in some places it would be necessary to jump out in waist deep water, hold the craft steady in the chop while tossing the packs ashore, then, one person on each side of the boat, work it up on the bank, hopefully without to much damage ( To us. I'm less concerned about damage to the boat! ). Of course in many places actual camps exist with beaches and even docks, so this scenario would be worst case ( we do often stealth camp when traveling by canoe, as we can land and portage a canoe to a hidden - read that as unconsecrated by the park service - campsite ).

    Last year we went to Ross lake for the first time and spent a week paddling about. I was amazed at how windy and choppy that place can be. One of the few times and places I felt the need for something bigger than the 16 foot canoe we've paddled for the last 20-odd years. One problem with Ross lake though - Every boat that enters the lake from the American side must be portaged in. There is a truck that travels up and down the mile long portage trail, but the boat must be light enough to be lifted out of the water onto a floating dock, up a ramp and into the truck. I actually did help portage an aluminum fishing skiff there.

    OK, now you know what we want to do with the boat. To transport it I imagine I'll have to get a trailer and a hitch put on our old jalopy, or maybe buy an old full size pickup it the boat will fit in the bed. We car-top our canoe, but I don't see being able to do that with a skiff.

    The design MUST have sufficient flotation to permit it to be righted when I capsize it (note I wrote when, not if! ).

    Why not simply stick to a canoe? You try paddling one in high winds for a week, I bet you'll want a sailboat too!

    The design must be CHEAP. I'm self employed, (read that as do almost nothing for a living) and typically make only about 8-14K a year. We manage because we live up in the hills off grid - No rent, mortgage, power bill, cable bill, cell phone bill, trash collection bill, water bill, car payments or anything like that.

    Total budget for the boat, seriously, 500 bucks or less. I'll hit the recycle center for free paint, I live in a forest so hopefully I can cut a mast and spars from cedar saplings, and maybe carve out thwarts and such. I reckon I can make many fittings and the sail myself.

    We built the straw bale cottage we live in, as well as our barn and all other stuff on our homestead, so although I'm no carpenter by far, and have a great deal of trouble cutting straight lines, I usually can get the job done and feel confident that I can cobble together something out of plywood. I'd probably prefer chine logs, polyurethane glue and exterior grade plywood to epoxy and marine plywood because of the expense. I've read every book on boat building available at our library.

    I have hand tools, an electric drill, sander, circular saw and electric miter saw. I can borrow a table saw.

    My Sailing Experience - None at all in the past 30 years!
    However, I grew up on Long Island and had a friend with a Super Snark. From the time we were 13 till we were about 19 and simply wore that boat out, we did everything possible that can be done in a Snark, and probably quite a few things that generally are not considered possible in one of those things, plus messing about with various other boats belonging to other people. Grandfather, great grandpaw and great-great grandpaw were shipwrights. I have salt water in my blood and reckon I can sail anything given a bit 'o practice. Since then I've become an expert canoeist, both flat and white water.
    The wife has ZERO sailing experience, but is a capable canoeist.

    The Designs:

    I figure I'll likely build whatever it is with a centerboard or lee board, rather than a dagger board because of the rocks lurking beneath inland waters.

    Heck, would a DPracer do? They seem awful small, but stable, with plenty of flotation and I guess they sail OK. Rowing might be a problem, with two adults and gear aboard.
    Honestly though, I'd feel like I was sailing a garbage scow and I don't know where I'd put the gear.

    Would a Bolger Gypsy do?
    Push the dagger board case to one side as far as it will go, (actually make it a centerboard case) for more room inside. I imagine these things row and sail very well - But with two and gear? And in chop?

    Goat Island Skiff? Certainly a great, capable boat, if perhaps a bit larger than I was thinking. But expensive. The plans alone are 100 bucks!

    Jim Michalaks Ladybug? Nice, capable boat but at about 250 pounds is heavier than I'm looking for.

    Conrad Natzio sandpiper? I can find almost no info on this one, but it looks economical to make and good for shallow waters.

