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Thread: A Redbird modified as a solo

  1. #1
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    Default A Redbird modified as a solo

    So I'm preparing for my second strip canoe build. I have decided that it would be nice to have something that I could more easily heave into the back of my truck and paddle around by myself, so I want to build a solo canoe. I know there are plenty of designs out there which are tailored to perform as such, but I'm not blown away by the lines of may of them, and I like my boats (can I use plural even though I've only finished one) to be as much a work of art as a vessel for fishing!

    My question is:
    Could I take the table of offsets for a larger canoe, say a redbird, and just reduce each measurement by 20% to produce a boat still in perfect aesthetic proportions, but only 12' long?
    I understand this would also make the hull narrower, and with less displacement the capacity would decrease significantly, but so would the typical load...

    In my head this should work, but I figured I'd reach out and see if any of you have done this with more or less success.

    Thanks as always!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    I lengthened my Redbird by 6 inches. I see no reason why you couldn't shorten it. I lengthened mine by spacing the middle 6 station moulds 1 inch further apart. That added 6 inches extra length to the boat in the middle and beamiest part of the boat. I could have added it to the ends or along the whole length. I suspect if I wanted to shrink a Redbird by 5.5 feet, I'd have my work cut out for me. Removing the 0 mould and one of the #1 moulds would be a start. As you change the distance between the moulds, you affect the hull shape which is why I avoided messing with the ends of the boat. (and I wanted more carrying capacity so adding in the middle made sense) If you take away too many of the middle moulds, like 0,1 and 2, you remove the amount of boat you want to remove but you make what's left much narrower. You might try a combination of removing 0 and maybe #1 moulds and using one of the #2 moulds as your middle one, then bring the remaining station moulds a little closer together. I know what you mean by wanting to preserve the boat's aesthetics, she's an absolutely beautiful craft. Maybe someone else will have other suggestions. I suspect they will mostly be "start with something smaller", you're WAY over the 10% difference in size that is normally the max recommendation for changing a vessel's size by simply shrinking or expanding.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    I'd recommend to keep on looking for the design that's right in the first place. There are cubical functions involved here, and shrinking a design in all directions 20% will cut down on the stability a lot. Way, way more than 20%. You'd wind up with dimensions not far off from a recreational kayak. This works for a low boat with the paddler sitting almost on the bottom, but would be dicey in a canoe. If you reduced the length and maintained the beam, you'd have a much more workable boat.

    Alternately, if the feature that appeals to you in the Redbird are the high, upswept ends, just take a good 12' canoe design and revise the sheer line. That wouldn't affect performance, at least not until the wind kicks in.
    -Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    Twelve feet in most canoes tends to be more like a toy than an actual solo boat. Yes, you can probably get in and poke around in it (probably sitting on the bottom) but it won't glide like a real canoe if you actually intend to go anywhere in it, and it won't have freeboard or seaworthiness required to handle even moderate lake waves very well. Decent solo canoes which actually paddle well are designed to make up for the fact that you are paddling alone, and prevent you from being badly performance hindered because of it. They generally start at around 14' minimum and the good ones are more like 15'-16' long. The 3" waterline beam on these boats is usually somewhere around 27"-29" with a shallow arch hull, which is enough to get your butt up off the floor and get you into a medium sitting or kneeling position where you can actually do something. Anything narrower than that gets pretty twitchy and once you get wider than about 32" beam, they tend to get pretty slow.

    The "lines" of a canoe are mostly the profile of the stems and the gunwales. Those things can usually be duplicated, even if the rest of the boat is not really the same design, but just scaling a Redbird down to 12' long is more ikely to get you half a pair of pontoon shoes than a solo canoe.

    This stripper was scaled down from 34' to 22' so that it would fit on top of a van and hold a crew of four or five paddlers. However, a big cigar-shaped wedge was added down the middle of the bottom to get enough beam for stability. Without it, it would have been so tippy that it would have been impossible to use.

    Last edited by Todd Bradshaw; 10-03-2017 at 09:05 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    OK that makes sense. So to your knowledge, where is a good place for me to start with a solo plan that I can cast a fly from?

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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    Heaving a boat up on a rack on a car is more a matter of boat weight and intelligent rack use than anything else.

    I'd say build an 18' or so canoe as lightly as you can. Even if not a feather weight SOF, it should be easy to make something well under 100#.

    Smart rack. Most racks' cross pieces are square or round hollow section. Put a section that just fits inside - some rack companies make this - and is as long as the forward cross piece. So you can draw the inner tube out so about half is sticking out past the care and half buried in the cross piece. Lift one end of your boat up and on. Now you can go to the back and heave that part on your car. Then back to the front to get the boat straight fore and aft. Slide the extension in and secure. Tie the boat down. Good to go.

