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lookin to build a boat, need wisdom

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  • #4501
    Jim Morrison
    Participant

    Last week I saw a C1 paddler on the river with a chocolate brown glass boat which he told me that he himself built. :shock: This totally blew my mind and has completely inspired me to try to build my own boat the only problem is I have now clue where to start. If any one out there ( or even the guy that I met on the river) has any info on courses, instruction, or wisdom they could share with me that would be stellar.

    Thanx, keep the dry side up :smile:

    #29015
    Val
    Participant

    I’ve been considering trying this myself, trying the stitch and glue method, which seems quickest and cheapest. Here are a couple of links I’ve found, http://www.harborside.com/~dchurch/woody.htm and http://www.webspawner.com/users/stealthkayak/

    Good luck.

    #29016
    dannyd_canoeyak
    Participant

    before you even start renting equiptment or buying supplies, the first, most crucial and time consuming step is planning and designing the craft. first decide what boat you might like, and for what purpose. Then you can create a design yourself, or get one from the internet somewhere. For designing yourself make sure you know how to do mechanical drawings or know AutoCAD or similar program. Without a well laid out plan, you will be lost like a novice canoe tripper without a map in the middle of algonquin…

    Personally i designed and built a collapsable canoe, used for fishing trips where i hike to the lake or river. 3 meters long, made from a metal pole as the backbone, with 5 ribs surrounded with a poly hull. It didnt take much woodworking to shape the ribs, but it did take a lot of work to shape the hull, and make it into a usable craft that fits in a backpack.

    ….and yes, to test the limits on the thing I went down a class 2 rapid on the madawaska. There were two parts to the rapid – the first – i survived, the second ripped a hole in the hull, but i did make it to the bottom where it swamped.

    Anyways…take a look out for courses and similar workshops, or kits, but I suggest making some designs and doing some reaserch, because I dont think there are much whitewater boat carpentry workshops around. Your best bet is to design, or get the designs to one, and get a carpenter to help. If you have a bit more time and passsion, try it yourself, just as I and probably the guy you met on the river had done.

    Possible materials:
    wood
    wood frame with hand laid fiberglass (ive done this – works great)

    #29017
    GrahameH
    Participant

    I think i know that boat! I figure I’d post a link to the people responsible:

    [url:2a3xsf04]http://www.shaggydesigns.com/[/url:2a3xsf04]

    I’d imagine that it takes lots of patience and trial and error to make something good.

    #29018
    RodeoClown
    Participant

    Ok, so I’ve build a few fiberglass/composite boats from the ground up. My first bit of wisdom:

    DON’T DO IT!!!

    Here’s why: 1)It makes a huge mess. The amount of trash and dust produced is mind boggling. And the fumes are awful 2)It’s expensive- you’ll spend at least the cost of a new retail boat (maybe two) 3)The first few things you make will be absolute crap. Learning the construction techniques are one part with a steep learning curve, then there’s the issue of getting a decent design.

    That being said, it is extremely rewarding if you keep at it and do manage to build something of some quality and get out and paddle it. There are a lot of good tutorials on plug preparation, mold construction, and basic (and advanced) composite construction here: [url:rasw02fg]http://www.fibreglast.com/contentpages-Learning-Center-286.html[/url:rasw02fg] That’ll at least give you a basic idea of the scope of the project. There’s also a good bit of information here [url:rasw02fg]http://www.sweetcomposites.com/#info[/url:rasw02fg] Basically, what you want to do is start with a plug- which is a full-size model of the finished boat made out of whatever you want (foam, wood, whatever), usually covered in fiberglass and… well read the tutorials. I disagree with needing to know autoCAD or how to do mechanical drawings- that would be useful, but most homebuilt boats seem to start with a large chunk of foam and an idea of the shape you want, and then carve away everything that’s not a boat.

    The way I learned to build things out of fiberglass and kevlar was to read up on as much of it as I could, and then started out by building helmets. The mistakes are on a smaller scale- 10’s of $ instead of 100’s of $.

    In the end, it becomes an addiction. "I know I get get it stronger/lighter/prettier, and I just want to tweak this chine a little that way, and flatten out the rocker here and make it wider there, and it’ll perform better." and then you do, and still want to make it a little better…. And then, when you do get it exactly how you want it, and are tired of styrene fumes and fiberglass dust, your friends and/or other people will want you to build one for them.

    Jeremy
    [/url]

    #29019
    cmnypny
    Participant
    "RodeoClown":3ankv9d9 wrote:
    In the end, it becomes an addiction. "I know I get get it stronger/lighter/prettier, and I just want to tweak this chine a little that way, and flatten out the rocker here and make it wider there, and it’ll perform better." and then you do, and still want to make it a little better…. And then, when you do get it exactly how you want it, and are tired of styrene fumes and fiberglass dust, your friends and/or other people will want you to build one for them.

    Jeremy
    [/quote:3ankv9d9]

    I have seen Jeremy’s boat that he built for worlds … its pretty amazing what he can do but he has been doing it for a while!

    #29020
    Jim Morrison
    Participant

    thats totally awesome thanx for your help, wisdom, links, and what I should watch out for. THe post’s are amazing and the links are incredible.
    Who know’s you may see out in a boat of my own some day

    thanx again, everyone <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #29021
    Sads
    Participant

    just wanted to weigh in on this.

    A> fibreglass is only as messy as your application.

    B> i don’t think there are many stitch and glue WW boats available.

    C> using a foam core construction method allows you to make nice even curves and recurves where wood…doesn’t. It also allows you to customized the inside shape of your boat.

    blue insulation foam works well but you have to use Epoxy. the other types of resin… vinyl ester and polyester eat it. The blue foam fairs not to bad and can be cheap if you can find it used off of somebodies house project.

    In fact rapid mag did an article on this type of construction a few years ago.
    it was worth the read

    Shawn

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