    How about something like a CLC Jimmy Skiff?
    The plans are a bit expensive at 60 bucks, but it certainly looks like a simple boat.
    I imagine there is are a pile of similar designs out there. Basically a flat bottom and two side panels made out of plywood. How do such craft actually sail?

    Anyway, that's where I'm at. If you can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it!

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Others will be able to comment on design options and feasibility but how about buying instead?



    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/6060121725.html

    Spira dory. $500.00 with the trailer. The rig is extra but might be negotiated and in any case not needing to buy a trailer should help. Probably would need some modification to meet your criteria, especially self-rescue, but seems like a decent place to start? (Not my ad of course).

    Note that I have no experience with this type of boat or the sort of boating you want to do so hopefully people with relevant knowledge will comment here.
    Last edited by cstevens; 03-30-2017 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Added photo
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Chris is correct - the state of the market today is such that buying a used boat is often cheaper than buying materials for a new one.

    Assuming, of course, that you can find one that suits your needs.

    If not... then building it is.

    And - with that budget - the only one on your list was also one of my first thoughts... sorta.

    Rather than the Puddle Duck Racer... the Oz Goose. That's the 12' version of the PDR -- Good sailor, large enough to carry your camping gear. A bit more seaworthy than the shorter version. The drawback? Neither of them rows like a Whitehall. I row my PDR regularly, and I assume the Goose would row as well (maybe ever better because of waterline length and the weight contributing to a better 'carry'. But champion rowers, they are not.

    http://www.storerboatplans.com/Pdr/pdgoose.html




    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Agreed David - I was thinking that the budget really constrains any new build to something like the OZ Goose or one of the Bolger boxes. That was my thought in seeing what is available in the used market.

    One can argue the merits of the various designs but a few things for the OP to consider:

    1. You could row a dory two-up, which I think would be difficult, if not impossible, in the Goose. That's an option I would want for sure.

    2. I have no experience sailing anything like the Goose, unless you count the El Toro I had as a kid, but it seems like it would be a really wet boat, especially in any sort of chop. Fun for an afternoon sail. Less so on a camping trip. (David, please correct me if I'm wrong here).

    3. Neither of these boats is something I would want to wrestle up onto a rocky shore. The dory comes in at around 180 pounds, the Goose at 120 in meranti ply (a bit lighter in DF I'd assume) - both more fully rigged. The idea of "standing waist deep in chop and working the boat up on the bank" sounds precarious to say the least. Instead, why not use an anchor and a clothesline? Set the anchor and rig the clothesline first, and then use that setup to hold the boat in place while you unload.

    Or, for something completely different, how about a SOF kayak or canoe with a sailing rig? I really like David Gentry's Chautauqua:



    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-sailing-canoe

    Might need to be extended a bit to hold two adults and gear for camping, but the OP and his wife are an experienced canoeists, the SOF boat would be easily portageable and car-toppable, and I assume the materials cost would be less than for an equivalent plywood boat?

    I do have to confess an ulterior motive here: I *really* want a version of Chautauqua capable of accommodating two adults and a pre-teen child for day trips myself... Project for next year perhaps.
    - Chris

    https://fvpetrel.wordpress.com

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    A PDR is a bit of a wet boat when sailed hard in brisk conditions. But not nearly as bad as I had expected. The OzGoose... I have no personal experience with. Shoot Michael Storer a query, as he's sailed them probably more than anyone. That have a large and expanding fleet at his now headquarters in the Phillipines.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Do you have a canoe already? Put a small outrigger or two on it.

    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    $500 boat.

    tough task

    will need simple design but still worth doing

    i reckon an OzGoose is your best choice

    http://www.storerboatplans.com/wp/ca...plan/pd-goose/

    sail cut from polytarp

    panels - the timber merchants some times have their 9mm or thicker ply packs wrapped on the outside with 4mm for protection. guys then build a goose using that.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Some of the designs recommended are not boats I would look forward to rowing five miles.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    http://gentrycustomboats.com/Melonseed.html

    Or Genty's Mellonseed. It is telling that he thinks this would of done better in the Everglades than his canoe. Sounds like a solid design to me. As long as you are willing to not count the cost of the plans toward your overall cost of $500. I do think buying good plans, is a great place to start.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    SOF Melonseed is probably the best-sailing boat suggested so far but I'm not sure how one would even set it up to row solo, much less with a passenger?
    - Chris

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    Life is short. Go boating now!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    With that budget buying used is the only option other than outriggers on your canoe. That dory would be a great rower, and you could lighten it by removing as much heavy wood as possible. I suspect you'll want a better rower than the PD or Oz Goose. Used sails can be made to work, and you can build spars to fit the sail, then position the mast to fit the boat.

