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Thread: dugout pirogue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    denham springs, louisiana
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    This is my first post so bear with me. I build dugout pirogues from 800+ year old logs. The dugout pirogue is the oldest boat design from Louisiana. Here are some photos of the process. I hope you enjoy them.



    More photos will follow later. La Pirogue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Kanagawa, JAPAN
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    .
    la.pirogue, thanks a million for posting the photos and tellin' us about building dugouts !
    I sure hope you'll do a photo and description of the whole process.

    I spent many a night poling a priogue down the Pearl River delta hunting nutria. Back then, we'd get a dollar apiece for bounty and the meat, for feeding some other animals; mink I think it was. Only craft I've ever had that'd "float on a heavy dew".

    Anyway, dugout building technique all but disappeared after the Native people, trappers, fishermen, and a lot of Cajuns stopped making them as often. I think it's very admirable that you're keeping the craft alive.

    I hope you become rich and famous !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Bangor, ME
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    Hey, nice! Cypress sinkers?

    After the arrival of steel tools did fire continue to play a role in dugout making? Ever use it yourself?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    rockland, Maine USA
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    Hi,
    Good on you, man! I can't think of anything that that old log deserves more than to become a hand-hewn pee-rogue. Please do post more pictures when you can. Thanks alot.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
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    denham springs, louisiana
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    fire was a small part after steel,as in charring to stop the ends from splitting. even today the water/sap wants to come out to fast after being underwater for hundreds of years. i use linseed oil or paint to slow it down. if it comes out to fast it will check or split so we retard it.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2003
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    San Clemente CA
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    Cool! Keep the photos coming.
    HF

  7. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    denham springs, louisiana
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    Here are some pictures.




    bon voyage. keith

  8. #8
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    Dec 2001
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    rockland, Maine USA
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    Hi again,
    So when you make these pirogues, are you able to keep the pith of the log out of the finished product? Seems like you could with some of those big old logs. How are these dugouts compared to plank built pirogues in use? Geez, just when my plans to dub out a chesapeake sailing log canoe start to fade in my mind, you go and post this business. Sure looks nice and warm down there.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2001
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    rockland, Maine USA
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    Looks like if you put that seat three inches further aft, you'd have a wet fanny!

  10. #10
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    Nov 2004
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    Naples, FL
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    Beautiful! I once found an old man making dugout sailing canoes from cedrela trees on the Island of San Andreas, 150 miles off the coast of Nicaragua. The local fishermen took them through Johnny Pass into the Caribbean and trolled for little blackfin tuna with handlines. These guys were some kind of boatmen! Looks like you'd fit right in there wiht them!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Bangor, ME
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    How are these dugouts compared to plank built pirogues in use?

    What our friend Keith has, as far as form stability goes, is about like a "Six Hour Canoe." That ply, quick and dirty, pirogue, the canoe, is actually "better" because it has higher sides, and a bit more meat in general.

    But that's not why Keith is doing this. He's doing it because it's beautiful.

    I'd like to hear more about the finding of the logs. They are cypress, yes? How do you locate them? You may want to keep that a secret, and if so, I understand.

    [ 12-25-2005, 06:41 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cold Spring on Hudson
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    W W this gives an entirely new level to the term wooden boat

    Incredible work, thank you for sharing.

    [ 12-25-2005, 07:10 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    denham springs, louisiana
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    We take the log and split it in half. The center of the log will have a shake in it (from hundreds of years of hurricanes, bending in the wind)that needs to be cut out.It is not usually good in a large solid piece. The plank pirogue will float higher with the chine and sides being a tight 26 to 36 degree angle, the bottom will be wider. The sides on the dugout will be rounded, therefore the flat bottom will be smaller. Both will ride on dew or a couple inches of. The seat is not fixed, it will slide, so you can adjust how far the bow will be out of the water. Logging wil have to be another thread. Some are on the bank (after a storm), or in shallow or deep water. Finding is one thing, getting it out is something else. Most of the time we don't pull non-cypress out. Later keith

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Shepperton, England
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    In June this year my wife and I travelled over 110 miles down the Tsiribihina (pron. see-ree-been) river in Madagascar in dugouts like this one...



    Actually this is a fairly small one, the biggest I paced out at over 40 feet long. They are made from a very heavy hard wood, I forget the name but it's not one I recognised. The big trees are becoming very scarce due to deforestation, a dugout of this size is now very expensive and there's a long waiting list. Pretty much the only people who could afford a new one are those who run tourist trips down the river, after 4 or 5 years cracks start to open up which are caulked with some kind of resin or pitch, and then patched with bits of tin can nailed on the outside.
    After this they are sold on to traders who carry all sorts of goods up and down the river. The empty pirogue in the picture is being punted back upstream, this can take up to 3 weeks depending on how fast the river is flowing, for which the piroguier earns about US$10.
    It's common to see heavily laden old pirogues with one older guy sitting at the stern steering, while one or two young boys bale like mad to keep the thing afloat!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    denham springs, louisiana
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    Swampman returns after a long day of hunting among the cypress trees in the bayous of south Louisiana. His hand-hewn dugout, made from an 800+ year old sinker cypress log has served him well. [img]smile.gif[/img] Keith


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