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Castaway Prepping in Texas


azucha
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Getting ready for a plan build of a Castaway for fishing in Galveston Bay.  I finished a kit build of a CLC (Chesapeake Light Craft) dingy last summer.  My first attempt at SOF and kayak building.  I am wondering how much traffic this site gets.  I'll be looking for ideas and confirmation of decisions through the process.

 

I finished the stands for mounting the strong back.  Going with the clam-shell style.

 

I have the opportunity to reclaim redwood from a backyard playstation in the neighborhood.  Built the stands out of this recycled redwood.  It is soft but it's free.  Thinking about using it for stringers.  Any comments?

 

I look forward to sharing in the process with other builders.

 

 

 

post-4475-0-53614900-1413333136_thumb.jpg

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Welcome to the forum azucha.  You will find this is not a busy forum, but I think you find it helpful. The good thing is that (most) everyone that is active has actually built one or more of my boats. Of course I will wade in too but I tend to let other answer unless it is a technical question. I don't want to sound like a salesman hawking his wares. But I check at least a couple of times every day.

 

I think you will like Cast Away. I don't fish like I thought I would but I was well pleased with mine. It started as a personal project, I just wanted a boat to fish from and I liked it so much I decided to offer plans for it.

 

I have never had the chance to work with Redwood but I have always thought it would be a good choice. It sounds a lot like the cedar I use. It is just not available here. Please keep us up to date. There are a lot of 'lurkers' that read the forum.

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Thanks for responses Kudzu and Action Tiger.  I tend to be a bit slow in building things.  My dinghy was advertised as 100 hour job and I spent more like 400 hours with just moderate quality.  I like knots!  The lashing is what got me interested in these boats.  Stitch and glue is fine, but the idea of lashing excites me. 

 

I don't have near the quality redwood that Action Tiger has access to and will be more like the cedar described.  As the pix shows, lots of knots, but ripping and scarfing will make the knots into kindling.  The scarf in the stand on the top rail shows the 1 to 9 ratio.

 

As soon as I tidy up the garage, I'll be constructing the clam-shell strong back.  I'm in the process of harvesting the redwood from the neighbor's yard -- very seasoned.  The playstation has 8 4x4s that range from 8 to 10 feet long.  I am anxious to see how long and clear a section I can get out of my resaws.

 

I'll keep the board informed and thanks for the suggestions and encouragement.

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That stuff will work fine. Sounds like you are careful about your work. Reclaiming wood is exciting to me.

 

I will digress to say, I was lucky enough for several years to live among the foggy coastal redwood forests of Northern California, and I would recommend seeing them. It is difficult to wrap your head around the beauty of these forests. The polar opposite of the hardwood forests I've experienced in the south and east, which are a totally different beautiful. I do pine for the hardwoods at times.

That said, I now live inland amongst the giant sequoia trees. If you've never seen one of these trees, you should. It is difficult to conceive of their mass. The biggest living thing in the world. Google up some photos of those old boys felling them with hand saws. Yes, Virginia...

The sequoia wood is what I'm used too, and it is relatively soft and brittle. It is also light, works easily, can be had in LONG, straight, clear lengths, and some of these hundred year old tops and stumps indicate it will last. It is pretty close to WRC in my experience, though with fewer knots.

 

You better be careful with the boat building thing. Like rabbits... ;)

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post-3161-0-39263100-1413401804_thumb.jpg

 

The castaway was the first kayak I ever built.  I subsequantly built my wife another of Jeff's designs called the Ravenswood.  Although I have no kayak experience outside these two kayaks, I find them very satisfying, easy to transport, fast and stable.  Furthermore, after paddling them side by side with my wife or athletic teensage sons, (including a multi day 30  mile trip) the Castaway design seems is everybit as nimble as the Ravenswood.  

 

Quite honestly I dont know how that could be but it is what it is.

 

 

 

 

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Azucha, I'm excited to watch you build.  Glad you are here and don't hesitate to post lots of pictures.  Recycled wood is good.  I used recycled red wood from my deck to build pipes for a crank organ I built.  I used recycled wood for my stringer for my curlew are from wood I stole from a quilting frame my mother-in-law had.  I stored the wood for years for her, when she passed away I decided to use it.  Now my wife has started quilting......  she just discovered the other day the wood was gone....  not too happy!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pros and Cons requested.

