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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 12:19 pm 
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Those of you who have followed the Wee Lassie thread know that my interest lies in minimizing weight in strip built canoes. But, as has been pointed out, foolishly light is not a wise choice. Others have pointed out that multiple layers of thin fabric produce a higher fiber to resin ratio than fewer layers of heavier fabric and therefore greater strength for a given weight. It seems, therefore, that it might be wise to use a fairly thin fabric and vary the number of layers depending on where strength and protection are most needed.

That raises the question of what part of the hull is most frequently damaged. We all have our own experiences but none of us has as much experience as the group as a whole, and our next accident may well be where others but not ourselves have damaged their boat.

So the question is, where have you sustained damage? The bow third? The midship third? The aft third? Above the waterline? Below the waterline? Cosmetic damage or structural damage?

If you canoe quiet waters and you're careful, as I tend to do, the most obvious guess would be the bow third below the waterline, but does that amount to 90% of our collective experience or 60%?

It would be wonderfully helpful to have detailed "incident reports" on hundreds of incidents but even a dozen or two would be informative. Let's hear about the experiences you'd like to forget!

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 12:22 pm 
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Chines, Bow and stern recurve, Keel line. Gunwales, deck plates

Basically the extremities.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 12:27 pm 
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Dan. wrote:
Chines, Bow and stern recurve, Keel line. Gunwales, deck plates

Basically the extremities.


When canoeing fast water or quiet water?

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 12:33 pm 
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The Makobe River.

(and, wherever it decides, Honestly)

Regards

Sundown


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 12:44 pm 
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Greybeard wrote:

Quote:
Those of you who have followed the Wee Lassie thread know that my interest lies in minimizing weight in strip built canoes.


You should search for posts on CCR by Lightjay who has built a few very light strip canoes, one of which he used in 2006 to travel from the lower St. Lawrence River to Lake Winnipeg on his way to Inuvik.

I think it was somewhere around 35lbs in weight. Perhaps he has some thoughts to offer as you pursue your hobby.

Edited by Mac:
Greybeard : It looks like I should have read your "Wee Lassie" thread to learn that your objective is to get the weight down considerably lower than the 35 pounds that others have achieved using a strip construction..... and thanks to Sundown for pointing this out.


Last edited by Mac on February 10th, 2008, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 1:08 pm 
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My opinion, coming from a newby to the list but moderate time on the water. On flat water I find dragging over obstacles in the shallows, these affect the full length of a balanced hull with the highest pressures applied when the obstacle is under the seat or knees. On unseen individual rocks the boat may just ride to your balance point an sideslip off the rock. Again the highest loading will be right under you. The bow is relatively easy to deflect so it may take an light impact but I do not foresee a damaging blow there.
On moving water, not including rapids I find a quartering impact from a few feet aft of the bow to the center of a solo to take the highest loads. The ones I have experienced have been around the waterline and can be a bit above it.
I do not play in the rapids so I can not comment there and would not expect A light stripper to be in those waters.
Out of water, when you just paddled to many strokes into the wind to get back that you just can not lift the boat up to the roofrack and you drop the poor thing and then the wind grabs it and it tumbles away.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 4:17 pm 
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Graybeard wrote:
Dan. wrote:
Chines, Bow and stern recurve, Keel line. Gunwales, deck plates

Basically the extremities.


When canoeing fast water or quiet water?


Its not the water that causes the damage.

If you are going to be anal about protecting the boat, you could even make a canoe out of tree bark. Its your use that will detemine the wear. Most of the damage to the topsides occurs on the portage trail or campsite, most of the bottom damage occurs during landings at trails or campsites. Very rarely to I damage a tripping canoe IN rapids. On those occassions no amount of localised fiberglass is going to protect it.

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 5:03 pm 
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Dan wrote:
Quote:
Its not the water that causes the damage.

