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  • Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

    I'd like to carve some models to a scale of two or three inches to the foot, of Northwest Coast canoes. I'm looking for sources of lines and offsets taken from historic examples, but I'm not finding any. Somehow I still think they must be out there somewhere. I especially like what's called the Nootka style, which was very common on the coasts of Washington and Vancouver Island. I believe there are several examples in museums, and that too, would be a helpful thing to know, exactly which museums have what. I've seen quite a number of sites showing modern examples of recreations made for various tribal groups, but once again don't seem to be able to get in contact with the right folks. Eventually I'd like to build a full sized strip planked version in the 25 foot range. There are a few publications that have some incomplete lines like Leslie Lincoln's "Coast Salish Canoes," and models might be carved from this sort of information, but my thought was that complete lines of historic examples would get you closer to the subtleties of the old carvers.

    Of course, I can understand a point of view that this is not how the old carvers did it. They were guided by eye, and their methods and materials.
    Unfortunately the old tress are gone, pretty much, or pretty costly, which brings me to the strip planked idea where lines and offsets would get me a long way down a road I could travel, by carving a model, and then taking it around to compare to examples in various museums, and to see other recreations, then take the lines off a corrected model. This would be a very interesting process, but I'm limited in time and money, and I'd rather find some existing lines and offsets if there are any. Anyone seen anything of the kind, or have other takes on this?

  • #2
    Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

    The local native communities travel to a tribal destination every year 10-20 canoes travel hundreds of miles. There are local builders working on canoes in the traditional style all over this area. A search on Google will yield a ton of info. Also contact the museum at Neah Bay (Macaw people). They have a beautiful canoe on display, They may let you take offsets from the real thing.
    Here are some free plans:

    Free canoe plans for a Coast Salish Style Canoe. At over 27 feet, it's fun for big groups. Designed for cedar strip building.





    https://www.google.com/search?q=building+salish+canoe&tbm=isch&tbo=u&sour ce=univ&sa=X&ei=vnhZUuy6BMm9iwKbwIGQBw&ved=0CEIQsA Q&biw=1280&bih=58




    Last edited by paulf; 10-12-2013, 11:52 AM.
    PaulF

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    • #3
      Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

      Paul, thanks for your thoughts. I live on Vashon Island, by the way. I have been googling this question and pursuing dozens of links and images trying to get to the carvers and builders, or a source of plans and have so far not been able to connect to a source from which scale model replicas might be carved, so I've continued the search. I've not been able to connect as yet with an actual builder or carver, except Duane Pasco who referred me to Leslie Lincoln's book, which is great, but I'm hoping to find an actual table of offsets. I could carve from Leslie Lincoln book or even from photographs. I've noticed that a number of makers have made strip planked version. For these they may have very well used offsets, and these may very well have been taken from historic examples. You may have noticed in the past that tiny illustrations, or abbreviated lines plans with no offsets for other boat forms, say for example Whitehall skiffs, would not really be considered as good a way to reproduce that hull form, in fact would not be considered adequate.
      Yes, canoes are simple hull forms that were arrived at by eye, so they vary depending on the carver, yet i was hoping to find actual drawings taken off existing historic examples so that I might connect to the old carvers genius. I have never taken lines off a hull, like say for example, Chapelle did to write his books, but it is not a short process, and my thought was this work may already have been done. I'm certain I will be able to connect with actual carvers or builders of these craft. But so far I'm still trying to find the links or info that will lead me to them and eventually to actual plans. Failing that I will just start carving and of course I will go to the big canoe rally next summer, and will be visiting museums and tribal centers in between now and then. This is the reason for my posting this thread. To get suggestions on where the best examples are, what plans has any one else heard of, what are the names, locations of actual carvers etc etc. Thanks for posting the free plans above.

      It looks like the offsets exist but I could not find them. I'm not terribly handy on the computer. I may have missed other pages available, not sure.
      thanks again, Hans

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      • #4
        Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

        Hans,

        I'll be a bit surprised if you can find tables of offsets. The only remote possibility I can think of is to contact John McCallum of Applegate Boats - outside of Eugene, Oregon. He's worked with the tribes to build some interesting replica boats... and might have developed offsets for his own use. Good luck.
        David G
        Harbor Woodworks
        https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

        "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)

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        • #5
          Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

          In the 1960's a guy named Bill Durham recorded the lines of many PNW canoes. I think he lived in Seattle or somewhere close. He published a few books, Canoes and Kayaks of Western America, and Indian Canoes of the Northwest Coast.

          ___________________________________
          Tad
          cogge ketch Blackfish
          cat ketch Ratty
          http://www.tadroberts.ca
          http://blog.tadroberts.ca/
          http://www.passagemakerlite.com

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          • #6
            Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

            Originally posted by hansnelsen
            It looks like the offsets exist but I could not find them. I'm not terribly handy on the computer. I may have missed other pages available, not sure.thanks again, Hans
            Hans, The link I sent you has a pdf doc that has the lines of the canoes. The drawings have a scale (1"=1') i think. Even if the PDF is not scaled, you can reference a known dimension such as a station, and scale from there to generate your own table of offsets.

            Last edited by paulf; 10-14-2013, 02:36 PM.
            PaulF

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            • #7
              Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

              The Bill Reid center at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby has considerable info.

              ___________________________________
              Tad
              cogge ketch Blackfish
              cat ketch Ratty
              http://www.tadroberts.ca
              http://blog.tadroberts.ca/
              http://www.passagemakerlite.com

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              • #8
                Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

                Thanks for all the input! And it works! Just before I logged on I found out that it is my old friend Bill Durham who first took the lines off the particular Nootka style canoe I like the best, and it was way back in 1965. The answer was right under my nose and I didn't even know it! His lines also have offsets. He's up in his 90's but still around and lives in Seattle. I also learned that Steve Brown is a carver who has done a lot of these projects for tribal groups, so I'm going to contact him as well. I'm thinking I may be able to volunteer on one of his projects if he's still doing it.

                And it turns out strip planking has already been very successfully tried a number of times for these hulls.

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                • #9
                  Re: Northwest Coast Canoe Lines

                  Originally posted by Gib Etheridge
                  Those hulls were heavy and heavily loaded. Am I the only one who thinks that built as light as strip building will produce that it would just tip over?
                  I think you may have a mistaken idea about the construction of these boats. They were/are red cedar, which is also popularly used in strip plank construction. And they were stored out of the water thus did not soak up much. And the finished thickness was measured in "fingers", one, two, or three. One finger was at the rail, two in the topsides, and three in the bottom. Three fingers is about 2", two is about 1.5", there were no frames, resulting in a light and stiff structure for 30'-40' boat.
                  ___________________________________
                  Tad
                  cogge ketch Blackfish
                  cat ketch Ratty
                  http://www.tadroberts.ca
                  http://blog.tadroberts.ca/
                  http://www.passagemakerlite.com

                  Comment

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