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Thread: Lappstrake canoe design

  1. #1
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    Default Lappstrake canoe design

    Greetings,

    I wish to build a small traditional style lapstrake canoe while practicing designing and building method. Aim is for a stable, lightweight, classic style canoe for small lake and river exploring. Any comments of the drafts are very welcome. Would this hull form be stable enough? Length 12,6 ft, beam 26''.

    Would be perfect if I could print out plankforms from a 3D software, but the learning curve in these seems to be too much for me. I am planning in fitting and formatting the planks on the building frames as I go. Is this a valid approach? I have no building experience, but have restored several small boats.

    I am planning to build from 5 mm Vendia boat planks. (laminated pine).

    Mats

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    I wont comment on the stability issues, there are others here more qualified.
    However spiling planks and hanging them over the moulds is the original way boats were built, so yes it is the way to go.
    See if you can find a copy of this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clinker-Boa.../dp/0713636432 as the go to manual.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    The term "stable enough" is very subjective. Stable enough for what experience and fitness level ? I know I wouldn't like the very round shape and narrow beam. It requires a lot of midsection strenght to correct the boat, maintain balance and yet try to be relaxed enough to keep your body still. For someone with good balance in shape, and experienced with canoes they might be fine.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-13-2018 at 07:02 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Thanks for the input and suggested reading. I modifyed the bottom to be more flat. I wish to be able to paddle relaxed.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    A small glued lapstrake boat tends to be structurally weaker than a stitch-and-glue design, sheathed on both sides. You might need a couple of small ribs if you go with 5 mm Vendia.
    By the way, looking at the proposed waterline, the flat-bottomed version seems to have much more displacement than the round-bottomed version.
    Last edited by canoe_sailor; 02-13-2018 at 08:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    How was the water line determined? I don't think the first design would sit that high loaded.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Your first hull looks like a rowboat, but possibly not stable enough for a paddle canoe. Your second one is better for stability, but I think in glued lap the really hard chine would be a weak spot, unless heavily backed up with fillet and fiberglass tape on the inside. Generally lots of narrower planks are better to get around a tight turn unless you do stitch and glue.

    If you are looking at single paddle, you might still have a bit much flare in the midsection for easy paddling. This means you have to lean the boat over to keep your paddle stroke straight down where it is most powerful. I have "successfully" paddled my rowboat prototype, which is a hard chined boat with a V-bottom of 15 degrees deadrise. The waterline beam is around 24-28", the sides very flared, for a total beam of ~36". With a single paddle I had to either lean it a lot or paddle it at a flat angle, limiting my power. Every stroke was a bit of a sweep stroke, and I needed to do a "J" on each one to keep straight.

    Best thing would be to look at existing canoe designs of your chosen size range, even though they might be for strip planking. The more designs you can study the better. They will give you an idea of the range of hull shapes considered appropriate for a single paddle canoe.

    If you are looking to build a double paddle canoe, then look at those designs because it is a fundamentally different animal. They are generally narrower and less flat on the bottom, much more kayak-like but not quite a kayak. Usually they also use many narrow strakes rather than less wider ones.

    In the two different styles of canoes you sit/kneel in different places. With a single paddle you kneel and your centre of gravity will be higher, therefore your boat needs to be flatter on the bottom to compensate for this destabilizing effect.

    If you need to deal with any sorts of waves at all, another thing to think about would be adding flare near the ends, perhaps combined with less of it in the midsection. This will make the boat look more "stumpy" than "pointy" on the plan view but will keep it drier.

    Don't be frightened at the prospect of having to build another boat if the first one doesn't suit. I'm totally embracing the "serial boatbuilding" approach to find something that works for me. These hulls are small enough that you could probably knock together a prototype with cheap ply, duct tape and a bit of lumber, don't even paint it. Just to have in the (warm) water long enough to get a feel for the size and the stability. Deliberately try to capsize it. That is often harder than you think even in a boat that initially feels tender.

