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 Post subject: Building playboats
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 12:57 pm 
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I was going through some old files on my computer and came across some photos of old boat projects that I thought a few here would enjoy seeing. This link will take you to a photo of my first attempt at creating a playboat. The canoe was made from stuff left over from other boat projects and I don't think I invested more than $100 in it, a good attribute to have for something that might not survive very long. The lines from this canoe were created when I lofted a 16 ft Richardson canoe in cedar and canvas that I restored and really enjoyed paddling. You can see specs for the original by following this link which goes to a catalog page Jack Wagner (Ogiivyspecial) sent me. The original Richardson has the same kind of characteristics that make the Chestnut Prospector so popular, but I find it to be a more responsive boat. I shrunk my playboat two feet shorter than the the lines I took off the original and there were two ways I could have accomplished that. I could have moved all the stations closer together, or I could have removed the center station and one on either side making the station on the other side of center become the new center. I chose the easy way out and left out the two stations. Because the Richardson is a very round canoe, removing the center got rid of a lot of inital stability from the original which wasn't that stable to begin with making the new playboat very sensitive. I nicknamed it "the equalizer" because I used to loan it to white water students who were getting a little cocky about their skills. Few people could handle it well and most had a hard time just getting in without tipping. It helped give them a better understanding that they still had a bit to go before they were really proficient.

Most of the planking for this canoe came from an old cedar clothesline pole in the backyard that we didn't need anymore. I used a couple of split air bags intended to act as center floatation for a tripping canoe in the ends but that wasn't quite enough. I made up the difference with some inflatable crayola crayons one of the local toy stores was giving away. The kid sitting on the back floatation is my oldest son Kyle who is 19 now and spends as much time as he can doing rodeo moves in a coverted Liquid Logic Big Wheel on the Ottawa. Based on the way he paddles now, I like to think the early start he got made a difference.

I have a completed hull of the original at full size in the basement waiting to be trimmed out. Looking forward to getting that on the water if I can ever reduce the volume of stuff in my "honey do" pot.

This link and this link take you to a couple of photos of playboat v2.0 which I designed from scratch based on what I'd learned from v1.0. I kept the cost on this one down too by using leftovers, but since I didn't have the clothesline pole anymore, an old cedar picnic table became the organ donor breathing life into my project. I used some fairly traditionial lines for the bellow water portion of the boat and radically altered the above water lines to make it drier. This canoe was made before most of the playboats came on the market, so there wasn't much to compare it to. Even back then, I knew that a flat carving surface on the bottom would be desirable and that became part of the design. There was very little rocker through most of the hull with just the ends flaring up to make it easy to spin. I wanted the contact surface to be fairly broad, yet wanted the gunnels narrow enough for easy paddle control so I put a fair bit of tumblehome in the design. While that worked, what I realized after paddling it for a bit is that I should have kept the sides more plumb and solved the paddle problem by tucking the last bit of hull just under the gunnels in tighter - which is fairly common on playboats now. In case the paddler at the controls looks familiar, it's being put through it's paces by Mark Scriver. Mark pronounced it a fun ride once he got back on shore.


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 Post subject: Re: Building playboats
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 1:17 pm 
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Rolf,

Those are some pretty cool boats. Do they still exist? I enjoyed reading your thought process in designing them and how they related to newer playboats currently on the market.

Funny, I'm in the process of putting thoughts together for a solo ladies flatwater tripping boat. There just don't seem to be small canoes that ladies can portage and paddle well. Haven't condsidered buiding a playboat as there is far to little playboat type water here and driving 800 miles for the weekend can only happen so often.

PK


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 1:20 pm 
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Interesting indeed. Thanks!

Do you bead and cove the planks from the cedar pole and table?

Nice!

Boneli

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"Preservation of our waterways comes from those with little voices, big paddles, strong backs, weak minds and thick hides with which to ignore the bug bites." Organizer of "The Wabakimi Project"


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 Post subject: Re: Building playboats
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 1:39 pm 
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pknoerr wrote:
Those are some pretty cool boats. Do they still exist? I enjoyed reading your thought process in designing them and how they related to newer playboats currently on the market.


The boats still exist, but are in desperate need of attention. Just as I was noodling with v3.0 the manufacturers started making comparable boats in ABS so I stopped making the strippers. I still have an idea for a playboat that I haven't seen anyone attempt yet, so I might build that one, but it's even farther down the list that's still titled "honey do" before I can attempt such an indulgence.