    Decent used boats come up on Craigslist all the time. If you've got an InterWebs-enabled friend who can contact you (or be trusted with the money), have them monitor CL for the type of boat that meets your needs and budget. Buying used (unless you buy or get for free a totally-rotted boat) is MUCH cheaper than building from scratch, particularly when considering the cost of sails and hardware.
    Last edited by Thorne; 03-31-2017 at 12:30 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Chris you are correct about two in the Mellonseed. I could see one rowing with some kind of thwart or box? Maybe a deck redesign for two.

    Thorne is right as well.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Thanks for all the mentions, everyone. Chris, I'm working on the Chautauaqua plans right now, and they will have a "cruiser" option, with a long cockpit and a leeboard.

    My Melonseed can be rowed, I just haven't put oarlocks on her, yet - a holdover attitude from my dinghy racing days. Seating would be on a removable platform that sits on top of the centerboard case. Not sure where a passenger would go . . . but that's not insurmountable. Certainly she could be built for less than $500, but one would likely go way over budget once the sail is factored in.

    Still, the OP already has the right boat - his canoe. I concur that outriggers are likely the best option, especially at that price range. Michael Storer - designer of the Oz Goose - also has designs for a drop-in sailing rig for canoes, and lash-on outriggers. That would likely work out perfectly, and come in under budget. The rig and outriggers are easily removed when you want to go back to a straight paddling canoe. http://www.storerboatplans.com/Canoe...utriggers.html

    Aside from the already mentioned options, a Bolger June Bug might also fit very well. Relatively light in weight, cheap to build (again, minus the sail), rows and sails acceptably well. http://www.mcssl.com/store/hhpaysonc...plans/june-bug
    Clint Chase's Echo Bay Dory Skiff is another option - I haven't sailed one, but I have rowed one with 3 adults aboard. Fairly light and simple. Might be that only kits are available, though, rather than plans. http://www.chase-small-craft.com/sailing-echo-bay-dory

    You get what you pay for with plans, btw.

    Good luck!
    Dave
    Last edited by DGentry; 03-31-2017 at 10:40 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Chris, I'm working on the Chautauaqua plans right now, and they will have a "cruiser" option, with a long cockpit and a leeboard.
    That's perfect - just what I'm looking for. I'll be first in line for a set when you have them ready. Lovely boat!

    But back to the OP's question. I'm now thinking that a sailing rig for his canoe is the right idea as well. That Spira dory seems like a lot of boat for $500 and someone should buy it, but the canoe sailing rig is a more elegant solution given the OP's situation, budget constraints, experience and requirements. The Storer setup looks quite nice and with a polytarp sail I imagine it could be built well within the OP's budget.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Thank you all for replying! I hiked off my mountain for a visit to town today (road still snowbound).

    Man, I love the looks of that Chautaqua sailing canoe!

    Once upon a time, back around 1981, I actually tried to start construction of a Rob Roy sailing canoe.
    I bought the plans, built work benches and the strong back in the garage, all carefully leveled and square.
    The next day I got home after my college classes only to discover my evil twin brother had torn the strong back apart and pushed it aside so he could get room to put his truck in the garage and change the oil.

    I was so livid I could have shot him, and realized I could never build a boat there in my parents home.

    Instead I got out of college as fast as I could with only an associated degree, joined the military and got the heck away from Long island, never looked back and now live 3,000 miles away from there and my Evil Twin.

    Over the years I lost those plans. I still have Ultralight boat building by Thomas Hill, who's craft are not decked, but they are lapstrake. I think that such a boat is perhaps a bit complicated for a first build, at least for me, and I'm not sure of cost. I think a boat like that could nickle and dime a feller to death, and wind up costing a good deal more than a simple skiff.

