Free Canoe Building tips

Discussions about the free plans distributed at bateau.com and BoatPlans-OnLine.com.
YUKONGEO
New Poster
New Poster
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:41 pm
Location: MARSH LAKE, YT

Free Canoe Building tips

Post by YUKONGEO » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:48 pm

I needed a small double paddle boat for hunting in swampy places, and had never built a stitch-and-glue boat before, so I built the free canoe. I've built boats using lapstrake, plank-on-frame, and traditional (glue and screw) plywood methods, so this made for an interesting comparison. My main negatives re stitch-and-glue, of course, the sticky messiness of epoxy and fabric, and the fact that you can't just start building and work until you are finished, because each step you have to wait for the resin to harden before you can move on, so the build is spread over several days. For comparison, I could have cut out and assembled the boat in a short day, using a traditional approach.

Here's a few tips for the neophyte to stitch-and-glue building this plan:
1. Since building forms aren't used, the boat pieces must be accurately cut, as the final shape of the boat depends on this.
2. The sides are each in two pieces, joined in the center of the boat. Use a long straight edge to ensure that the straight (top) edge of the side panel is aligned, before gluing it together. I use an 8 ft long piece of 2x2 angle aluminum for a straight edge, and just clamp the pieces to it.
3. The bottom is in two pieces, so to ensure it is assembled in alignment, on each piece draw a line from the point to the center of the wide end. Then with the pieces butted together, use a long straight edge to get the pieces aligned, and clamp them, to your workbench before gluing together.
4. When aligning the sides and bottom together, first line up and secure the side and bottom joints in the center of the boat, then work toward the ends. This helps keep the boat from being lopsided.
5. Duct tape didn't work well for me, so I used plastic wire ties (3 in each end, and 3 on each side) to pull everything somewhat in shape. Then I used a hot melt glue gun, and worked along the chines, holding the pieces together with my fingers and placing dabs of glue. Work down both sides at the same time to keep everything aligned. Then run a strip of tape down each chine to keep the resin from dripping throught when doing the filleting on the inside. The plastic wire ties are easily removed after the resin hardens, or you can just clip them off with wire cutters.
6. Before filleting, with the boat upright, place a few straight sticks accross the top, and see if they are all in the same plane. If you see that the boat has a twist, straighten it before gluing it permanently.
7. Run the filleting goop down the chines with the cake decorater bag approach, as this gives a pretty uniform bead. Don't bother to shape the bead at this stage. Then, working on a plastic covered workbench or board, resin saturate 4 ft strips of glass tape, and lay the saturated tape onto the fillet bead. Now, using a stiff paintbrush, you can easily press the tape into the goop and feather out the edges to quickly made a nicely shaped fillet, well stuck to the plywood.
8. For abrasion resistance, I sheathed the bottom with light weight polyester fabric set in epoxy. Polyester fabric is way more abrasion resistant than fiberglass fabric. I got my polyester fabric at Walmart - look at drapes or bedding. Polyester fabric is somewhat harder to wet out and get wrinkle free than glass fabric.
9. If any metal tools get hardened epoxy on them, soak them in vinegar, or boil them in water for half an hour, to soften the epoxy and let you peel it off.

I hope some new builders find these tips helpful. Happy building!



narfi
* Bateau Builder *
* Bateau Builder *
Posts: 843
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:55 pm
Location: Bush Alaska

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by narfi » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:00 pm

All good guides/reviews need pictures :)

Jeff
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3389
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:17 pm
Location: Vero Beach

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by Jeff » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:37 pm

YUKONGEO, Welcome to our Builders Forum!! We hope you enjoy all of our builders!! Again, welcome, Jeff

User avatar
Capt UB
Very Active Poster
Very Active Poster
Posts: 882
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:12 pm
Location: DeLand, Florida

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by Capt UB » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:59 pm

My next build is the NC16. Taking notes on your thread.
Thanks.
Bob
FS14, getting wet soon.... LM18 (Laguna Madre Skiff 18). Plans, plywood and supplies, in hand. Late summer build 2018/19 build, This is a beautiful designed boat.

jtdums
Active Poster
Active Poster
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:15 am
Location: United States
Location: Davidson, NC

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by jtdums » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 am

Some good build points. Thanks for posting.
I've not heard of using the polyester on the bottom for abrasion resistance. Ever test it out? Have you used it on other boats?
Sanding is cathartic...

