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PostPosted: January 8th, 2021, 7:13 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2020, 7:52 pm
Posts: 2
Hi all,

I'm new here, my name is Sandy and I built a 15 foot prospector from bear mountain boats a couple of years ago. It turned out great but weighs 55lbs. I seem to be having trouble finding people to go canoeing with me so I've decided to build another solo pack boat for this summer instead of buying a swift canoe.

The current plan is to build either a ashes solo pack boat or a ashes angler pack boat.

I'd like to know if anyone has used 2.3 oz fabric before as I plan to use this inside and out with a tiny bit of 6oz reinforcement in just a couple small impact spots.

Any thoughts or experiences with 2.3 oz fabric would be appreciated. I hope to use 3/16th strips this time and plan to use cedar gunnals with an ultra thin laminate hardwood on the outside. No decks, one minimal yoke.

Aiming to come in around 25 lbs or less.

I don't know how much I'll use this boat but I have one specific trip in mind for it this summer so years of longevity isn't too much of a concern.

Please let me know your thoughts and experiences.


PS. I had not canoed since I was a young kid and after building my 15 foot prospector with 6oz cloth and no reinforcements I took it on the Bowron circuit as my first trip. I hope to not bite off quite that much this time. haha. Trip plan is to go to a grey owl's cabin in PANP and then hit a couple further outlier lakes.


PostPosted: January 8th, 2021, 7:45 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 9143
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
No help from here but that would be a spectacular photo were it not for the power line.

PostPosted: January 10th, 2021, 3:56 pm 

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 329
I built a 15 foot Chestnut Fox using two layers of 2.5 oz.
The hull was compromised when the fully loaded boat met a stony river bottom.
The fiberglass split and water soaked into the cedar strips making the hull very pliable.
Infield repairs were enough to get me home.
Best advice I can give you is if you build with one layer test the hull with hand pressure.
It will make noises when it starts to fail. This should give you some idea of its strength.
Then either add glass at critical points or go paddling with a good repair kit.
Good luck with your build.

PostPosted: January 11th, 2021, 8:26 pm 

Joined: August 26th, 2019, 7:00 am
Posts: 12
Never used it before, but 2.3 ounce seems very, very light. Maybe consider 4 ounce, in s-glass preferably - s-glass will reportedly give you 30 percent more “strength” (however that is defined) than equivalent weight e-glass.

3/16 strips work well, but rather than super light glass on top of it, maybe look to the fittings for most of your other weight savings - a one-pice cedar “uniwale” gunnel, a simple on-the-floor foam kayak-type seat (since it is a pack boat) and small-dimensioned wood or aluminum tubing thwart/yoke would probably get you under 30 pounds on an Ashes angler pack boat, maybe even close to 25 for the solo pack.

I like the Ashes boats - I have built the Solo Day and now on my second iteration of their “pre-production” skin on frame fifteen foot kayak. Seriously thinking about building one of his pack boats after I finish a Bear Mountain Freedom 17-9 this spring (now sitting in my garage waiting for spring weather so I can fibreglass it). Would appreciate any updates/thoughts you might have on your build.



PostPosted: January 14th, 2021, 3:52 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2020, 7:52 pm
Posts: 2
Hey guys!

Thanks for replying with your thoughts. Much appreciated!

I ended up calling Trevor from Ashes boats a couple days ago and we had a good long chat. He was kind enough to talk me through some things and helped me figure things out. He doesn't think the 2.3oz will be structurally sound at all. He also doesn't think its worth the weight savings at all. He feels weight is better saved elsewhere like some of you were saying.

After chatting with him he basically talked me into a 15 foot solo day canoe. Then after rereading his website more thoroughly it does seem as though thats his favorite and maybe the best one he has. He figures I can get it under 30lbs if I'm careful and will easily be able to throw it on my shoulder and drag it through the bush.

I was telling him this summer I'll have to canoe something like 20 km in a day near the shore on a big lake to get to the smaller lakes I want to go to. This seemed to be the determining factor when he said, "say no more" and heavily suggested the solo day.

I am lazy and don't want to build a strong back so I'll have to measure my workbench in the garage to make sure it'll work somehow for the solo day. I'll snap a pic of that sometime soon to show anyone curious. The new plan is solo day with 3/16 strips and 4oz glass with a couple of small protection double ups on the nose etc. Cedar inner gunnals with a small 1/8th strip or so of spruce on the outer gunnal. I really like the suggestion of the foam seat so I think I'll do that with french cleats on the sides so I can put a regular seat in if I want also. No hardwood stems. Just inner cedar with the strips going past and touching each other. One thin thwart made out of spruce.

I'll keep everyone posted and try to keep my progress on here incase people want to watch the progress.

Here is a pic of my canoe outing in Banff this summer.


The looks we got on the way were priceless haha


PostPosted: January 15th, 2021, 9:18 am 

Joined: November 12th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 373
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
Sounds like good advice from ashes...

I'm only on my 2nd build but I use the 1st quite a bit and don't baby it FWIW. I used 6oz on it and even found that I had to strengthen the football on the outside with another layer. -- so its not light thats for sure.
I can't imagine using anything less than 6oz let alone 2.3oz but if you're very careful and never run it up on shore or hit rocks maybe its ok(?)

There's people on here with a ton more experience than me btw...

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