    But i still love 'em...

    I'd not considered adding a sail and outrigger to my canoe. I'll have to give that some thought.

    Seattle is rather far for me to go to buy a used boat. I took a look at Spokane Craigslist and didn't see anything likely. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a sailing or rowing skiff of any kind on our inland lakes. Even canoes are becoming somewhat rare as the plastic and fiberglass kayaks dominate the waters these days.

    Now that spring has sprung and the sun has returned to my northern homestead I have plenty of electricity at home (solar power ) so I re-read "Built The New Instant Boats", which I had downloaded during the winter but hadn't the power at the time to study properly.

    In it are a number of interesting boats - I quite like the June Bug, and I gather a great many have been built, but I'm not sure I like the sail rig. Can it be reefed?

    Anyway, another boat in that book has caught my eye, the Windsprint.

    I don't actually care for dories much, as i think they are rather tender for there size, at least unloaded. I'd rather have a transom behind me, but then again on the other hand I don't mind not having to build a transom and the Windsprint seems more a double ended sharpie than a traditional dory.

    It seems quite easy to build and light - Perhaps to light! A fast look on the internet at two previous builds seems to indicate that a heaver bottom is a good idea, as is decking for and aft for flotation.

    I routinely car-top a 16 foot canoe and a shorter kayak at the same time. I might even be able to car-top a Windsprint, depending on how heavy it turns out. Anybody know anything about this particular boat?
    Last edited by Etdbob; 04-05-2017 at 07:22 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    OK, after a few minutes looking about I discovered two more interesting designs, both Bolger boats.

    The Cartopper and the Featherwind.

    Any recommendations or experience with these?

    I'll check back next week!
    Thanks again for the replies!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    For your purposes , conditions and budget, wouldn't a couple of kayaks be better? I know that you wanted to sail, but everything else you wrote about says kayak to me. they'll certainly be easier to paddle in wind and waves than a canoe.

    free or cheap kayaks plans are readily available on line. And then there's the possibility of picking up a couple of used plastic (oh the sacrilege!) boats...no maintenance issues to deal with and they'll tolerate being hauled up on rocks better than any plywood boat.

    Anyway, it's something you might want to consider
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    I have no knowledge or experience with any of the designs you are thinking about. I suspect that any of them would work but I'm not sure they can be built within the $500 budget, even using inexpensive materials. My thought is that the budget and weight requirements are your main constraints, and skin-on-frame construction seems to be a good way to address both requirements. Or adapt your existing canoe as suggested.
    - Chris

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    I modified my Junebug . lengthened to 16' and did open construction versus built in seat boxes. bare boat weighed 79 lbs in occoume ply and cedar . removable floorboards and I sit on moveable seat boxes. I haven't sailed it yet. it rows pretty good for such a simple boat. plans are in one of Paysons books or though his old website. bare hull is 4 1/4 sheets of ply and a few 16' 2x4's so it can be built under $500 without the sail rig.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    I made it off the mountain again today!

    What a great looking June Bug Openboater!
    16 feet yet, under 80 pounds? That's amazing. Downright car-toppable, that is.

    May I ask why you built it without seats? Looks mighty handy for clamming!
    The open interior is one reason why I liked the Windsprint.
    I was thinking that one might be able to sleep aboard such a boat with an open interior.

    I reckon the 14 foot June Bug built open like that would be even lighter.

    Hmmm, you've given me something to think about...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    To get light weight you must start with light materials. The occoume ply was 6mm (1/4") bottom at 21 lbs a sheet and 3mm sides at 11 lbs a sheet. I also ditched the heavy permanent seats for the framing structure on the West Mersea Duck Punt. The floor boards and seats are removable so i lift as little as possible onto the roof racks. Having freeform seating allows me (us) to sit where we should for weight distribution and conditions not where the fixed seating dictates.

    Yes, a 14'er would be lighter and the basic hull could be built from 4 sheets but I have a personal preference for longer boats.