Boneli - there was no bead and cove on the planking, but I'm pretty good with tools so the fit is tight. Considering the source of the wood, it might be appropriate to say the planking was fitted bread and crumb . :-?


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 2:26 pm 
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Rolf I think you e-mailed me one of those pics a year or two ago and the idea had been rattling around in my brain for a while that I should build one as well... Since we moved south and aquired a garage I noticed that it has only one car and I've decided to build a cedar strip playboat. So far I've designed it in a freeware program (Bearboat classic), built the strongback and am in the midst of lofting and cutting out the stations. 6 stations are done, 3 more lofted and then I just need to do the stems before I start thinking about the cedar.

Basics of the boat - just under 10 feet long with 5 inches of rocker bow and stern with the intent of being a bigger volume water boat rather than a creeker. Fairly soft chines with a flat bottom. The cockpit area will have a double saddle, one spot for either me or my wife and the other spot will be a child size saddle for our son.

I'll likely post questions as I run into them soon since this is the first full size stripper I'm making. I'll also start posting some pictures so people here can follow the progress (or lack thereof) of the boat. Other projects will take priority (Thomas the Train table etc) so it will go slowly.

My first question is likely going to be when I start the fiberglass... how many layers of 6 oz cloth on the high impact areas?


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 2:39 pm 
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eranandrechek wrote:
My first question is likely going to be when I start the fiberglass... how many layers of 6 oz cloth on the high impact areas?


Just one. Knowing your boat is cedar and fiberglass is going to make you a better paddler than you already are, so you're not going to hit many things, right? :-? If you do slip up the odd time, you don't want your hull to be too brittle. Going with one layer will let some flex happen if you bang it hard and means less damage to the hull. If you do ding it to the point of needing repair, that'll be easier with one layer as well. I've loaned out both boats to a lot of paddlers over their time in service. They're at the stage now that I really should redo the outer layer of fiberglass, but they've both held up remarkably well considering the use they've been put to.

One other reason to get really good: you're going to be pretty unique paddling your stripper and if you muck up a line EVERYBODY knows who it was.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 3:03 pm 
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Rolf Kraiker wrote:
One other reason to get really good: you're going to be pretty unique paddling your stripper and if you muck up a line EVERYBODY knows who it was.


The other reason will be the 40 pound weight kneeling in front of me! Grandparents are going to freak right out when the see him shooting down a C3 on video for the first time. Fortunately for them we're still in the C2 and under stage.

Thanks for the tip about the fiberglass - I got more than a few e-mails telling me not to bother making this kind of boat and that it wouldn't stand up to the use I'd put it through. I'd even started to think about graphite on the bottom, but I'll try out the single layer first now. It won't be a 32 pound LightJay special though!


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 3:42 pm 
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eranandrechek wrote:
It won't be a 32 pound LightJay special though!


I'd expect your boat should come in under 32 pounds without outfitting. I'd anticipate your 10 ft. hull should be in the 15-20 pound range when you've fiberglassed it inside and out. Depending on what you trim it with after that, I'd guess you'd be looking at an additional 10-15 pounds. I went with two thwarts and ash gunnels inside and out. You could use spruce on the inside to shave a bit off, but for such a short boat I don't think it's worth it. For v2.0, I made a cross piece from mahogany and then made the deckss using the same stripper process used on the hull. That gave me the ability to create decks that were much better at shedding water and also weighed a lot less. I made my saddles before mini-cell foam was readily available. To get what I wanted, I laminated a bunch of standard home construction style sheets of styrofoam insolation to form a block and then shaped it to suit me and fit under the thwarts. Those saddles actually stood up very well too and didn't cost much to make. I'd originally planned to cover the saddles with some ensolite to make them more durable but never bothered.

Just curoious about why you'd put your child in front of you? As you can tell by the photo, I used to put mine behind, mostly because I didn't want to whack them with a paddle on cross moves.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 3:43 pm 
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Rolf Kraiker wrote:
One other reason to get really good: you're going to be pretty unique paddling your stripper and if you muck up a line EVERYBODY knows who it was.


Yeah, and if they aren't looking that direction they surely will when the boat hits the rock unlike when you're paddling rubber :lol:

PK


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 4:44 pm 
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I was thinking in front of me rather than behind since he has a tendency (so far) to dive over the gunnels to play in the water. I need to be able to keep an eye on him and it usually means that one of the parents is on man-to-man defence when we paddle with him.