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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    To design that which has been done thousands of times ...

    https://www.woodenboat.com/build-wee-lassie-canoe-1
    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: Lappstrake canoe design

    If the goal is not just to build from a purchased design but to learn the techniques of design for oneself, there are some further points to be discussed. Besides beam, carrying capacity, and stability, ease of paddling, and flare in rough water, there is the question of keel rocker. A long, straight keel with fine ends makes holding a course easier, while rocker and full ends permit quick turns if one is descending rapids.

    On a different (but vitally important) theme is the combination of aesthetics and practicality in lining off the planks. On a lapstrake hull, the plank laps will be visible and signal the skill of the builder. Here, it is probably a mistake to lay out the sections as polygons, using straight line segments, and not to consider the runs of the planks, either in profile or in true perspective. The traditional method is to spring battens around the molds to locate the fair proportions by eye and spile the plank curves for transfer and cutting to shape. For a light canoe, the method used by Tom Hill may be superior. https://www.amazon.com/Ultralight-Bo.../dp/0071567038 He fastens battens around the molds to define the plank edges permanently and uses them both to mark the plank outlines for cutting and to clamp the planks for gluing. His plank layout involves garboards that flare to a greater width amidships, permitting the upper planks to be parallel-sided, while the traditional method involves a graceful taper of the upper planks toward the ends, accommodated by increased width of the garboards. Playing with battens on the molds could allow you to choose your preferred approach.
    Peter Belenky

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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Can we assume you'll be using a kayak-style paddle, aka "single paddle" design?

    My only experience has been paddling various canoes, kayaks, and owning the shorter version of Harry Bryant's Fiddlehead - http://www.harrybryan.com/harrybryan...headPlan1.html. I find it pretty tender when compared to a standard 2-person, non-double-paddle canoe. You might find the longer version better for hauling gear - http://www.harrybryan.com/harrybryan...headPlan3.html

    My fiddlehead from this FB album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=57014e6ba9 -
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Can we assume you'll be using a kayak-style paddle, aka "single paddle" design?
    This is a very confusing sentence.....

    I've done a lot of kayak paddling - and almost always with a "Double Paddle" - long stick with a blade at each end - big choice of lengths, blade shapes and feather angles.

    Canoe paddling is usually done with a single blade - there are some similarities but many differences.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    This is a very confusing sentence.....

    I've done a lot of kayak paddling - and almost always with a "Double Paddle" - long stick with a blade at each end - big choice of lengths, blade shapes and feather angles.

    Canoe paddling is usually done with a single blade - there are some similarities but many differences.
    Not really but mostly, PI many solo paddlers will use a double paddle on a canoe, and it's usually on smaller canoes like the wee Lassie

    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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    The free downloadable Bear Mountain Boats Study Plans Catalogue shows high quality lines plans of a lot of different canoes and kayaks.
    There is also a capacity and stability chart where they try to give you an idea of the stability of their boats.

    Compare the lines of your boat to the ones from the cataloque and you may develop a better understanding of the characteristics of your own design.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Ooopsie, my bad. I meant to distinguish between the confusing terminology of a single double-bladed paddle and a single canoe paddle -- but somehow went astray. So we have a double-paddle canoe that uses a single paddle, and a regular canoe that uses two single paddles. English can be so irregular! Oh well...
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Platt Montfort designed some very nice looking solo canoes to built using his "Geodesic Aerolite" construction method. They look like they could be adapted to lapstrake, but I don't really know, having never built a lapstrake boat (yet!).

    Platt is gone, and I believe the company has recently changed ownership, but I see there is still a website <click here> - skim down the list until you see "SnowShoe ..." and look at those. I built the SnowShoe 12 and found it to be easy to paddle and stable enough as long as you keep your weight low (right on the floor, maybe a thin cusion). Montfort claims the design is based on Rushton's Wee Lassie - it doesn't get much more classic than that. To my eye, it is a very pretty boat! I use a double paddle where the surroundings allow, but sometimes switch to a single blade if in confined spaces.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by runswithsizzers View Post
    Platt Montfort designed some very nice looking solo canoes to built using his "Geodesic Aerolite" construction method. They look like they could be adapted to lapstrake, but I don't really know, having never built a lapstrake boat (yet!).

