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Thread: 1st boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1

    1st boat

    I would like to build a stitch and glue canoe 15-16ft. Has anyone built JEM merrimac or bateau hiawatha? I was even thinking of possibly designing my own or modifying some free plans. Do you think that this is a bad idea? I would like to hear details about anyones canoe building experiece. Did you use common ply or marine, glass just seams or entire hull, just epoxy coat or paint, and what plans? How does it paddle? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind I would like to keep this 1st project as budget minded as possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    6

    lots of questions

    I am not sure if anyone could answer so many questions in one message. I am working on a Cirrus LT kayak (first boat) and it is made of marine okoume plywood with a 6oz layer of fiberglass on the hull, and 4oz on the deck. The inside surfaces are also fiberglassed. I think it best to pick a plan and follow it for the first project. That way any problems along the way can probably be answered by the designer. Hope this helps. Ken.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by sn1
    I would like to build a stitch and glue canoe 15-16ft. Has anyone built JEM merrimac or bateau hiawatha? I was even thinking of possibly designing my own or modifying some free plans. Do you think that this is a bad idea? I would like to hear details about anyones canoe building experiece. Did you use common ply or marine, glass just seams or entire hull, just epoxy coat or paint, and what plans? How does it paddle? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind I would like to keep this 1st project as budget minded as possible.
    Well the Merrimac is my design but I'll try and land the other questions objectively:

    Designing and your own or modifying free plans can be fun at first, but frustrating when you build. Until you've built a boat or 2, it's tough to correctly judge the impact or your changes with regard to performance and ease-of-build.

    Lots of times, minor "oops" can be fixed as you build. But those oops's come up even when you build to specifcation. Most hulls are designed now with software that makes all the lines blend as one unit. Making changes impact the entire design.

    Marine ply will give you lighter weight, more consistent strength amoung the plys, will finish easier, and look nicer. It'll also give you a high price tag, especially if you make an error and have to recut. Home-Depot grade ply is much cheaper but heavier and you risk having hidden voids. If you choose the Home Depot grade ply, find a grade of exterior ply called "underlayment". It's supposed to have no voids. Call your local lumber yards. Ask for exterior grade, soft-wood species, with no voids and see what they have. Luan is typical. Stay away from hardwood like oak.

    Just taping the seams is generally easier for a 1st time builder. But it depends on how close the seams are to each other. Fairing the edge of fiberglass tape can be a pain. Use cloth coverage is more expensive (resin and cloth) but it allows you to use thinner plywood.

    My advice: Pick a set of plans that is closest to your needs and build that one. Keep it simple at first. Maybe try and contact the designer and ask about the mods you're thinking of making.
    Last edited by JEM; 03-10-2005 at 11:34 AM.


 

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