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 Post subject: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 5th, 2021, 1:54 am 
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Joined: October 11th, 2021, 4:19 pm
Posts: 53
I'm spending my free-time reading-up on Freighter Canoes. Been interested in them for a few years now as they make sense to me for year-round transportation. Pretty hard to admit I'd put down my paddle for a motor but winter weather mobility, re-supplying in Campbell River (across Discovery Passage), and reporting to work - on time - would become realistic.

There's a Scott 'Hudsons Bay' 21' for sale currently in Vancouver, and last year I spotted a 'James Bay' 23' up for sale in Sechelt. I suspect the slimmer 21' would suit my needs better. Would need to beach/unbeach by myself. Knocking-off high-speed passes with a 90hp isn't my style. Probably something between 9.9hp and 30hp would be most realistic.

Nor-west Wood and Canvas Freighters are impressive, and the 24' 'Alaskan' is sure a beauty, as is their 22'. Reading that they paint the hull-bottom with bed-liner to slow abrasion was interesting.

Chestnut made a gorgeous W&C freighter with the most elegant transom and stern I've seen. Building my own in cedar-strip would also be an option.

...anybody care to share their experience with these big canoes? Love them? Hate them? Adventures?


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 5th, 2021, 9:25 am 
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Joined: February 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Bay, Ontario
I lived in Nunavut for 14 years and owned a NorthWest freighter most of the time. My last was a 21' with a 40hp Honda.

As did most people, I built a small cuddy cabin at the front. These boats take a lot of spray in rough water so it helps a lot.

Almost all the wood canvas freighters eventually ended up getting glassed, as the constant tidal grinding there was tough on boats. Mine was not exception.

I loved these boats. The are extraordinarily efficient and you can cruise along on low power if you don't need to plane. Goforit.

Kinguq.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 5th, 2021, 3:29 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2107
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Maybe not the freighter experience you are looking for, but I have some acquaintance at least with “big” canoes.

We owned an Esquif Miramichi 20 for a while. Cool canoe, I did some outfitting on it, including adding a third truss hung “passenger” seat and the usual Dynel skid plates and such. We all went into solo canoes soon after, and I gave it to a friend who used it with a side-mount motor on it.

Eh, as a double ender, even with a custom made side motor mount, positioning the prop well below the deep hull keel line, motors simply do better, or at least turn better, on a square stern designed for such prop propulsion.

https://esquif.com/en/canoe/miramichi/

So no motor on a double ender, other than maybe a Y-stem design like the old. . . .grasping for model name. . . . Sawyer Safari style canoe.

See also, the Miramichi weighed “105lbs” in Royalex, weighed at 110lbs factory OEM, closer to 115lbs with a third seat and minimal outfitting.

Jeeze Louise, I don’t like moving boats that weight much over 65lbs these days. Or even back in those days when I could still flip it (grunting and straining) onto my shoulders under the yoke long enough to get it on or off the roof racks. I had to pick it up for a few more times for photo-ops before eventually passed it along on to a nice couple doing a long big-water expedition trip.

ImageP6240008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Not just “them”, with their dogs.

ImageP7070004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Them ain’t no Chihuahuas. Newfie and Blue Heeler, two of my favorite breeds, both with great personalities; for that alone I cut them a helluva deal on that canoe, and threw in every big-boat accessory we owned (and didn’t need any more).

Under motor I enjoyed the smaller square stern Esquif Cargo, basically a Miramichi with 3-ish feet chopped off the stern; as a square stern it was a much better motor canoe. It came, as shown, with four seats, see also 110lbs actual weight.

https://esquif.com/en/canoe/cargo/

Now kept near the water’s edge, it flies around the Everglades under (mostly) motor power. I still want that canoe back in the shop someday so I can put a solo-operated Pacific Action sail in the bow; motor into the wind or sail more quietly downwind, motor-less and saving gas.

Lastly, I have had way too much fun in a Clipper Mariner. Not as a motor canoe, don’t see how it could be, but so many happy memories.

The Mariner is an eight seater, 22’ long x 48” wide, and very deep, so deep that it needed (and has) custom length paddles. I will add that, on moving or challenging water, the First Mate in the bow and Captain in the stern work their asses off compared to the muscle motors seated in the middle.

We rec raced it (very successfully) with an 8-person crew several times; it has enough rocker to be maneuverable, and the Mariner is seaworthy as hell.