    Platt is gone, and I believe the company has recently changed ownership, but I see there is still a website - skim down the list until you see "SnowShoe ..." and look at those. I built the SnowShoe 12 and found it to be easy to paddle and stable enough as long as you keep your weight low (right on the floor, maybe a thin cusion). Montfort claims the design is based on Rushton's Wee Lassie - it doesn't get much more classic than that. To my eye, it is a very pretty boat! I use a double paddle where the surroundings allow, but sometimes switch to a single blade if in confined spaces.
    Looking at the OP's renderings it looks almost like he's designing Stitch and glue or Dory like planks, but what do I know.

    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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Very informative, thank you. I wish to be able to double paddle. The Sassafras 12 and also Harry Bryans Fiddlehead were sources of influence as they do go with double paddleling. I have a traditional Finnish lapstrake double seat racing rowing boat which is very narrow and pointy, but still remarkably stable, this must be the source for the first lines. This boat tracks like a train and I thought it would be interesting to try the pointy ends and a relatively deep keel in a canoe. (keel is not in the drafts)

    I do not mind getting it wrong the first time, and I like the idea to built a first one with cheap materials.
    In the end I might build one from ready made plans, but this process of trial and error would teach me a lot. Will participate in the course "Elements of boat design" this summer in WB school.

    After some practice with glued lapstrake I would be more confident to start building the sailing boat, a Caledonia Yawl.

    Thank you all for sharing thoughts.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    One of the tricky aspects of this sort of design is the compromise between seat height, freeboard and gunnel width, it is no fun at all to spend you afternoons banging elbows or in an over tippy boat because the seat is two inches too high....
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    I wouldn't mess with any sort of keel, as that could cause handling problems in waves, wakes and current. A pointed-ended canoe will get a certain amount of directional stability from the ends -- much like the Herreshoff Rowboat does. Other than that I don't see any advantage to more of a keel than standard canoe hulls have. If you were **rowing** the canoe it would be different, and I could see a bit of a keel for a large touring canoe used for long trips on smooth waters, but otherwise would stick to existing hull shapes.

    Best of luck with your build!


    Quote Originally Posted by jukkernaut View Post
    Very informative, thank you. I wish to be able to double paddle. The Sassafras 12 and also Harry Bryans Fiddlehead were sources of influence as they do go with double paddleling. I have a traditional Finnish lapstrake double seat racing rowing boat which is very narrow and pointy, but still remarkably stable, this must be the source for the first lines. This boat tracks like a train and I thought it would be interesting to try the pointy ends and a relatively deep keel in a canoe. (keel is not in the drafts)

    I do not mind getting it wrong the first time, and I like the idea to built a first one with cheap materials.
    In the end I might build one from ready made plans, but this process of trial and error would teach me a lot. Will participate in the course "Elements of boat design" this summer in WB school.

    After some practice with glued lapstrake I would be more confident to start building the sailing boat, a Caledonia Yawl.

    Thank you all for sharing thoughts.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    For a discussion (and some links) on the question of a keel or no keel, scroll down the page at http://forums.wcha.org/index.php?thr...28/#post-76912.

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    Default Re: Lappstrake canoe design

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Looking at the OP's renderings it looks almost like he's designing Stitch and glue or Dory like planks, but what do I know.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Yes, I'm just saying anyone interested in designing a solo canoe might want to look at these designs to see what kind of lines have already been laid down.

    I was concerned because that first design looks more round in the center sections than most solo designs I've looked at, and my gut feeling is that it might be on the tender side. But it sounds like the OP has done his homework and will do alright as long as he doesn't deviate too far from the dozens (hundreds?) of solo canoe designs already known to be successful.

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