I'm actually building the boat!

A while back, I posted a thread regarding my intention to build a boat. Well, a lot of my ideas of this kind never get off the ground, but this one has.

I’m about to begin proper assembly of the hull - and much of the hardest work is already behind me - this is the stage where it actually starts to look like a boat.

I’ll be updating the project page on my website (linky )as progress continues.

Looks good.

To answer your question on the older thread (about stitch and glue) - no, you don’t remove the stitches after the epoxy cures. For most of the boat the tape was on the inside and the stitches twisted on the outside. After the epoxy cured, I just clipped the wires on the ouside and files them down to be flush with the hull (which was glassed later)


Interesting project. I note that all the progress reports are dated 2007 except for the final one, which says 2003.

Generally true, but epoxy has a defined shelf life, so you might possibly find some available for free because it was outdated. (For non-critical applications, it works fine long after its use-by date.)

I forgot to mention it’s also a time machine.

Thanks for picking that one up!

Thanks - I will probably remove them on mine though - because I’m going to be using plastic cable ties. The plan of action goes like this now:
-Stitch panels together
-Tack glue them from the outside with spots of epoxy
-Remove the stitches, tape the outside of the seams with masking tape
-Turn over (carefully)
-fill and radius the seams with thickened epoxy
-Glass tape and epoxy over the seams
-Turn over again, remove masking tape
-Fill any voids in the outsides of the seams
-Lots of other stuff here - fitting gunwales etc
-Seal and paint

Apparently tacking and removing the stitches makes the glass taping a much easier job.

I would like to ask you about the glass tape - I have 50 metres of 50mm (2 inch) tape - that was the widest I could get - am I going to have to use two strips overlapped, or would 50mm be wide enough on its own?

The tape I used was 50mm and I didn’t double up.

A good place to ask questions from knowledgeable peope (mor so that I - I’ve only made one boat at that was from a kit) is http://www.kayakforum.com/


Very cool project. I am almost glad that I do not have the woodworking abilities to attempt a similar design.

Are you familiar at all with two piece kayak paddles? I carry one in my kayak as a back-up for emergencies. The two pieces snap together and a button/spring is used to keep them together. You can buy the button:

Thanks for that - I’ve seen some people using a single strip of 50mm for Mirror Dinghy construction and those boats routinely take a fair bit more punishment than my river canoe is ever likely to see, but someone on a canoe-building board said 100mm was best - minimum 75mm or 2x50mm (with a 15mm overlap). I think they probably just like to over-engineer things.

I’m going to go for one strip of 50mm then - as long as I don’t skimp on the filleting and gluing in the actual seam, I reckon it should be fine.

I’ve seen them - does yours have clip-on handles?

I want to make mine, but I’m going to wait and see what the boat looks like when it’s finished - I think I’ll be able to get more of a feel for the kind of paddle I need when I’ve seen the finished size and shape of the thing.
I know I should have a fairly good idea of that right from the design stage (and I do, sort of), but seeing something in the flesh is often different to visualising it or even building models - I think the finished boat is going to be more slender and tapering than the cardboard models I made, because of the rounding of the panel shoulders and the stiffness of the plywood.

Between the blade and handle? No, that is one piece.

If you have access to Canoekayak magazine http://www.canoekayak.com/ you should check it out. They have had many articles on building boats. The design often centers around maximizing stability, while still having a fast, agile boat. This is all over my head, but I still read the articles. :smiley:

I do not have much to say except cool project. I built three plywood boats about 15 years or so ago. The first was horrible, the second not so bad. The third could be rowed, sailed or motored.

Have fun.

How did you find out how long a cubit is.?

Ah - I think I understand - you’re talking about a collapsible double-ended paddle? I was pondering whether I can make single canoe paddles that can join up into a double.

Thanks - I’ll have a look at that, although I’m way past the point where I can make significant changes to the design of this craft. I have found myself idly thinking about ‘my next boat’ already though!

Work on the hull has progressed very nicely this evening - I have had to add another page to the journal. (linky )


Are you building it in the basement?

It’s in my garage which is built into the ground floor of my house. I know what you’re thinking… When laid on its side, it should just about squeeze through an ordinary door (and there is a door opening from the garage direct to the outside, but if that’s a problem, the main garage door can be opened to get it out.

Progress continues at a comfortable, but satisfying rate.

I have two more seams to tack, then I can start the proper gluing and glass taping. I also need to add some timbers for stiffening, but it won’t need much of this - mostly in the central section where the seams are parallel and the bottom might be prone to popping inwards (there’s a term for this phenomenon - I just can’t remember it).

Here is a pic of a typical 2 piece kayak paddle. Not designed to be used as 2 singles, though.

What do you plan on doing with your feet? In a canoe, kneeling is appropriate, while in a kayak there are footpegs.

I’m planning to sit quite low down inside the hull - because there might otherwise be stability issues with the rounded bottom, so there will be some kind of foot brace. I’ll probably install a flat duck board floor and cover it with some of that soft, non-slip water-permeable mesh - so kneeling might still be possible if stability permits.

I have to warn you that badkittypriestess could be hunting you down if I ever get any free time. I have the whole thing planned out - I’ll draw out the plans, buy 75% of the stuff I need, realize the 25% I didn’t buy is required to proceed past the stage that takes up the most room, and then see something shiny.

But maybe I’ll tag along when she goes over to smack you for giving me the idea and I’ll get a trip out of it.

Oh, and looking good! I had a lucky layoff a couple of years ago and bought a filthy big canoe, but it has no style compared to what you’re building.