That outfitter’s Mariner was the glass version, speced at 220lbs, it needed (and has) custom a trailer. And a full cover for kept upright on trailer rollers transport and storage.

https://www.clippercanoes.com/collectio ... ts/mariner

FWIW, the glass Mariner, owned and maintained by outfitter friends, is currently (as yet unadvertised) for sale in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Rarer than hens teeth on the east coast, send me a PM if interested and I’ll put you in touch, or I can ask them what they’re thinking canoe-trailer-storage cover price-wise.

Apologies for the double-ender and non-motorized Mariner memories. Those are all cool canoes in the right guise.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 5th, 2021, 4:33 pm 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I've owned a few, the Scotts are good. Here is a link to a 20 footer I built a couple of years back. https://www.canoetripping.net/threads/2 ... noe.86461/


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 5th, 2021, 5:06 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2021, 4:57 pm
Posts: 31
I might be wrong but the couple who picked up your Miramichi 20 appear to be from the YouTube channel, Canoe the North (Keenan and Ashley).

Curious if you ever tried poling that canoe?


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 6:49 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2107
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
jnoble123@gmail.com wrote:
I might be wrong but the couple who picked up your Miramichi 20 appear to be from the YouTube channel, Canoe the North (Keenan and Ashley).

Curious if you ever tried poling that canoe?


That’s them, and the doggos. Nice couple, nice to see the canoe being used, including the sail, bow utility thwart, custom motor mount and other accessories.

ImageP6240005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The aluminum plate height adjustable motor mount was designed and built by a friend who is a skilled welder; the flimsy clamp-on side motor mounts didn’t cut it.

ImageP6250017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I never tried poling it, hell, I could barely pick it up. 110lbs, 170 lbs, to say nothing of 220lbs, I can’t deal with that much weight any more, and much above 100lbs transport begins to benefit from a trailer.

I’ve towed canoe trailers in the past. For all the driving complications, not just backing up, which merely takes practice, but also gas pump approaches at unknown stations, parking, highway merging, checking wheels, tires & bearings, paying extra tolls, registration and license tag fees. . . . .just no, no more trailers for me.

When I figured out how to off-set nestle a family four-pack of open trippers or decked canoes on the big Ford van I was never going back to towing a trailer. Family trips or running shuttle, I got space.

ImageDSCF1621 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

It snowed all the way home from the Carolinas to Maryland one winter trip; I was seriously happy to not be towing a trailer in that slippery slidey sludge.

ImageDSCF1935 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There are some unicorn composite square sterns to keep an eye peeled for, the Mad River Grande Laker (1986 – 1993) for one. 20’ 10” x 42” square stern, 120lbs in kevlar/airex. Page 11

https://web.archive.org/web/20130604034 ... 201987.pdf

Mad River very briefly produced a square stern version of the kevlar Champlain; cut down 15’ 9” Kevlar airex square stern, 65 lbs; only about 4 were made back in ’98, and when MRC moved to NC they dropped the model. Those may be the most unicorny of personal-sized motor canoes; they never appeared in a catalog that I’m aware of, and of four made I wonder how many still exist. I know of exactly one.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 8:37 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 9216
Quote:
See also, the Miramichi weighed “105lbs” in Royalex, weighed at 110lbs factory OEM, closer to 115lbs with a third seat and minimal outfitting.

I would have guessed near 150 lbs when I tried to lift one end. But you could literally live in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 2:33 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2107
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Back on topic, maybe not the kind of canoe that Boat Mouse is looking for, but Grumman made a 19 foot square stern. Those come up for sale, not as often as the 17 footer, but occasionally.

https://wildernesssupply.ca/freighter-c ... uare-stern


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 2:41 pm 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I suspect if the OP is looking at the Scott Hudson's Bay, most of the boats you are suggesting would be too small. The Hudson's Bay has classic freighter canoe dimensions, 20 inches deep at the midpoint, and 56 inches across. Mine is the same, and I can tell you that a 19 foot grumman seems pretty small.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 7:09 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2021, 4:19 pm
Posts: 53
Thank-you for the shared knowledge and experience.

@kinguq - this is exactly the kind of real-world info I needed. I'll be motoring across some very exposed water, lots of current and tide-races. I can pick my times to a certain extent, to avoid maximum flood and ebb, but know from experience that getting around the south end of Quadra Island can be rough, as the shallows of Wilby Shoals can create big peaky water, especially with our long-fetch winds from the south against current. Do you feel a larger 40hp would be an advantage if/when things suddenly turn rough? As in unexpected 4'-6' short-period seas and 20knot winds? I suspect a 9.9 wouldn't have the oomph to push through but I'm hoping for maximum mpg. That Scott 21' looks like it may be ideal, and if not this one, it'll still (most likely) be the model I choose.