If you are going to be anal about protecting the boat, you could even make a canoe out of tree bark. Its your use that will detemine the wear. Most of the damage to the topsides occurs on the portage trail or campsite, most of the bottom damage occurs during landings at trails or campsites. Very rarely to I damage a tripping canoe IN rapids. On those occassions no amount of localised fiberglass is going to protect it.


Dan,
I guess my intent in my first message was unclear.
I'm not particularly concerned about cosmetic damage, or the routine wear and tear that becomes serious only if it is allowed to accumulate. I'm concerned about significant accidents that could become safety issues or reason to abort a trip. If I wanted to be anal about protecting the boat I'd forget about lightweight and lay it up with at least 6-oz. fabric everywhere, which was the norm when I built my first one. I chose 4-oz. instead and in 20+ years and numerous "incidents" have never sustained significant damage.

I'm now trying to build lighter but without sacrificing strength where it's really necessary. Last Spring we hit a barely submerged boulder at cruising speed in a totally unexpected place. That kind of incident suggests more strength would be wise in the fore part of the hull below the waterline but not over the entire bottom, saving weight. I'm trying to find out what kind of serious accidents occur with some frequency and therefore warrant carrying weight over portages but without applying armor where it's unlikely to be worth the added weight. We all make decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. I want to apply that same kind of discretion when building the canoe itself.

b

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 5:29 pm 
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Dan. wrote:
Graybeard wrote:
Dan. wrote:
Chines, Bow and stern recurve, Keel line. Gunwales, deck plates

Basically the extremities.


When canoeing fast water or quiet water?


Its not the water that causes the damage.

If you are going to be anal about protecting the boat, you could even make a canoe out of tree bark. Its your use that will detemine the wear. Most of the damage to the topsides occurs on the portage trail or campsite, most of the bottom damage occurs during landings at trails or campsites. Very rarely to I damage a tripping canoe IN rapids. On those occassions no amount of localised fiberglass is going to protect it.


Dan

Vintage Dan

Dan, I am going to strongly suggest you read Graybeards response.

It's very elegant, and I suggest, potentially beneficial.

Reckon you may have missed something, but Just My Take on it.
It don't mean nothing.

Regards

Sundown

PS When do you move. If you need a hand, let me know.


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2008, 6:23 pm 
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Mac wrote:
Quote:
Edited by Mac:
Greybeard : It looks like I should have read your "Wee Lassie" thread to learn that your objective is to get the weight down considerably lower than the 35 pounds that others have achieved using a strip construction..... and thanks to Sundown for pointing this out.


Mac;

35 pounds is quite respectable for Jay's purposes, i.e. for a tripper of more conventional size, for a trip of considerable length, in an area where there are a lot of unknowns. The Wee Lassie is under 12', for trips of a week or less, in areas that are less remote. My hunch is that both situations can benefit from discretionary placement of 'glass and resin. The question is where on the boat does discretion say the weight ought to go.

b

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2008, 2:43 pm 
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Looking out at my little stable of canoes, I'd say the stems (particularly the bow) takes the worst beating. That's where people put Kevlar skid plates as well. The bottoms are pretty scratched up, not so much from landings as from dragging over logs or coasting over skinny water.

As far as nasty damage, I feel that if the sides get too thin near the gunwales then they are at a greater risk for cracking (kinking if they are aluminum), and broken gunwales are hard to patch in the bush. Since they tie in the shape by means of the thwarts, I'd say you'd have a pretty compromised canoe with the gunwales flapping around.

I'd go visit a busy canoe livery at the end of the season. Wherever the worst damage is, that's where you should put extra glass. And leave the gunwales on the beefy side.

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2008, 2:59 pm 
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BK wrote:

Quote:
I'd go visit a busy canoe livery at the end of the season. Wherever the worst damage is, that's where you should put extra glass.


Excellent thought! :clap: I bet you thought of that late yesterday. That's when I had the same thought out of the clear blue sky when the topic was far from my mind---with you only an hour away I'm guessing there's been a bit of ESP on the airwaves.

b

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2008, 3:07 pm 
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Hi Graybeard

This has been a real tough thread to answer, and I'll tell you why.

