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After many (many) mistakes the stonefly goes for its first camping trip

Omar Mir

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The 60L barrel in the back has supplies and tent and all that I need for a few days while I go into the back country :)


i made a lot of mistakes on this build, and my next boat (the Tandem canoe) will be built so much better based on the lessons learned here. And then maybe the Castaway, or maybe I don't need three boats...


Also caught my first fish in it last week.



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On 7/14/2018 at 7:36 PM, Omar Mir said:


 or maybe I don't need three boats...



What are you talking about? Of COURSE you need 3 boats! ?


.... and never mind the mistakes, it turned out nice in the end.

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  • 8 months later...

A couple of mistakes I would try to avoid:

  1. Early in the build process I screwed up the frame holding pieces and made them all the same height losing a whole bunch of rocker. I was able to fix it but not entirely. Canoe rides like its on a rail, highly recommend trying to preserve the rocker.
  2. Where the gunnels meet the bow and stern, you have to cut the gunnels at a bias to meet the ply. I screwed this up royally. Do both sides at once. I might even put a dowel through the assembly next time to keep it well lined up and square.
  3. Lashing - I individually lashed each joint. Not a mistake but I doubt that was needed and the kayak builders seem to not do that. Would save so much time....
  4. Wood size. You can use 3/4 or 5/8. Use 5/8th. 3/4 is easier but its unnecessary and adds a lot weight.
  5. Get a router. Seriously get a router.
  6. DO NOT use WRC for the seat if you use a webbed seat. Use a hardwood. It’s not fun falling though the seat.
  7. If you are good with a bandsaw use that instead of a jig saw to cut the plywood
  8. For the canoe bow and stern bronze strips use something that is easily moldable or use the stuff Jeff sells. Do not try to curve your own bronze. Its a bad idea.
  10. The floor boards will add a lot of weight. If possible use the two plys instead like Jeff or other folks here who use thin stock wood. You can always add a flooring rubber mat.
  11. Bronze attachments look cool but are heavy. Avoid if you want lightweight.

I’m sure there is more but its been a bit since the build. Its a great little boat. My biggest mistake was the paint to be honest and the added weight. I have to portage the canoe a whole bunch and the extra 10-15 lbs could be avoided and that would have been great. I will be building another canoe either this year or next.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for your insights Omar.

Sorry I just saw your reply now and I have almost finished my build. I did use 5/8''  x 1'' and 5/8'' x 5/8'' for the stringers and 5/8'' x 1 1/2'' for the gunwales though I did up the plywood thickness for the frames from 1/2'' to 5/8'' which probably only added a half pound or so.  I haven't weighed it yet but it is definitely lighter than my fibreglass canoe.I had my frames cut on a computer controlled router which did a great job. I did the offsets on my autocad then sent off the files to the CNC people. 

I have many years of fine wood working under my belt so the joints were not a problem for me.

I also did the lashings individually which I must admit is time consuming and hard on the fingers but they are very strong and when done right look good too.

I used Ash for the seat frame which looks very thin but with stub tenon joints seems to be strong enough for at least my 50kg son.

As to the paint I amusing clear polyurethane and putting on 4 reasonably thick coats with a roller. why are you suggesting using very thin coats. Some sort of problem?

Anyway keep an eye on the launch site as I will get some pictures there after my launch which should be next weekend weather permitting.

Ireckon I will build another SOF boat maybe a Cape Falcon F1

cheers Tony


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