YUKONGEO
New Poster
New Poster
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:41 pm
Location: MARSH LAKE, YT

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by YUKONGEO » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:48 pm

Image

Here's a picture of the inside of the finished boat. I made the central rib from a spruce tree root, so it's very strong with the grain following the rib around the corner. It's glued and screwed in. In the ends, I glued & screwed large dowels, instead of plywood triangles. These make comfy handles and convenient places to tie ropes. This also eliminates the moisture traps created by breast hooks, which trap water when the wet boat is inverted. A couple of my previous boats developed decay up under the breast hooks. The dowels provide the necessary triangular bracing, and are plenty strong for carrying or dragging the boat around.

YUKONGEO
New Poster
New Poster
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:41 pm
Location: MARSH LAKE, YT

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by YUKONGEO » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:30 pm

jtdums wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 am
Some good build points. Thanks for posting.
I've not heard of using the polyester on the bottom for abrasion resistance. Ever test it out? Have you used it on other boats?
The Bateau store carries Xynole, a polyester fabric which drapes nicely over a hull. Also available from Defender Industries. Home aircraft builders buy lightweight polyester fabric for covering aircraft wings and fuselages - sold by businesses such as Aircraft Spruce.

A standard sailcloth is also polyester fabric. Heavy polyester fabric is also used in manufacture of shop filter bags.

Skin on frame boat builders use polyester fabrics from all those sources to cover their boats. A nice feature is that you can heat shrink the fabric to tighten it. Almost any paint or varnish serves to fill the weave and waterproof it. Ballistic nylon, the other fabric used to cover SOF boats is very fussy about what can be used to waterproof it, and it swells and loosens in humid conditions.

Having said all that, some 40+ years ago I recovered a wood/canvas canoe with polyester aircraft fabric, sealed with butyrate aircraft dope. This boat was dragged over river bottoms, beaches, etc with no damage whatsoever for many years until I donated it to any anonymous needy paddler in the middle of the night. For all I know, it's still going strong.

Since my little canoe project needed to be completed quickly, I just found some light polyester fabric at Walmart and used that. My boat has had some rough use, including dragging it along a 50 yard portage, and just shows a bit of scuffing. Time will reveal how well the cheapo fabric holds up.

Hope this helps.

narfi
* Bateau Builder *
* Bateau Builder *
Posts: 843
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:55 pm
Location: Bush Alaska

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by narfi » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:42 pm

i was under the impression that the polyfabric used to cover aircraft(such as stits or ceaconite) was similar to what is used for peelply in composits.
I assumed from that it does not make a good bond with epoxy to glass?

jtdums
Active Poster
Active Poster
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:15 am
Location: United States
Location: Davidson, NC

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by jtdums » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:32 am

narfi wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:42 pm
i was under the impression that the polyfabric used to cover aircraft(such as stits or ceaconite) was similar to what is used for peelply in composits.
I assumed from that it does not make a good bond with epoxy to glass?
I'm no expert in this...but,I know peelply can come in both Nylon and polyester. In my experience I would agree with Narfi that it doesn't bond to the epoxy intentionally. Maybe the polyester in the previously mentioned use is not so much impregnated as "sandwiched" between layers of epoxy, or maybe all polyester peelply is coated and non coated will absorb the epoxy.

The heat shrink dacron (uncoated polyester from George Dyson) that I've used with SOF building certainly absorbs paint and you are able to get an excellent bond.

Quickly outside my knowledge base...maybe more experience/knowledge will chime in from here.
Sanding is cathartic...

User avatar
topwater
* Bateau Builder - Expert *
* Bateau Builder - Expert *
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:27 pm
Location: Florida
Location: Florida

Re: Free Canoe Building tips

Post by topwater » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:47 am

Dynel is also another choice that offers excellent abrasion resistance , easy to work with , lightweight, you don't ich when
you sand it.
Novi 23 finally launched !

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest