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 Post subject: Lifting handle on canoe
PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 9:18 am 
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Location: Hamilton ON
My brother has built a number of wood strip kayaks. He is now making his first canoe. Yesterday the topic of decks and lifting handles came up.
I have a kevlar canoe with cherry decks and small lifting handles. The decks are mounted with screws through the gunnels. The handles are hung underneath the inner gunnel.
When purchased from Bluewater I was told not to lift the canoe by the deck but always use the handle.
The question my brother asked was "why do you need a handle?" . Does anyone know?

Jim


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 9:30 am 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Carry thwarts apply pressure over the gunwale.. Decks may be screwed in and its could be into the end grain with wood decks..that is weaker.

That said, if possible lift the canoe from underneath and support the hull.. I have always done that with kayaks..even though they have carry toggles, the two halves of a kayak (top and bottom ) are glued together (composite boats) and you risk the halves parting if the boat is already loaded, especially.


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 9:37 am 
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My Swift has cherry "V" inserts in the decks with ash on the gunwhales and ash handles. I'm thinking it would put too much upward lifting stress on the inserts hence the ash handle that is undermounted on the gunwhales. My experience tells me you would also have a better grip with handles when desending steep and slippery grades on portages.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 9:39 am 
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I agree with Kim. From my perspective, I'd put as many carrying options as possible on a canoe... a well designed yoke first and foremost, a grab loop rope at each end, carrying thwarts, make the back of the deck strong enough and attached sturdy as well. I find that the yoke is the way to go most of the time. But sometimes carrying a canoe tandem is advantagous, and having options for changing arm and hand positions makes carrying more enjoyable.

PK


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 10:14 am 
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Location: Hamilton ON
Thanks for the prompt replies.

He will put a yoke in the canoe.

He was thinking of making a small V-shaped deck but with a slot cut out to provide a handle to grasp while pulling the canoe up on shore etc.

The point about the end-grain is one that I hadn't considered.

Jim


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 10:15 am 
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Double post. Oops.

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Last edited by pawistik on March 25th, 2008, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 10:18 am 
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It's pretty common practice among wood canoe builders to make decks with an integrated carrying handle. Some* builders, except those that can't bear to drill a hole through their hull, also add painter holes at the bow and stern. The handle is sometimes simply a contoured edge of the deck, sometimes something more elaborate. The painter hole is still the place for tying down for transport and attaching the painters.

The decks are one place where builders seem to put some extra effort to display their artful side. Have a look at this version: http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y179/pwstndrf/16%20Peterborough/?action=view&current=100_1518.jpg
Here's a version that's more typical: http://bearmountainboats.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2172&highlight=deck+handle
Cheers,
Bryan

*Edited to change the word "most" to "some". After looking for a few pics, it seems most do not add the painter holes and use an eye bolt or a ring with brass stem band; maybe 25% of the pics I found quickly had painter holes.

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Last edited by pawistik on March 25th, 2008, 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 11:14 am 
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The carrying handles get the most use when the canoe's being carted over Algonquin cart trails... the canoe pulls the cart along, rather then the reverse. You might have to hang on to the handle for an hour or more, so building a comfortable one that fits your hand well is worth spending time on.

Another older canoe doesn't have any carry handles, instead the notched V-shape in the end grain of the deck is used as a handhold, and that isn't as comfortable.


eg... deck shaped this way = uncomfortable as a handhold...


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 11:55 am 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I have never seen a w/c canoe with a painter hole in bow or stern placed there by the builder..its going to splinter the planking.

I have seen painter rings..often mounted on the top deck or on the brass stem band.


Deck cutouts are often an idenfitying feature of a wooden canoe..you will find more information at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association site..more over if you come to the Assembly this year in Peterborough you can get some insight into why builders do what they do.

Yep I have a couple of little light wooden canoes where the deck is reinforced and installed with a contoured edge (contoured underneath..most builders dont do that) to make lifting easy. But they are not tripping boats and come in at about 15 kg.


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 12:18 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
Carry thwarts apply pressure over the gunwale.. Decks may be screwed in and its could be into the end grain with wood decks..that is weaker.


The problem with decks is not screws being sunk into end grain, it is the orientation of the wood grain itself. In general, the screw faces on the deck are bias cut rather than end grain. I've never even seen a deck installed with the grain running horizontally, but people try many things so I'm sure some exist.

In order for the screws to get good purchase and for aesthetic reasons, the grain is oriented longitudinally rather than horizontally as it is in thwarts. This makes it easy for the deck to split in the event of a suddenly applied load in the center of the deck, especially if the deck is thin and is made from quarter sawn wood.

If you are building the boat, there are any number of ways to reinforce the deck. Lamination is one, making it thicker (and heavier) is another and finally, encapsulating it in glass and epoxy before final fit and installation.

Or buy DymondWood like is used in the Placid Boatworks canoes. Impervious to just about anything:

http://rutply.com/products/dymondwood.html


:)

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 12:21 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
I have never seen a w/c canoe with a painter hole in bow or stern placed there by the builder..its going to splinter the planking.


I've certainly seen it on cedar strip/fiberglass canoes, though brass eye bolts into the stems are more common (a technique that doesn't work in stemless construction).

Here's an example. And another. And another.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 12:28 pm 
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Location: Vandorf, Ontario
If you are building the boat you can make everything exactly as you wish. You can make your decks as robust as you want and use them as handles, using very strong woods such as ash or maple etc. as well as using thicker (stronger but heavier) stock. It also of course depends on how heavy the entire boat is. If you use epoxy and screws the deck will be almost indestructable at the joint - 3/4" thick ash or maple will lift anything short of the Titanic, or at least anything you are physically strong enough to hoist. Personally, I like beautiful but planned down/thinner stock like walnut or cherry.

Bearing in mind that if you want to carry the canoe right side up, say over a short portage (i.e. 50M) that carrying handles will be more comfortable. Also, as mentioned previously, the more carrying options the better. If you are carryiing the boat yourself and only have decks to grab, you'll probably be extra careful of your grip, and maybe support the boat with one hand under the canoe as well. If someone else is picking it up, they may not be as careful (or may not consider the possibility of the boat slipping and that nice hull, hitting the portage trail - in this situation you will wish you installed handles).

Really, its a personal choice. Check out the Bear Mountain building forum. There are lots of opinions and pictures there. Also, you can build without handles and always add them later.

One last thing to consider is car-topping the boat. If you have handles it gives you something to tie down the bow and stern with.

Hope this helps.

Moonman.


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