By Leo De Bruyn
Here is the Short Shot I am building out in Friday Harbor, WA.
It has taken a while. When I started, I had no woodworking tools at all and almost no experience. Now, I have the beginnings of a respectable collection. Acquiring tools and learning to use them has obviously added to my cost and time, but learning to do this stuff is a major reason I decided to do this in the first place, so I am content.
Here on the island, what I could get my hands on was MDO for the frames (ugly, but seems to work fine), and Western Red Cedar for stringers. I was lucky enough to find some full length clear fascia boards for the gunwales and keel, and there are only a couple scarfs I had to do for a couple of the stringers. If I had wanted I could have ordered clear finished 1"x8"x18' boards at the local yard, but I didn't want to spend the money, so I picked through the fascia pile and hit the jackpot. Good cedar is one of the few things that it is easy to get out here.
The boat is a little more heavily built than plans-- initially because I didn't have an easy way to plane the boards from 3/4" to 5/8", but after some thought, I realized I don't mind it being a bit sturdier in the sometimes rough conditions I can encounter on the ocean. I will only be using it in salt water, and we can get some decent wind, waves, and tides here. It's still not too heavy for me to easily pick up and put on the car.
I also did my first ever lamination on the deck beam, which is far from perfect but seems very strong. Having climbed into it, I concur that the laminated beam is the way to go. I will try to improve on my technique for the coaming. All they had was red oak, at 3/4" thickness, so I had to rip it into 1" and 1.5" pieces, put those on their side and push through the saw with featherboards to hold them straight to get three roughly 1/8" strips per piece. The stuff is not cheap, either.
In case you are wondering, I will be skinning the frame as-is-- bare wood with no finish applied.
I got a chance to get my Ravenswood in the water today, and chase my daughter around in her Kidyak for a bit. Water stayed out, and everyone had a great time. I'm looking forward to spending lots more time in the boat. It paddled beautifully, and the acceleration was amazing! I made the mistake of letting my wife try it on as well, and I'm guessing there will be a second Ravenswood in the pipeline before long...
Stringers are WRC, with frames in Hydrotek marine plywood, and the masik and coaming in ash. Skin was the 6oz premium fabric with 3 coats of Ace's Rust Stop paint. It weighed in at 28.1 lbs ready to launch, and I could shave a bit more weight on the floors and pedals next time. The boat was made on the cheap: All of the cedar except the gunwales was found for free in a local cedar dealer's curbside scrap box (full length with no scarfs needed), and I had enough Hydrotek left over from previous projects for the frames and floors. (I got two Kidyaks, a Tadpole, and the Ravenswood out of one sheet, so it's hard to complain about the cost there in any case!)
My thanks to all of you who answered my questions during the build.
Well, not really the first time afloat, the real first was just 20 minutes of so to make sure it held water (out!)
The photo is on it's real maiden voyage - 5 miles. Did another 5 the next day.
The Ravenswood will take a little getting used to. I miss having a skeg.
The second photo shows the area of the second voyage though the photo is taken from my Manitou-14 a week earlier. Taking any kayak through the trees felt, well rather spooky even more so with the Ravenswood.
Ravenswood, frames and coaming in hoop pine ply, stringers in WRC, polyester skin bought from the Kudzu store finished with clear Aquacote 2-part polyurethane.
Mr Horton's book is right - I was so desperate to get the boat in the water during the last bit of fitout it almost sent me crazy.
Then it was suddenly finished, and I just stood around looking at it, putting off and putting off the 'flotation trials'...
Boat on the car. I really wanted that translucent finish.
I'm just starting my Ravenswood and have a question about 'Flooring'. I'm a bit concerned about my heels (or rather the heels of my watershoes) wearing on the fabric in the area of the foot-pegs.
There is solid wood flooring under my butt, then looks like bare fabric where only 'lunch, etc' then a frame and bare fabric where my feet might wear the fabric.
I'm thinking of putting some kind of removable light plastic. What does everyone else do? Or am I overthinking a problem that doesn't really exist.?