I'm still thinking about how to set up the saddles / thighstraps and would like to make the saddle adjustable towards the bow / stern - perhaps on rails. If the design I'm considering actually works then I'd be able to remove / change seat locations fairly easily - that way as he gets older then he could go behind me and I could do offside strokes without beating his head first! If the design is a bust it won't be a big loss since 12x12x3 sheets of minicel are so cheap. Right now the idea is to have two rails running lengthwise and they'd big far enough apart to fit the saddle between them. The saddle would then be secured with two dowels inserted through the rails and saddle at the front and the back of the saddle. BUT that's getting ahead of myself since I still have to cut out a few more stations.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2004, 5:16 pm 
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Eran, your 10' boat without the WW outfitting should weigh under 25lbs assuming 1/4" cedar and 6 oz glass. Cherry for the gunwales and thwarts will save weight obver ash and still be hard and strong enough. And It is pretty. I would strongly advise a second layer of glass on the exterior football/collision area if you plan to do other than play in deep water and want to use this boat for a long time. Multiple layers of light glass are stronger than single plies of heavier glass, if you are really concerned about both weight and durability. Epoxy provides quite a bit of friction when attempting to slide over rocks, far more than Royalex, and graphite in the final coating would help significantly. Yes, you will be a more careful paddler...for a while. Have fun. Jay


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2004, 1:00 am 
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Eran, I just realized I didn't read your question about fiberglass carefully enough - missed the 6oz part. I used a single layer of 10oz on the canoes I made. A single 6oz wouldn't be strong enough for the kind of use you'll be putting it to, double it. Jay has a point about multiple layers being stronger, but from my point of view the extra effort wasn't warranted since I already had the 10oz and doubling that up wasn't going to get me any closer to bestowing ABS-like properties on the boat, it would just make it heavier and cost more.. The single 10oz layer worked just fine as far as I'm concerned and I'd have no qualms about doing it again in v3.0 if I ever build it.

For my boats, I made a point of making them as cheaply as I possibly could. I scrounged as much as possible to keep the cost down, but didn't scrimp on the workmanship I put into it. From my perspective, I wanted to make sure that if I wound up wrapping it around a rock, the only remorse I'd have would be the loss of memories. My thinking was that if I invested too much in it, I would be uncomfortable paddling it in stuff that might cause concern and that would restrict both skill development and enjoyment.


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2004, 10:24 am 
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For a number of years it seemed like the whole canoe playboat maket had come to a dead stop . But as in the last few years with boat builders such as Esquif, they`ve found a new life. People are really takeing up the sport , a number of boats are being designed and built every year.

Even as we speak Mark Scriver in conjunction with Esuif is designing a new free style boat. ( not a secret )

Even Mark has come out of retirerment to compete for Canada in this years worlds white water free style in open canoe down in Australia. :clap:

I think this year Canada has a good chance at a gold, Canada`s 2004 pre-worlds C1 Champian Paul Danks is at the top of his game. I was watching him at the Garb on the Otttawa river this summer. WOW does this guy have the moves !!!!!!! :o :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2004, 10:12 am 
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Although I haven't made much progress I put together a quick webpage with the building of the cedar strip playboat. Perhaps the most interesting part so far is the screenshot of the design. I'm making Christmas presents now - mini paddles for nephews, beaver with a tail that goes up and down for the new baby.. so not much progress is to be expected for a few weeks.

Here is the website;

http://www.hutzal.com/andrechek/canoe/c ... ngpage.htm


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2004, 4:43 pm 
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I don`t know if any of you are interested but I`ve met this open boater from London who has his own little company called Composite Creations in which he builds just about anything out of kevlar.

He`s just designed and built a canoe that I paddled on the weekend. Its simlar to the Detonator because of its double chines but has an Ocoee bow and stern, and at just over 10' with built in bulkheads instead of air bags. a very nice boat !!!

So if you boat builders were looking to take your craft to a different level, I could put you in touch with him. And if you wanted to get really creative, a good friend of ours is the painter for Hudson Boats from London who builds the rowing shells. He painted Silken Lauman`s boat with the cascading maple leafs. Pretty cool !! :wink:

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Al Greve http://www.canoewateradventuring.ca South Western Ontario's canoeing specialist



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