Building a Canoe

birder

Russell Coight
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Hi all,
my current project, and way to get me outdoors more, is building my own canoe. I thought about buying one, but even secondhand they are around the $500+ mark for anything halfway decent, and at $1300+ for a new one, I couldn't justify the cost to either myself or my wife. So making it myself it is!

I chose the Quick Canoe design from Michael Storer for several reasons, not least because I know of at least 20 others that have been built successfully around the world. The detailed plans, its specs and the price were also major factors.

I started a week ago, and have put about 8 hours into it (not including time spent waiting for the epoxy to set) so far.

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The pieces cut out. A circular saw set just below the level of the ply left a nice clean cut and took very little time. I just planed to the line with a block plane

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The buttstraps in place

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using duct tape to join the two sides, and then the bottom to the sides

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epoxy fillets attaching the sides to the bottom

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the underside ready for glass-taping the joints and epoxy coating, which I should get time to do this coming weekend.

I'll keep updating as I go. The aim is to have it finished, painted and on the water by Cup Weekend.
 

Joe

Les Hiddins
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Just out of interest, what is your expected budget for the canoe?

It looks like a great project and I'd love to build one myself.
 

birder

Russell Coight
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Hi Joe, I'm expecting it to come in at around $350-$400. I'm about $320 into it at the moment, and I think I have everything I need.

That's not counting paddles (or wood for paddles as I'll probably make my own) or life-vests, but those would be an added expense regardless.
 

biggles1024

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I'm wondering how well a flat bottomed craft tracks in the water, especially if the wind is hitting you from any direction other than end on.

Edit: I've gone to the website linked and see that the finished canoe has a keel.
 
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Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
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Yep....REALLY looking forward to see some more progress photos...think I can say a LOT of us on here like these sort of projects to watch. I'd like to build one as well but like Simon, don't have the room.

cheers Mozz

by the way we have Hobie kayaks
 

Smarteee

Les Hiddins
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Excellent work! What a fantastic project. Looking forward to seeing the end result. Are you using marine ply? 23kg finished weight sounds very tempting considering the cost of similar professionally made canoes. Thanks for sharing.
 
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birder

Russell Coight
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Thanks all, it's nice to have people I can talk to about the project, so I'll keep putting updates through.

The canoe is made of bunnings 6mm marine ply. I don't think the final weight will be 23kg, more like 27-30kg, as I'm doing a few additions to the base design - putting bouyancy/storage tanks fore and aft and a centre seat in instead of the spreader.

I'll mostly be taking it on the Yarra to begin with - between Heidelberg (I live less than 200m from the river there) and Dights Falls. Not really going bush, but the best I can do given the circumstances.
 

Benny

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Unreal mate! Well done. Looking forward to the finished ship on the water pics.
 

kiwibro

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Should be a sweet rig. I'm thinking about buying some sheet ally and fabing a Canadian canoe from it.
 

birder

Russell Coight
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My wife is a wonderful wife. I got home from work today and while she looked after, fed and put the kids to bed I spent the time glass taping the joints and epoxying the outside of the canoe.

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All done! Tomorrow afternoon when it's dry I'll put on the keel, glue on the gunwales and get ready to attach the seats.


Cheers, Mike
 

birder

Russell Coight
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Just the seam tape - It's not a whitewater canoe and doesn't need the extra protection or weight added to it.
 

peter.robinson

Rüdiger Nehberg
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makes sense and quick-easy. I like it.
I've made a few sea kayaks, 4mm marine ply with 6mm for bulkheads and always did taped the seams and did glass in and out, a laborious job to do :)
I've always wanted to try making a canoe. this seems like a great one to try. thanks.
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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I'm keen to hear how well the canoe performs on the water.

That is a beaut section of water. There is a very short "poratage" down the falls and you can go all the way into the city.

There are a lot of places you can pull the canoe in or out depending on how far you want to go.
 

SteveKos

Russell Coight
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Must say I love the picture of it held together with duct tape.
I've built both a sailing kayak/trimaran and a sailing dinghy. These basic design canoes are great projects and are surprisingly easier to build than some people think. (I expect that the duct tape is a temporary fixing while the epoxy in the joins cures off). This design is quite stable and carry a sizeable load. For extended cruising they need a bit of fitting out with a decent seat or two, and maybe a rudder etc. but for a 2-3 day trip this design will do the job quite nicely.
 

birder

Russell Coight
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So I've got a bit further along in the build - gunwales are glued in place and the seat supports are in as well.

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The chooks gave it their seal of approval.

The pieces of the keel/keelson are cut out and need to be glued together then put on, seats put on, the inwales need to be attached and watertight compartments built fore and aft. Then it needs painting and I'm ready to go.

Aussie, the whole templestowe, bulleen, heidelberg, ivanhoe, kew stretch of the Yarra is gorgeous. I've cycled, walked and fished a lot of it and can't wait to float on it as well. I'll mostly be launching from Fannings and Sills Bend as they're walking distance from my place.
 

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