My canoes... maybe anyone's... get scratched mostly when I either choose
to run the risk of having-them-scratched, or have a Brain-Freeze Moment,
or during Instructional tandem sessions.

Where the damage occurs, then, is naturally a function of "choices" in any
event... and the Last Two of those... well, I'd suggest some of the option of
avoiding those damages are a bit outta ones' own control, maybe?

In a solo situation, all else being equal, I find it is from the front thwart
to the midship line... but, not necessarily, equal on either side. I, myself, am
stronger in technique with a right paddle and a left correction... so, when
a river offers me that choice, I'll elect that methodology. If a given situation
forces me to go left paddle, right correction... well, I am just not as efficient
that way, if even marginally so... so, I run a greater risk on that side...

I also use a heeled position as a rule... just personal preference... even
slightly heeled in whitewater, wherever adviseable... again, moreso when
my strongside enables...

These are all personal decisions... others certainly wont adopt my techniques.
But, it makes it difficult for me to respond effectively to your query, given those
factors.

The other thing I perhaps ought add, is that I was sorta born and bred to view
any canoe as "very much a tool", just like I was born and bred to consider my
Dog as my Very Best Friend, but also a Working Companion. I may "Baby"
my Dogs some, probably a heck of a lot more than a lot of folks might imagine,
but I only Baby my canoes right up to that line where I know that my decisions
wont run the risk of me "not getting out of wherever I am".

I hope this helps... probably doesnt... but, perhaps it adds some other things
you may wish to consider, if only discard as something perhaps not relevant
to your own Ways of Paddling.

Regards

Sundown


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2008, 5:06 pm 
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Sundown wrote:

Reckon you may have missed something, but Just My Take on it.
It don't mean nothing.

Regards

Sundown



Why write it if "it don't mean nothing"?

I reckon I understood the response pretty good. He wants to build a canoe that only has re-enforcement where its required. The thing about unpredictable damage is that it is unpredictable. As far as predictable damage goes, I think my post stands. The extremities are where the damage usually occurs.

I trip in royalex for a reason. Other people trip ultra-light, I have no experience in that so I keep my mouth shut.

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PostPosted: February 11th, 2008, 5:09 pm 
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Sundown,

You are obviously doing your level best to be as helpful as you can, and I certainly appreciate that. It's also becoming fairly obvious that you're not the only one who doesn't quite understand what I'm looking for, and that means that I haven't explained it well enough--which makes it my problem and not yours or the others. And it's entirely possible or even probable that I'm trying to do something that in the real world is just plain impractical. I'll give it one more shot---and don't feel bad if it just makes no sense to you.

Experience over the last few decades has shown that 6-oz glass, doubled on the bottom, is overkill for most tripping with a stripper. Many builders are coming to the conclusion that 4.oz glass, doubled on the bottom, may well be overkill. Michael Storer from Down Under built a pack canoe with balsa strips and 0.75 oz. glass and found it satisfactory for his purposes but dented easily. That's only a fifth of today's 4-oz standard.

I'd like to build as lightly as I can and still have a reasonably good chance of coming home alive. That does NOT mean I can't tolerate scuffs and scratches. NOR does it mean I'll consider myself a failure if I get killed by lightening, or if my canoe gets wiped out by a falling tree in the middle of the night.

If I go ONLY by my own close calls, I'm limited by the one experience described above of running into a just-below-the-surface boulder. That experience suggests that the forward area below the waterline needs more "armor" than other areas. I'd like to hear from others who have had potentially life-threatening experiences that suggest other areas that need extra "armor."

Maybe you haven't had experiences where you paddled away thanking your lucky stars that the boat held, or where it DIDN'T hold and you got away anyway. But if you HAVE had such experiences then I'd like to hear what part of the boat would have benefited from greater strength. I do realize that we can't go out with canoes that will withstand any possible threat. But if many of those incidents form a pattern then it's worth anticipating them by beefing up, or not thinning out, the areas most likely to come to grief.

b

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