@RHaslam - Thanks for the thumbs-up on the Scotts. Very cool idea with that build freighter-build you linked to. I didn't realize who you are - thanks for making that connection. Much respect to you. I drooled over your 'Jack's Special' build in the past. Beautiful craftsmanship. About your freighter, did you find the harder-chines 'bitey' at all? I'm used to more forgiving rounded-hulls. I can see the benefit of maximum interior space for beam, any other reasons you chose this design?

@MikeMcrea - I'm looking for a MUCH bigger canoe - as in volume, beam and freeboard - than Grummans or the lakewater canoes. I'll be hauling a month's worth of groceries, laundry, propane tanks, as well as lumber and construction supplies - and my tools. Take a look at Quadra Island, and you'll see that it is the stopper at the north-end of the Salish Sea, and it gets hammered! I make the crossing to Campbell River a few times a year, but in small underpowered craft with low freeboard it is dangerous. Trying to manage the risk here, and 20" of depth in a canoe would be a big improvement over the 15" I have in my Prospector. Having done a few very-fast three-mile ferry-crossings in a big tide... 5-7 knot currents...


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 7:32 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Bay, Ontario
boat_mouse wrote:
Thank-you for the shared knowledge and experience.

@kinguq - this is exactly the kind of real-world info I needed. I'll be motoring across some very exposed water, lots of current and tide-races. I can pick my times to a certain extent, to avoid maximum flood and ebb, but know from experience that getting around the south end of Quadra Island can be rough, as the shallows of Wilby Shoals can create big peaky water, especially with our long-fetch winds from the south against current. Do you feel a larger 40hp would be an advantage if/when things suddenly turn rough? As in unexpected 4'-6' short-period seas and 20knot winds? I suspect a 9.9 wouldn't have the oomph to push through but I'm hoping for maximum mpg. That Scott 21' looks like it may be ideal, and if not this one, it'll still (most likely) be the model I choose..


Most people in Nunavut used much larger engines than me. It's not uncommon to see a 75 or even a 90 on a 23 footer. People just want to go fast, to get where they are going and back again. But at least for the 21 footer, I'm pretty sure something like a 9 hp would push it up to hull speed with power to spare. If you want to get it up on plane you would need more, but these are very efficient vehicles for low power. A 20 hp might be nice, you could run it at half throttle most of the time. As I mentioned these can be fairly wet boats in rough water as they don't have a lot of bow flare so they generate a lot of spray that comes straight back at you. Therefore some sort of a cuddy is really nice to keep your gear dry. If you seal the bulkhead it can also make the boat float much higher if it gets swamped for some reason.

I considered getting one for Lake Nipissing, but it hasn't happened yet. Someday...

Kinguq.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 7:33 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2107
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Yeah, I kinda suspected that something like a Grumman 19 would be inadequate. A friend who needs a large volume motorable canoe has been searching for one, and I was a day late on a used 19’ square stern.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 6th, 2021, 8:10 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2021, 4:19 pm
Posts: 53
Thanks @Kinguq! I've a reliable old 9.9hp Yamaha here already so it'd be my first choice. When you wrote Northwest Canoes, I followed links and ended-up watching their youbloob shopcam all night. Same but different. Makes me appreciate how much work goes into building the big-canoes.
Take a look at the 'Grand Lakers' @MikeMcrea, or possibly one of the old Chesnuts might serve your friend well?


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 7th, 2021, 7:53 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2107
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Boat Mouse, I had not fully comprehended your haulage needs. A month’s worth of foodstuffs, clothing, propane tanks, lumber & construction materials & tools, yeah, that’s gonna need a big boat.

I’m familiar with the Grand Lakers, and with the big Hudson Bay, James Bay and other classic type freighters. At 4 ½ feet wide, with a 30” tall bow, adding a cuddy up front and a 10 or 20 or more HP engine in the back, those seem more motor boats than paddle-able “canoes”.

My square stern motorized friend does not have your weight/capacity requirements, but does need the ability to still be able to paddle the freighter at times. He had the Esquif Miramichi and now has the Cargo.

A WC Chestnut would be torn to shreds in a single season. Used in the Everglades/Ten Thousand Islands, with abundant worm rock, limestone and oyster bars, we need to repair the bottoms of his kevlar boats every year, and the T-Formex Cargo is already getting sliced and diced; for his purposes a Grumman would make more sense in that hull-abusive environment.

Looking forward to seeing what you buy, or make, and how you outfit it for your needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Freighter Canoes
PostPosted: December 7th, 2021, 8:11 am 
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Joined: February 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Here's my old freighter, grounded on a mudflat.
Image

Kinguq


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