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Thread: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

  1. #1
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    Default GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Don't see a lot of these builds on the forum. I suppose it's likely because they're just 'barely' a wooden boat, but I figured I'd throw some progress pictures up if anyone else came searching along.

    Canoe is a Snowshoe 12' from GA Boats, all in cypress and spanish cedar.

    I swear I've spent way more time building 'things' to build this boat rather than building the actual boat. starting with the strongback, which was built out of baltic birch. I also repurposed some of my existing sawhorses into shorter ones so said strongback would have a place to live for a while.





    I also built a small steam box out of western red cedar, it's only 5' long but plenty big enough to steam ribs in.











    Turning big pieces of wood into smaller peices of wood





    This was probably the cleanest my shop ever was.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    I also made laminated stems for the canoe, I don't need to but I figured it'd be good steaming and expoxy practice, and why not.














    I scarfed all the stringers, I could have ordered longer cypress but I got this locally and I figured I'd never done it before. Used a little scrarfing jig I built for the table saw.



  3. #3
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Judging from your preparation it's going to be a really nice looking snowshoe!

    Looking forward to more!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    I agree with Woody ^ - If the quality of your build is anything like the quality of the strongback or the steam box , it will be one beautiful craft ! ! Nice start to the process - I will follow the thread.




    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Having built three canoes in that size range, I'm all in!
    Looks like you're off to a great start.
    I like those PVC "clamps" for scarfing. I'll have to remember that one.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Quote Originally Posted by steffenme1 View Post
    I also made laminated stems for the canoe, I don't need to but I figured it'd be good steaming and expoxy practice, and why not.














    I scarfed all the stringers, I could have ordered longer cypress but I got this locally and I figured I'd never done it before. Used a little scrarfing jig I built for the table saw.


    You're aware. of course, about the notions attached to a clean shop A friend of mine made a ton of those PVC clamps, but they kept disappearing and he couldn't figure out where they went 'til his 12 year old daughter and her friends showed up one day with a bunch of them polished up as bracelets. BEWARE!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    I built a Snowshoe 16 over the first year and a half of the pandemic. It was a great experience. Best of luck! Like others have said, judging by that strongback, you are gonna nail it. I'm looking forward to the finished product!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Thanks for the kind words all! Posting a few more updates to get caught up with my progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by dostoy320 View Post
    I built a Snowshoe 16 over the first year and a half of the pandemic. It was a great experience. Best of luck! Like others have said, judging by that strongback, you are gonna nail it. I'm looking forward to the finished product!
    Very cool, I'm getting close to the portion of the build where I'm out of my element, all the kevlar and dacron, so it's always nice to meet someone else who finished a build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    You're aware. of course, about the notions attached to a clean shop A friend of mine made a ton of those PVC clamps, but they kept disappearing and he couldn't figure out where they went 'til his 12 year old daughter and her friends showed up one day with a bunch of them polished up as bracelets. BEWARE!
    That's awesome, I have two daughters who are often in the shop with me, and I can absolutely see them stealing a few. I really like the little pvc clamps, they're not nearly as strong as most spring clamps, so I worry less about over-squeezing the epoxy joints. I probably should have made more of them but cutting PVC on a miter saw (that's how I did it anyway) makes one heck of a mess, and this batch was all I had in me.


    Forms, inwale, and stringers were next, the forms are made of 1/2 sanded ply from the big-box store. Thankfully cheap plywood is still pretty cheap and hasn't spiraled out of control in cost yet. Managed to get all of them out of half a sheet anyway.

    I went to the local local print shop and had them make me copies of the plans, so I just used the paper plans and spray adhesive'd them to the ply, cut them to size on the bandsaw, then sanded to the line.

    Setting up the keelson and the stems













    Time for ribs! I started steaming them in 2-4 at a time, mostly because I only had so many clamps. Thankfully I had extra because I did manage to break a few. This is my 1st experience with steaming and I found it surprisingly fun and the cypress had almost no spring-back.





    Requisite clamp shot. Also, I gave up on zip-ties pretty early on because I just hated all the plastic waste and they kept cutting into the cypress. I ended up just using some twine and some wooden wedges. I really like this because I could remove a wedge, nudge the stringer around, replace wedge, all without snapping off a zip-tie.



    side note: The orange ping pong balls are to keep my clamp-height kids from putting an eye out, I'd never hear the end of it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Looking really good! I like the orange balls on the clamps...I have my share of scrapes and bruises from running into those and the string and wedges look brilliant. Looking forward to seeing next steps.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    There's something wrong here, I'm trying to put my finger on it..... hmmm, aha!, that shop is waayy too clean!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Quote Originally Posted by steffenme1 View Post
    Very cool, I'm getting close to the portion of the build where I'm out of my element, all the kevlar and dacron, so it's always nice to meet someone else who finished a build.
    Yeah, let me know if I can be of any help. I found the kevlar easy enough to apply. I have my doubts about how useful it is, but it certainly looks cool! I went with the 9oz dacron. It took quite a bit of heat and patience to get it taut. I attacked it from the outside with an iron, and then from the inside/underneath with a heat gun, alternating back and forth between the two. Obviously you gotta be careful not to burn the fabric. You only get one shot.

