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maiden voyage of the 6-hour sailing canoe I kept jabbering about

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  • Jeffrey Mills
    -or- Beginner s Luck The monsoon has ended and perfect weather befalls the SW USA. Warm with no humidity, the air sucks the perspiration from the skin,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2006
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      -or- "Beginner's Luck"

      The monsoon has ended and perfect weather befalls the SW USA. Warm with no
      humidity, the air sucks the perspiration from the skin, making life
      comfortable and preserving our homebuilt wooden boats. The hot, humid
      monsoon ended just two days before the maiden launching of my 15'
      break-apart pirogue based on the 6-hour canoe plan (I widened the beam a
      little), the first of two identical boats I hope to lash into a catamaran.
      Total time to build: don't ask. It was like a work week or more.

      The high-aspect short-headed lugsail I cut from the foot of a 7.5 oz dacron
      gaffsail was exceptionally well-balanced considering how little concern I
      put into researching a precise mast placement and rake. Beyond the hull plan
      of the 6-hour canoe, it was done by eye, and in a somewhat excited rush.
      Then, beyond stepping the mast, I only began to do any rigging on her after
      our second day on this primitive looow budget trip we like to take to
      Desertsea ( L.Powell) in the Arizona-Utah canyonlands. The paint was still
      drying when we loaded her for the 6-day trip. But a dip of a leeward paddle
      is all that is needed to offset the hoped-for weather helm as she points as
      well as anything I hoped for... in a force 2 anyway. That's all we've gotten
      so far.

      The mating bulkheads (gusseted white oak-framed break-apart 1/2" mating
      bulkheads) keep the biggest part of the boat under ~35 lbs, lending itself
      to portage and lashing up quickly on the plywood toneau cover of my truck,
      permitting the truck bed space to still be used through the tailgate,
      including as camping bunks my daughter and I call "the coffin". Any leaking
      through the bolts (3 below waterline) at the mating bulkheads was
      insignificant.

      The boat is mostly 1/4" exterior ply and polyester resin. All the metal
      fastenings, found only at stems, mating bulkheads and mast step, are 316
      stainless. Mating bulkheads are 1" thick when mated. There are 6x1" red oak
      thwarts fore and aft. There's a bulkhead at the mast thwart. There's a
      foredeck with a V-shaped oak splash rail on top, which was needed. Epoxy was
      used on chines, thwarts, and stems, as was glass cloth. Epoxy sealed the
      mast and all plywood edges. Epoxy also attached the interchangeable mast
      step, bulkheads (3) and the foredeck, but there are no shear clamps, chine
      logs or other blocking except the stems. The chines are strengthened instead
      with polyester resin fillets thickened with diatomaceous earth (from your
      pool supplies section), portland cement and wheat flour. And/or epoxy. You
      see, the chine fillets are a mish-mash of whatever I had leftover in the
      bottom of the mixing pan that day, slowly completing the chine fillets and
      saving money by not wasting leftovers.

      I wouldn't say I'd do anything different in the design and build except: 1.)
      gotta raise freeboard at midships for brisk airs 2.) not allow even a couple
      minutes' rain to fall on her until the ply is sealed, as they delaminate!
      3.) put on a lighter yard! I made an impromptu yard out of routered seasoned
      Doug fir (same as the mast), which I cut fireside in the wilderness with a
      chisel and a rock. Though it was only 1.5x1.5", and tho' it always missed
      us when we let loose the halyard, it came down so intently that it came to
      be called the "head-bonker".
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