    Just don't torture yourself with a boat that's no good.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    If you read Ted's design notes about the Redbird, he talks about removing center forms to yield a shorter version. The sheer is so flat in the middle of that design that removing those center forms alters little. I think it takes it from a 17' long boat to a 14 or 15' boat, IIRC.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    I designed and built a 12' x 30" canoe. I sit in the bottom and use a double blade which is traditionally for this size of canoe and what many people do with this size of craft. It works like a dream and is light and quick to get on the water which was the brief. I tried kneeling in it and it felt tippy so I stuck with the double paddle, I don't think I would feel secure fishing from it. I weight in at 170lb by the way.

    Curiously there are a number of treads about 12 foot boats at the moment which to my mind is the ideal length for any type of boat, maybe I just focus on them.

    If you do shorten an existing design in I would be checking it out in a CAD package line Delftship which is very easy to do.

    If you choose an existing design you might start looking at Wee Rob

    https://www.woodenboatstore.com/prod...anoes_-_kayaks

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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo


  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    OK that makes sense. So to your knowledge, where is a good place for me to start with a solo plan that I can cast a fly from?
    The last solo canoes I had were a pair of Jensen-designed boats, one a deep hull downriver/whitewater-type and the other a marathon solo, before the days when they got all diamond-shaped and extreme. The waterline beam on them was about 27"-28". Seats were molded and maybe 8"-10" or so off the floor. I would have considered casting from them in a fore and aft direction, though maybe not crosswise due to lack of initial stability. If fishing was going to be a frequent use for a solo, I'd probably go up to something in the 30"-31" waterline beam by 14'-15' length range.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    We built a redbird.. it's a rather narrow beam of 32? 17.5 long if I recall right. I don't remember any strip boat we build being very heavy.

    Garagebuilder.. seeing the word "heave" says volumes... maybe some how to lift and handle canoes help is in order. ( I know, guys NEVER need help ) I've been able to load most any canoe on my truck just by using a pipe in the end of the yakima round rack (also like pipe) flip over.. get under, lift one end, swing onto the extension, lift other end. (was a struggle with the wood canvass 18ft) on the trail.. lean one end against a tree.

    I'll post some more pics from tapatalk

    Heart shape decks


    Short canoes aren't much good except very still flat water maybe.

    Ian that solo looks like he stole it from Gil Gilpatrick!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    You should take a look at the website of Alex Combís Stewart River Boat works --
    < http://www.stewartriver.com/canoes/index.html >. Look at four of his models -- Unity, Traveler, Ami, and Pal -- the Ami would probably be pretty much what you want. In addition to building these boats (he does very nice work), he also sells plans for them that are intended for building using an open form similar to that used for building strippers. You might consider building a traditional canoe, but I expect his plans could be readily adapted for building a stripper.

    You might also poke around the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association web site
    < http://www.wcha.org/ > and its forums < http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php > which has a section devoted to strippers and their building, maintenance, repair, etc.
    < http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php...d-composite.7/ >.

    Most folks find an 18' canoe too much when paddling solo -- more canoe than they need for anything short of expedition camping (or racing). Folks who go to sea in sailing boats think a 70 or 80-ound boat is lightweight -- but they usually launch at ramps from trailers or keep their boats at moorings. Weight when loading a canoe onto the top of a car is not the only issue raised by a larger canoe -- you have to get it to and from the water, and you have to handle it in the water.

    People who paddle lakes and streams know that a long, heavy canoe will not be as nimble as a shorter canoe, and indeed, can be awkward and clumsy, especially when paddling it solo around rocks in even an easy rip; further, with one person aboard a long canoe will generally float higher in the water (less draft) than a shorter canoe, and therefore be more subject to being blown about in windy conditions. A Yakima boat loader or similar rig certainly helps load a heavy canoe onto a carís roof rack (I sometimes use one), but does not help when carrying it alone a hundred feet -- or yards -- or more -- from the car top or truck bed to a steep river bank or across a rocky lake shore, or when pulling it across a beaver dam, or when portaging on a narrow trail around a dam or rapid. And when paddling solo, there is often no one around to help with the lifting and carrying.

    A 15' or 16' canoe is generally more easily paddled and more agile than longer canoes, and can carry as much load as most solo paddlers will need for day tripping, fishing, and even camping for several days. Canoes smaller than 14í can be fine, but are generally not considered as useful for things like fishing or camping, and as noted above, are often paddled sitting low in the canoe, with a double-bladed paddle -- not the same experience as sitting or kneeling with a single-bladed paddle.

    I paddle both our 15' and 16' canoe solo, but prefer the 15' for all the reasons above.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    If it is a fishing canoe you are after, you might look around for plans that are true to the lines of the original Chestnut Canoe Company, Bobs Special, wood and canvas canoe. I have a Bobs and it is beamy and I think it makes a good fishing canoe. My son even hauled a deer out of the brush in it.