    Have you decided on a coating?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    I've just finished covering my Blackfly dinghy with dacron. Amazing how it shrinks up tight - I thought I'd messed up the whole boat but it looked great by the time I was done. Started to apply the Monokote finish yesterday, ironing that on. Found it a bit harder to smooth than the dacron but so far, so good. Maybe I'll have it figured out by the time I finish. I ordered the Monokote without knowing much about it, but reading the information provided I see it is very sensitive to sunlight. I wouldn't have ordered it if I'd known that but I'll use it anyway since I've got it. I'll have to sew a cover for storage as I've run out of sheds.

    Jamie

  13. #13
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Quote Originally Posted by dostoy320 View Post
    Yeah, let me know if I can be of any help. I found the kevlar easy enough to apply. I have my doubts about how useful it is, but it certainly looks cool! I went with the 9oz dacron. It took quite a bit of heat and patience to get it taut. I attacked it from the outside with an iron, and then from the inside/underneath with a heat gun, alternating back and forth between the two. Obviously you gotta be careful not to burn the fabric. You only get one shot.

    Have you decided on a coating?
    I ordered the 2-part Urethane System from Spirit Line, seems like a common sealer, but I'm obviously open to suggestions. I'm also going to try the iron/heat gun combo, easy enough in concept but also sort of nerve-wracking.

    How did you attach your cutwaters? I watched a video on YouTube a while ago where someone built a Classic 12 and they actually used 3M VHB (which is just double-stick tape on sterioids) and I haven't thought through how I'll handle that yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Orr View Post
    I've just finished covering my Blackfly dinghy with dacron. Amazing how it shrinks up tight - I thought I'd messed up the whole boat but it looked great by the time I was done. Started to apply the Monokote finish yesterday, ironing that on. Found it a bit harder to smooth than the dacron but so far, so good. Maybe I'll have it figured out by the time I finish. I ordered the Monokote without knowing much about it, but reading the information provided I see it is very sensitive to sunlight. I wouldn't have ordered it if I'd known that but I'll use it anyway since I've got it. I'll have to sew a cover for storage as I've run out of sheds.

    Jamie
    Oh nice! I hadn't considered going the monokote route but it seems like it leaves a very nice finish. I also have to sew a cover, this one is destined for a place at the lake and during the Summer it will sit on the deck next to my roto-molded kayaks.

    Alright, last post to catch me up on progress pics.

    Finished up the gunwales (minus the rub-rail) and got the floors installed, they are Spanish Cedar. The center-most floors are ~3" wide but sweep quite a bit to fit the curve of the bottom and each other. I tried to keep the floors in line with the stringers, and overall I'm really happy with them. They are a bit longer than the plans call for but I often have one of the kids paddling with me so I figured a few pounds of extra flooring was cheap insurance.





    I also got the thwart and decks (breasthooks?) installed. I wish I had put more thought into the thwart, maybe started with something larger so I could give it a nicer curve, I'm sure it will work just fine but it could have been better for sure.



    I'm also not sure what to do about the stem end as I just have it rounded over right now. I wish I had done a hidden stem or whatever that might be called where the inwale/outwale caps the end grain. This is my 1st boat build of any sort so sometimes things like this just hit me as "Whelp.. I guess I don't know what I don't know". So if anyone has a clever suggestion I'm all ears.



    Next up is some sanding, then varnish this thing and install the kevlar.

    Thanks all for chiming in, appreciate the comments and advice.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Looking good! You might want to sand the stringers back a bit at the stem so you don't get a bump in the skin.
    Stretching a small test piece of fabric over the area will show any bumpy spots.

    Spirit Line coatings are really tough stuff! Directions say to mix for five minutes but it may start to setup before you can get
    It completely applied. Using small batches and mixing for three minutes seems to work best. Rolling it on with a foam roller followed
    by smoothing with a plastic scraper works well.

    Brian Shultz at Cape Falcon Kayak has some good YouTubes on how to do it.