    I get my plywood here , so current price for 2 1/4 sheets of 6mm and 2 sheets of 3mm occoume is $326.60. that leaves $173 for some 16' 2x4's, some PL Premium glue, a quart of epoxy and 50' of glass tape for the chines and transom corners.

    http://www.pittsfordlumber.com/Pitts...hester-NY.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    I made it off the mountain again today!

    What a great looking June Bug Openboater!
    16 feet yet, under 80 pounds? That's amazing. Downright car-toppable, that is.

    May I ask why you built it without seats? Looks mighty handy for clamming!
    The open interior is one reason why I liked the Windsprint.
    I was thinking that one might be able to sleep aboard such a boat with an open interior.

    I reckon the 14 foot June Bug built open like that would be even lighter.

    Hmmm, you've given me something to think about...
    Last edited by openboater; 04-08-2017 at 09:24 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    Round and round I go...

    So many to choose from!
    I want them all!
    But, a feller has to start somewhere and I reckon it's best to start with something small and simple.

    So I think I'm going to try and knock together one of those David Beedes "Summer Breeze" skiffs. When I read the book "Ultra simple boatbuilding" by Gavin Atkin I came across this little skiff but didn't think seriously about it because it was so small, fit for "1 adult and 1 child or 2 moderate-sized adults".

    But recently I found Mr. Beedes "Simplicity Boats" web site, and he writes that Summer Breeze is capable of loads up to 500 pounds, and that he has fit himself, his wife, with a dog and picnic basket, and apparently all survived.
    I think it might still be on the small side, but it's cheap enough to make and doesn't seem to have any vices.

    I need to finish repairing a canoe to free up space in my shop, then I'll start on the skiff. I'll start a new thread to pick the brains of anyone here that may have built one of these!

    Thanks again for all the posts and all the boat pictures that made me drool!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Design for first build

    It would be tough, but I bet you could build a Penguin Dinghy for under $500, if you made sails yourself. There are a lot of them around here, and they sail crazy fast. Set it up with a rowing thwart and oarlocks, and it will row like a 12 foot dinghy... Optimally you'd want a longer waterline length and narrower beam for that kind of rowing. But it's a wide boat, so you should be able to use some long oars, which will help.

    Anyway, the plans are free on the Penguin racing class website. It was designed to be built easily on a budget back during the Great Depression. They didn't have epoxy and fiberglass back then, so that's a considerable expense you won't have to worry about. You only need 3 sheets of plywood, so don't use construction grade. Use marine grade miranti. It's good stuff and last time I checked, it's not that expensive. Construction grade will rot. Find a lumber yard that will let you pick through the piles. If you pick through the #2 SPF dimensional lumber, you can find nice clear stuff. Here in the east, I can get spruce this way. If you can pick out a clear spruce board, that's the best, but it's all fine for this application. Get the wider boards. They have less sapwood. Also, look at the annular rings at the end. Look for boards with tight rings, and try to avoid boards from the center of the tree, as they tend to check. It sounds like you are in Douglas fir territory. That stuff is great if you can find it with close rings. It's pretty cheap here in the East, so I bet it's cheaper in the West. Fence boards here in the east tend to be White Oak and Red Cedar, which are both wonderful species and very rot resistant, but the fence boards tend to have a lot of knots. I don't know what they use for fencing in the west, but *if* you can find a clear fence board, I bet it'd be decent boatbuilding material. SPF is not as rot resistant as fence boards, but it's all pretty light, and a more reliable source of clear wood if your willing to go through the stack. If you live off the grid, I bet you can find some nice hardwood crooks that would split into beautiful knees. With a little searching, I can find them, and I live in the suburbs.

    Bronze is the metal of choice, but it's expensive, and stainless steel will work just as well for a small budget boat. Just don't hit a nail head with your tools. Consider using wooden tholepins for rowing, rather than paying for the overpriced swivel oarlocks and sockets. As far as glues go, I'm a big fan of Titebond III ultimate. Don't use the other titebond varieties; they are not waterproof. Some of the tube goos that you get at the hardware store are decent substitutes for Sitka-flex and 5200, although I don't remember which brands off the top of my head. Tube goo is the stuff of choice for most things in the glue and screw ply construction. You should invest in some epoxy for scarfing your plywood panels, but otherwise, I think you can make due without it. You don't need to use the expensive marine paint, but whatever paint you use, make sure it's oil based. From what I've seen, latex has a way of pealing off of boats.

