Posts Tagged ‘Six Hour Canoe’

And what a fantastic misadventure it was. I imagine some launchings must be accompanied by fireworks, cheering, and brightly colored streamers. This was not one of them.

We have been working to finish it with the idea of going paddling this weeknd and there were points where I thought we wouldn’t make it. We put the final coat of paint on the gunwales a few days ago and I bought the webbing for the seat yesterday. We got up this morning and Emily got started on the seat, which is webbing wrapped around the frame and woven on both the top and bottom. Its the same method I used for Abigail and it proved both inexpensive and effective. We installed the seat, and this is where things got more interesting.

Today was the first time I had put this long of a boat on top of my car, and the shortcomings of having crossbars that don’t adjust forward and back became evident pretty quickly. We got the boat strapped on, started driving and all seemed well. About a half mile from my place we got on the freeway. Emily said something about the boat moving. At first I thought she meant just the slight wiggle in the bow, but then there was another gust of wind, and the bow started waving back and forth through about a 3 or 4 inch arc. Not good. So we pulled over and Emily did her best to try and fix it or at least make it better. She did her best but it became evident quickly that, though the boat was not going to fall off the car, that it was also not strapped on well enough, particularly with how windy it was getting. We pulled off at the next exit and decided on an alternate launch location.

I slowly picked my way on smaller surface streets, still feeling a bit trepidatious with how the boat was strapped on, to a park under the Sellwood bridge. We had decided at this point not to try and go out for a full paddle together, given the rain and wind, but that we would still take Gertie out for her launch and a quick test. We took her down to the dock and Emily got in first. I quickly noticed that though the stern sits nicely in the water, the front foot of the bottom of the boat at the bow was not submerged. She also seemed to be struggling to keep it pointed up into the wind on the way back. I got in next. I could tell from inside the boat that the bow portion of the bottom was not in the water for me either. It also does not seem particularly fast, though I expected that. It is also a bit funny to propel such a wide boat with a double paddle. The strangest thing came when I started turning it around to face back into the wind and head back to the dock. A gust of wind came up midway into the turn and the boat tried to turn back to my original direction. Well, I stuggled with it a bit and got the boat pointed where I wanted it and returned to the dock.

All told, I would consider today a success. Gertie was launched, at the end of the day nothing was broken, and everyone was still smiling. Launching her today also completed one of my new years resolutions, which was to have her done within the first two months of the year. All that being said, today could also be considered a learning experience. First of all, something needs to be done about the rack setup. Just because the boat is not going to fall off the car doesn’t mean it is strapped on securely. A far better setup would be needed on my car to securely strap a 15 foot boat to the top of it. Secondly, Emily and I both agreed that the seat of Gertie is too far back, but that the frame also happens to be in the way of positioning it where I think it should probably go. My theory is that the boat will be far better behaved with a certain amount of camping gear in it, and with most of that gear in the front.

I will post more observations about her various virtues and shortcomings after we have had a chance to properly test her out. In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of Emily working to keep the boat pointed into the wind.


Read Full Post »

Progress continued on both of the boats under way in the garage over last week and during the weekend. We now have two coats of paint on the interior of Emily’s boat, with one left to go. All we have left to do on that boat after the last interior coat is to paint the trim. Joseph now has all the deck pieces glued lengthwise and he assembled the deck with tape to lay out the wire stitch holes. Its fun to start seeing more of what the final boat will look like.

Here are some pictures from the weekend. As many of you will agree, boat building should be a fun process:

But sometimes you really have to concentrate:

Here is Joseph laying out the position of stitch holes:

Here is a better view of his boat as it looks at the moment:

Read Full Post »

Progress continues on both the 6 hour canoe and the Pygmy Coho.

Last week we got the last two coats of paint on the outside of the hull. On Thursday I took the time to make the seat frame. I decided it would probably be best to take over this step because Emily is a little frightened of my table saw (admittedly, it is a bit of a beast), and I wanted the pieced to be joined with blind mortise and tenon. On Saturday we got to work, and after a bit of last minute sealing we applied two coats of white primer to the seat frame and the interior of the boat. It looks jaunty. After a few days to fully cure, we will be able to paint it.

Over the past two weeks Joseph has sanded most of the exterior of the coho smooth again after the completion of the fill coats. He got to the point where he was ready to glue up the deck panels, and asked if he could put his hull on top of Emily’s boat while he glued them. I said no, but he could suspend his hull several feet above his work surface with some two by fours and webbing. That is what he has done, and it is at once functional and a bit humorous. Over the weekend he got the first few deck panels glued up and he will be gluing the others up soon.

Read Full Post »

New years goals, here we come. Progress was made on both the Coho and the six hour canoe over the weekend.

On the Six hour canoe, we attached the keel with screws and silicone sealant to the bottom of the boat, and it looks great. Here is Emily drilling holes in the bottom of her boat.

Emily smoothed the fillet of sealant with a finger while wearing gloves, as per Joseph’s recommendation and it looks great.

Joseph applied the last of the epoxy fill coats last week and began sanding the epoxy smooth. We also had the chance to flip it over and see the kayak right side up for the first time.

Read Full Post »

Before the varnish had finished drying I began building a “six hour canoe” according to the book by O’Brien/Butz, Montague and Bartoo  so Emily and I could build something she could enjoy helping with as a beginning wood worker. It would also provide us with a second boat so we could get on the water together. Over the previous several months, my twin brother had also made his intentions known that he would like to take over some of my garage to build a Pygmy kayak. Within a few weeks of finishing Abigail, I suddenly had not just my recently completed canoe, but also two other boats in the process of being built. My garage has become a bit cramped, but I can imagine worse problems.

Once again, life has gotten in the way and progress on the current projects in my garage has been slow, but I can’t complain. The six-hour-canoe is almost completed (almost six months later), and my brother is getting back to work on the kayak after a bit of a hiatus.

I am also working on a design for a 14 foot sailing skiff. It is modeled on the 18 foot modified sharpie skiff recorded by Chapelle in American Small Sailing Craft, and which Ruell Parker latter included in The Sharpie Book. My first year in college I spent as a Mechanical Engineering major so I am putting many of the math and physics skills I haven’t dusted off in a while to use.  I am having a great time dreaming about a fun small sailing and rowing boat of my own design. I have the preliminary hull design laid out with the sail plan and location of the centerboard figured out. I am working on figuring out whether the designed center of buoyancy is in the right location. I suspect it may be a bit farther forward that could be called ideal. With a little luck, I would like to begin putting the building jig together in January.

These current projects will likely make up the bulk of my posts for a while. I will sharing my progress and the problems I run into (or that my brother runs into).

Read Full Post »