    G'luck!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    How did you attach your cutwaters? I watched a video on YouTube a while ago where someone built a Classic 12 and they actually used 3M VHB (which is just double-stick tape on sterioids) and I haven't thought through how I'll handle that yet.
    Hah, I used VHB, probably based on a recommendation from that same guy! I've only had my canoe out a handful of times, but the cutwater/keel assembly is holding tight, even after running up on some beaches. To supplement the VHB, I secured the cutwaters with brass screws (same as used on the rub rails) through to the stem about a half inch down from the top and then about half way to the water line, both bow and stern. I felt OK punching through the skin as long as it wasn't an area that was going to be submerged.

    Those Spanish Cedar floor boards are beautiful. I kinda cheaped out on floor boards because I wanted to finish the build with what I had on hand. I'm feeling inspired to redo them now!

    I just cut my stem flush with the deck. I was using marine ply, and I think it looks pretty good. Your laminated stem would look sharper!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Been a while since I made an update, but this little canoe is FINALLY done.


    Kevlar install and varnish seal coats went well enough, and the process of stretching the fabric was really very easy. I did burn myself with an iron (because I'm an idiot) but otherwise super simple and it was rewarding to the final shape come together.











    I really struggled with the coating of this little thing and I definitely made the learning curve steeper than I needed to. I should have done little test panels to determine which method I liked, but instead just sort of launched headlong into the 'doing' and I wasn't very happy with the results.


    I started with the Spirit Line Urethane coating, which I found really messy and difficult to work with. I got it done, but I just wasn't a fan. I also didn't like the translucent result, I really thought I would love it, but man I was wrong. (personal preference and all that).






  17. #17
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    In the end the Spirit Line coating acted as my sealing coat and then I covered the bottom with two thinned coats of Polyurethane primer and white paint. Overall I'm happy with the end product but I could have saved a lot of time and probably some weight by not changing my mind.





    I ended up omitting the cutwater, I just hated how it looked and even though I pre-bent them I had a heck of a time trying to get them to lay in place like I wanted without punching a bunch of holes in my fabric. I ended up with this wacky faux chain plate looking thing at the stems, but it's only real purpose was to give me enough material to finish my rubrail in a simple miter.








    The canoe weighs in at 19lbs, which is a bit heavier than the plans state, but I did use heavy weight Dacron, more paint than I needed to, and my floors are much larger than the plans describe, so overall really happy with the end result.


    I took the boat out for it's first trip this last weekend and it was great. The canoe is more tender than the roto-molded kayak I've grown used to, but that's to be expected. It tracks like it's on rails though, which is a pleasant surprise, and it's surpisingly quick. It does come with the trade off of turning like a school bus, but I suppose hull design is always a give/take.





    If I was building another one there are certainly changes I'd make. I wish I had included some kind of pedal option, even in my short test trip I really missed having a pedal set. I'd also make some test panels so I didn't waste a bunch of time, and I'd likely experiment with the wood I decided on.


    This winter I'll be tackling a Penn-Yan Cartopper restoration, and I'm sure I'll be here picking the collective for advice, so thanks for all the comments and knowledge that was shared in this thread, I appreciate it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Quote Originally Posted by steffenme1 View Post
    Been a while since I made an update, but this little canoe is FINALLY done.


    Kevlar install and varnish seal coats went well enough, and the process of stretching the fabric was really very easy. I did burn myself with an iron (because I'm an idiot) but otherwise super simple and it was rewarding to the final shape come together.











    I really struggled with the coating of this little thing and I definitely made the learning curve steeper than I needed to. I should have done little test panels to determine which method I liked, but instead just sort of launched headlong into the 'doing' and I wasn't very happy with the results.


    I started with the Spirit Line Urethane coating, which I found really messy and difficult to work with. I got it done, but I just wasn't a fan. I also didn't like the translucent result, I really thought I would love it, but man I was wrong. (personal preference and all that).





    What a beautiful boat! Look at those lines!

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    WOW! Love it!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    That is a very pretty boat, the detailing is just lovely.

    Assuming you're sitting and using a double bladed paddle, some sort of foot-brace should be a easy enough add on. The secret to turning canoes and kayaks with straightish keel lines, is to heel them, the frees the ends allowing an easier turn.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  21. #21
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Your boat is beautiful.
    I paddle and sail a light weight glued lapstrake canoe with a straight keel and a shallow V bottom. She doesn't want to turn either. I find that shifting my weight aft helps. When going across the wind, I move either forward or aft to help keep her course.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Beautiful! Floats like a feather.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: GA Boats Snowshoe 12

    Quote Originally Posted by dostoy320 View Post
    I went with the 9oz dacron.
    Is the 9 oz Dacron as tightly woven with as smoth a surface as the 3.7 oz material? I am undetaking to build a SOF canoe and I think I would like something stronger than the lighter material, but I am concerned about what the heavier Dacron looks/feels like. I have seen severfal canoes built with lighter-weight Dacron, and like its appearance, but I have not seen anything built with the heavier-seigth stuff.

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