    Here is a plan that looks pretty close:

    http://www.noahsmarine.com/itemdesc....=BM-BOBSPECIAL
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    A prospector might be what you're after. If weight is your concern, my 18 foot Redbird is around 78 lbs I think. Not overly heavy. I have a bit of extra heft in the wales that I intend on taking off next time I refinish her varnish (soon). I hope to take a few lbs off that way. I'm still relatively young (40) and can still manhandle the boat without any assistance in pretty much any conditions I need to. One day I might not be able to but that is a good ways off I hope.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    A prospector might be what you're after. If weight is your concern, my 18 foot Redbird is around 78 lbs I think. Not overly heavy. I have a bit of extra heft in the wales that I intend on taking off next time I refinish her varnish (soon). I hope to take a few lbs off that way. I'm still relatively young (40) and can still manhandle the boat without any assistance in pretty much any conditions I need to. One day I might not be able to but that is a good ways off I hope.
    I absolutely loved my prospector at 16 feet, it went everywhere! The Adirondacks, Maine the Jersey Pine Barrens, numerous lakes and rivers almost all of the Delaware River, as the late Bill Mason said: " if I could have only one boat it would be a prospector" I think he said that LOL

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    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    My dad gave me a set of station molds for a prospector. Not sure I'll ever build it though. I'm working (slowly) on a Catspaw dinghy and the plan is to build a schooner to hang her off of after that. No time for another canoe, I've already built one. They are wonderful boats though.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    This was my last.. took over 2 years to develop "my own" design and build the form ... which was to be use to build many more. but. things change. I gave the form to Phila wooden boat factory over 18 yrs ago now.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    This was my last.. took over 2 years to develop "my own" design and build the form ... which was to be use to build many more. but. things change. I gave the form to Phila wooden boat factory over 18 yrs ago now.
    And I absolutely love building boats but I got older and I basically can only do small projects now but it sure was fun!

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    Full disclosure, this is also one of ours ... 15' x 34" ...we thought we'd call it Bob's Your Uncle cuz, well ... http://ashesstillwaterboats.com/the-ashes-angler/

    body-plan.pngPlan-view.png
    Trevor Paetkau
    http://ashesstillwaterboats.com
    Stratford, ON

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpaetkau View Post
    Full disclosure, this is also one of ours ... 15' x 34" ...we thought we'd call it Bob's Your Uncle cuz, well ... http://ashesstillwaterboats.com/the-ashes-angler/

    body-plan.pngPlan-view.png
    No rocker?

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    No rocker?

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    She's prioritized for high initial stability and protected water. Rocker is actually 1.5" but you're absolutely correct, there is a broad run through her middle with no rise.
    Trevor Paetkau
    http://ashesstillwaterboats.com
    Stratford, ON

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    So to clarify: I actually just built a Ranger 15' and it handles phenomenally for fishing; I can lift it on my SUV and paddle it by myself. I was just thinking about building something that I can carefully and gently set on the racks, so I don't put so much wear on the gunnels (the Ranger did, after all, win a boat show last week!) and something that I could paddle more easily when the current is strong in intertidal areas.

    I understand there are a million ways I can load the canoe solo without damaging it, and that there are better plans out there for what I want to do with it, I just wanted to build a redbird and build something more tailored for solo fishing.

    Sounds like I just need to build a kayak and a redbird as 2 different projects

    Thanks again for the help!

  23. #23
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    Here's my recently completed Ranger

    Sent from my 2PYB2 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garagebuilder View Post
    Here's my recently completed Ranger

    Sent from my 2PYB2 using Tapatalk
    Yep GB, that is the downside of having such beautifully varnished strip boats; trying to keep them that way! After we built 4 it was a pita.

    If you're in tidal areas with strong current and not using the current to take you to and from, a 17 foot sea kayak would probably be the best choice.

    Fishing for me, means standing up to fly cast. Which can be done in most canoes but your ankles tend to get tired. A heavily loaded canoe is much easier to stand in.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  25. #25
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    Default Re: A Redbird modified as a solo

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    And I absolutely love building boats but I got older and I basically can only do small projects now but it sure was fun!

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Don't give up just yet. My father and I (who was 84 years young at the time...) headed up to the WoodenBoat School last summer. My dad wanted to take Rollin Thurlow's class again and had lots of fun with the other students, Rollin and Elisa.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Don't give up just yet. My father and I (who was 84 years young at the time...) headed up to the WoodenBoat School last summer. My dad wanted to take Rollin Thurlow's class again and had lots of fun with the other students, Rollin and Elisa.
    Well I have a Delaware Ducker I'm restoring. .

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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