Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: A wee project...

  1. #1
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    A wee project...

    So I do have some interests other than photography, though admittedly most of them accommodate photography too. Here is a small project I picked up yesterday off Craig's-List:






    This boat is a circa 1980 Miller fiberglass canoe. Miller is still in business and makes the same basic canoe as this one, though with a few minor updated changes: http://www.millercanoe.com/details.htm

    Canoes have personalities and as you gain experience paddling, you get pickier about certain traits. So the first order of business is to paddle it and see if you even like it. This one while not abused had certainly been neglected -- probably stored outside on the ground after the original paddler's life got to busy to spend time with it. So before I can even paddle it, some generous elbow grease was needed and the above shots are taken on rest periods during the generous scrub. If I do like paddling it, then I will spend the time to properly restore it to a healthier condition -- and of course chronicle that process here as well

    A bit more info... It is a hand made canoe with ash ribs and gunwales, and then what appears to be cherry for the carry yoke, seat frames and end caps, a laid-up fiberglass hull, all held and sandwiched together with marine grade brass screws:



    The bow line was rotten, so a quick replacement loop properly tied off was added. One unique touch to this boat is the bow and stern eye-straps are mounted hidden under the bow and stern caps, and a small pass-through is left at the very prow making for a very clean loop point:



    Two other minor items in addition to the cleaning and line loops needed attention before I put it in the water. The first is the cane seats need a soak of marine oil so they don't shred when I sit my 250 pound butt on them:



    The second is some minor hull damage. This canoe would be considered delicate by any standard. It weighs in at 35 pounds total, where most comparable fiberglass canoes of this size will weigh at least twice that. So it has a relatively thin skin and won't handle rock collisions well. This is what probably happened here:



    Some basic tools, in this case a heat gun to dry out the crack, some 400 grit sand-paper and block, a little more elbow grease and then... mailing tape . Not permanent, but water-tight and perfect for a few weeks of test piloting:



    I am heading up to the lake and will have my first test paddle before dinner this evening, so stay tuned for more later today!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central Maine, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,406
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: A wee project...

    Nice find Jack! Canoeing is good for what ails ya. I have a very good friend who's second career is canoe building. Like most parts of the country, Maine has some designs specific to the region. He's an excellent craftsman and we plan to do a photo essay on canoe building this Fall.

    Best of luck with your launch!
    Tim

  3. #3
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dublin, Texas, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,549
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    112

    Re: A wee project...

    Oh yes, as Water Rat said, "Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  4. #4
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    919
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: A wee project...

    just remember to take your paddle if you head up Excrement Creek. Apparently not doing so will end in tears :-)

    K

  5. #5
    nei1
    Guest

    Re: A wee project...

    Nice article Jack....have fun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: A wee project...

    Very cool Jack....a great find and neat that you will bring this beauty back to life. 35 lbs is an ultralight, especially for a canoe of that size. Look forward to seeing more photos as the project progresses.

    I got into canoeing several years ago myself. It is so relaxing to be out paddling on a lake and hear the loons calling etc. Mine is a Navarro Legacy, very stable and well suited to small lakes, fishing etc...but I wouldn't want to take it down a river....not to mention that it weighs 59 lbs!



    Gary
    Alaska

  7. #7
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: A wee project...

    I owned a Navarro several years back -- outstanding boat and beautifully made!

    I got up to the lake and popped her in. She paddles very nicely solo -- which is probably how this boat will get used most of the time. I need to move the front seat back one set of ribs so there's room for a normal size paddler up front, and in so doing will place the front seat in an almost deal spot for a big paddler to solo it from. Here I am sitting on the rear thwart of the front seat paddling backwards as a solo. (This canoe is symmetrical, so it paddles the same way facing either direction.) She handles well, easily coming up to speed, tracks straight and turns easily:







    Given how delicate she is, I will go ahead and clean her up, restoring the wood and properly repairing the crack, add two new seats, then probably relegate her to easy for-fun paddling only.

    I am actually off to look at another used boat tomorrow morning -- this one a more modern build performance tandem -- stay tuned!

    ,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  8. #8
    Subscriber & Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    414

    Re: A wee project...

    Nice Jack. Will we be bringing these to Lake Como for the workshop?

  9. #9
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: A wee project...

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Nice Jack. Will we be bringing these to Lake Como for the workshop?
    LOLOLOLOL!!! Would be cheaper to buy brand new ones there and leave them when we're done than it would be to ship one there and back!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  10. #10
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: A wee project...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    Some basic tools, in this case a heat gun to dry out the crack, some 400 grit sand-paper and block, a little more elbow grease and then... mailing tape . Not permanent, but water-tight and perfect for a few weeks of test piloting:

    Nice boat. The thin shell means the glass work is going to be delicate, too.

    Suggestion: I would get that mailing tape off of there asap. The chemistry in the tape adhesive is being wicked up into the exposed fibers. It will prevent you from getting the best possible bond on the repair, and it could trap moisture in there, too. It also means you will have to remove more glass than you would have otherwise and you run the risk of sanding adhesive contamination into the existing glass, preventing the best possible repair bond.

    Maybe remove the mailing tape and give the whole area a thorough scrubbing with acetone. When you are ready to take the boat out, cover the area with a small sheet of clean plastic, stretched tight, and taped around the edges, well away from the area you will be doing the glass work.

    Fwiw, you are not alone -- duct tape. I'm not going to say anymore about it and might even go into full blow denial, if it becomes necessary.

    Oh, and I want to see a PFD in the next pix you post of yourself enjoying that water craft. The boating forum I am on has an endless list of articles about folks that did not survive a simple rolled canoe close to shore -- adults, children, drowning does not discriminate. It's not worth the risk.

  11. #11
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: A wee project...

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post

    Oh, and I want to see a PFD in the next pix you post of yourself enjoying that water craft.
    It's in the boat on the floor at my feet. And I can almost stand in that water.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  12. #12
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: A wee project...

    She looks so airy and light with that translucent fiberglass....stunning! Really a unique canoe.

    Gary

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •