View topic - Building a cedar strip canoe and need opinions

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2020, 7:19 pm 
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Joined: August 4th, 2011, 8:08 pm
Posts: 6
I am planing to build a cedar strip canoe and am considering:

1) the tandem trip from ashes Stillwater boats
https://ashesstillwaterboats.com/canoe- ... ndem-trip/

2) the freedom 17 from Bear Mountain
https://www.bearmountainboats.com/colle ... freedom-17

I am curious if anyone has any experience paddeling either of these boats? I am slightly more interested in the Ashes tandem trip because of the recurve tumblehome. The only thing that gets me with this boat is that the description says that it favours efficiency over stability. I usually paddle my 16.5" prospector, but when I rent I always rent the Clipper Tripper so if the stability is comparable to this boat then I'm happy.

Does anyone have any experience with these boats?


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 11:31 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6233
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Don't know about the Ashes canoe... the best way to find out if a Freedom 17 will be comfortable enough would be to test paddle one of the Bluewater composite canoes... maybe the manufacturer could recommend a dealer that will allow test paddles.

https://abitibico.ca/en/about-us

There are some good comments made here:

https://paddling.com/gear/bluewater-can ... e/#reviews

Bryan Hansel liked the Freedom 17 cedarstrip he built and paddled on canoe trips... comments here:

https://www.paddlinglight.com/articles/ ... -and-back/

Contact Info
Bryan Hansel Photography
PO Box 149
Grand Marais, MN 55604-0149
Email: bryan@bryanhansel.com
Phone: (218) 370-8351

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 11:33 am 
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Joined: February 26th, 2009, 11:13 am
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Location: Eganville, ON
I've been paddling a freedom for nearly 20 years. It is a great boat for park style trips under a week long; but not overly seaworthy for big water and rapids. It is very pleasant to paddle solo; and will tackle bigger water as a solo boat.

It is certainly an efficient boat; but if you want a faster boat look into the 19 foot options. For a few pounds more you pickup a lot of speed on open water.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2020, 7:07 pm 
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Thanks for the input. I didnt know the freedom 17 is manufactured on mass by Bluewater. What is the history there? Is the design licensed? Or just a very similar boat?

I am actually more interested in hearing about the Ashes tandem trip, that's the boat I am liking by looking at the stats/plans. I feel like the freedom is the safe option - I'm sure I'll like it.

I also like that the freedom will solo nicely. When you solo it, do you use a third seat in the middle? Or just paddle from the rear seat with bags/weight to blast?


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PostPosted: August 25th, 2020, 8:00 am 
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Joined: February 26th, 2009, 11:13 am
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Location: Eganville, ON
For solo I tape a foam saddle and kneepads directly behind the yoke using mounting tape. It is strong enough to hold for an entire trip, but can still be slowly removed when you want. I'll remove the other 2 seats to cut down the weight.

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PostPosted: September 10th, 2020, 7:42 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2019, 7:00 am
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Eanema, did you find out any further information on the Ashes Tandom trip? I recently finished a Solo Day by Ashes. I like it, and now want to build a tandom and was looking at the same options as you are. I like the design of the Ashes boat, and it seems similar to the Freedom 17 on paper in terms of core specs, but there is very little information on its actual use/performance that I can find (due to its relative newness I assume). The Freedom, on the other hand, has a long and pretty positive track record among builders and others. Tempting to go with the tried and true Freedom, but then again I also like the idea of something a bit more unique. Anyway, I will be making up my mind in a couple of weeks - let us know if you have made a decision, or if you found any more info on the Ashes Tandom. Thx


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2020, 11:42 pm 
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Joined: August 4th, 2011, 8:08 pm
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I emailed Trevor Paetkau from ashes and he basically said that they are very similar boats with respect to stability. Although my decision isn't final yet, I believe I'm going to get the plans for the tandem trip from ashes. I just like it better on paper, and everything points to this just being a freedom with more style points. Besides, if I don't like it I can always just make another one right?! ;-)

This is going to be my first boat and I suspect it will take me a while to get it floating, life is slow with a new baby. How did the solo day build go? Did the tumblehome give you any issues?

I would love to hear from someone who has actually paddled one of these boats.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2020, 8:31 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2019, 7:00 am
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The Solo Day build went fine, but there were more than a few first-timer anxious/confused moments. Laying the strips, including around the tumblehome, was not as stressful as the fibreglassing was for me.

I am also leaning towards the Ashes Tandem Trip - like the shape and the fact that it is stemless. Waiting to hear back from Trevor on a question about building it light.


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