    I've wanted to build a cheapo Penguin for a while, just for beating up and camping by myself. I've always thought that if I added thwarts with quarter knees, I could get away without some of the internal framing. You could potentially lose a little weight and clear out the inside a bit. You'd have to be smart about strengthening the boat in other ways. Personally, I think one could make a less cluttered interior and a lighter hull, but since you're a first time builder, you'd definitely want to check with the forum before you make any major modifications to the structure of the boat.

    This advice all goes for other designs, of course. But my vote is for a Penguin. I think you can do it for $500 with some creativity. That's if you really plan on making your own sails.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Merritt Island, Florida
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Design for first build

    I've built Dierking's Ulua, but have always had an eye for his Wa'apa. May be some ideas there for adding an outrigger to your canoe. His book and website are great resources.
    http://duckworksbbs.com/plans/dierking/waapa/index.htm

    Also Piccup Pram, but may be too small, while his Mike's boat to large
    http://duckworksbbs.com/plans/jim/piccup_pram/index.htm
    Jon
    Building - Ulua Outrigger

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Loon Lake, Washington
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Design for first build

    Thanks for the replies!

    Old Dominion, the Penguin sure looks like a great boat, but I think I'll stick with something simpler for my first effort! Thanks for the tips on wood - I do indeed live in Dog Fir territory, it's easy to buy some pretty good stuff, but all the big trees are gone of course. The loggers are taking sticks and poles now. I live just down the road from 10,000-odd acres of "national forest" which in the last few years have been just about clear cut of everything resembling a tree.

    About half the timber on my 40 acres is western red cedar, the rest mostly a mix of grand fir, doug fir, white pine, and tamarack, with a few cottonwood and alder mixed in, maybe a few hemlock. No hardwoods at all though. Thanks to global warming or whatever - We don't get deep cold spells anymore so the pine beetles have moved north and are making a mess of the forests. Right now they are chewing up the grand fir. No great loss, that stuff is good for only paper pulp, doesn't even make good firewood, but when that's gone the bugs will start on other stuff. I do hate having to chain-saw up what were perfectly good 60 year old grand fir trees just a year ago. more are killed every year. It's best to fell and burn the tree while it's still green at the first sign of infection, thus killing the bugs, and years ago I've done that a number of times working with the one neighbor I have on this mountain, but it's just to much work!

    Fence boards? Beats me. Out here fences are barbed wire. Cattle panels if you can afford them.
    I have heard of using natural grown "knees" for boat building, and I have plenty of the Tamarack variety, down at the base of the tree. I'm not sure what I'd do with them though, and I imagine it would be a pain chain sawing 'em out.

    When I rip boards from logs with my chain saw I usually select cedar because it's easiest to cut. One of these days one of my old growth cedars might fall ( I have some of the last in the area, hidden in a deep gulch, survivors of the great 1894 fires!), and then I'll chop out a big cedar dugout canoe!

    I've already picked up some nice, clear Doug Fir 16' 2"x4"s to rip some new canoe rails from. I have an old damaged kevlar canoe I got cheap and need to repair before I start on a skiff.

    I also picked up three sheets of Doug Fir 1/4 inch AC plywood to build my Summers Breeze out of. Went to a bunch of stores plywood shopping and was surprised to find so much difference in brands. Almost got "ironply Premium underlayment" but came to my senses. That stuff looks perfect as can be, but the outer layers are so very thin, and the core looks like it will suck water like a sponge. On the recommendations in the Instant Boat series of books, I got AC. I found a brand of 1/4 inch made of three layers of equal thickness, unlike some which have a very thin A side.

    Flsail - I love your sailing canoe! That thing looks fast. Looks strip built? Someday I'll try a sailing canoe.

    Anyway, I better start a new thread, now that I know what I'll be building!

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