 

Because I'm salvaging redwood for the stringers, I'll be doing a lot of scarf joints.  I don't mind doing the scarf joints.  Some of the best lumber -- straight, tight, knot free -- comes from steps and rails that average around 30" long.  With a 9 to 1 scarf on 1" stringers, a scarf joint could be repeated about every 12".  Seems that the 30" length is OK and the 15' stringers might have 6 to 7 scarf joints.  Given that the joint should be stronger than the unscarfed stringer on either side, I don't see this as a detriment -- may add ounces to weight.  I could pick up 8' western red cedar for stringers.  Question -- Salvage the redwood or use western red cedar?

 

Question 2:  Tightbond 3 or epoxy for joints?  The scarf joints are table saw cut and tight.  If epoxy, should I add thickening material.

 

Question 3:  After reading manual, I understand the debate about boiled linseed oil vs. varnish on stringers and frame.  Since the frames don't need UV protection, would the Baltic Birch frames benefit from a coat of West System epoxy after before installation?  Or just protect with boiled linseed oil?  (When I say boiled linseed oil, I actually use a blend of 1/3 oil, 1/3 mineral spirits, and 1/3 varnish).

 

Thanks for participating.

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#1  Your choice.  I have no problem with scarf joints and they should be stronger than the wood so unless you make a mistake. That is just a lot of joints to make.

 

#2 Another highly debatable subject. So my opinion is Titebond III. Cheaper and easier since there is no mixing. I have never had a scarf joint fail using it. No doubt epoxy would work, I just prefer not to mess with it.

 

#3  If the boat is stored dry it is not necessary to epoxy them. I never do and if you hired me to build you a boat I don't. Just store it in a dry place out of the sun and it will probably outlast you.

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The stringers on the castaway are 1" x 5/8".  Does it matter is you make the scarf joint on the 1" or 5/8" width.  The glue area calculates out equally (high school trig was a long time ago).  Is a longer, narrower scarf better than a shorter wider scarf from a lashing and strength point of view?  Both cut to a 9 to 1 ratio.  I cut my first set with the 1" face parallel to the saw blade resulting in the shorter wider scarf.  Wondering if I should make the 5/8" face parallel to the saw blade and make a longer narrower scarf.  Sometimes I get lost in the details of thought.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

post-4475-0-55013500-1419018116_thumb.jpg

 

I zip tied up castaway yesterday.  I used zip ties in place of shock cords as a throw back to my stitch and glue experience.  I found it easy to loosely loop the stringer in place, move fore and aft, port to starboard, and keep level and then snug down each to stringer.  I found this process allowed me to get everything aligned and fitted nicely.  Now, I go back and clip off each of the six zip-ties on that frame, recheck the frame location measurement and vertical alignment, then start lashing.  Working on developing lashing speed.  I'm kind of slow at the moment, but I get quicker with each completed set.

 

 

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Question about floor in Castaway.  I would really like a strip floor in Castaway.  I'm thinking about lashing strips to top of frames 5',6", 6'8", 7'10",  and 10'3".  Would this dramatically affect the center of gravity?  I'm thinking about using the 5/8" (height)  x 1" (width) stringer style strips.  Alternatively, I could lash under these frames but unsure if this would interfere with skin and invite abrading issues.

 

Manual calls for plywood floorboard but doesn't specify width (yes, will vary by design) and seems that floorboard is about keel height on the frames.

 

Comments welcome.

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Cast Away floors are meant to be on the top of the frames so no problems there. There is no width specified because you really need to fit them to the boat and you choice of seats. I specify plywood because it is light and strong. Slim chance of it breaking.

 

Cedar strips you propose should be fine but I really don't see any need to run the length of the boat. I typically just put them under the seat to support it. I don't put full length floors. On my boat I ran them over three frames, I don't have the numbers in from of me. That would give you a place to put your feet in front of the seat getting in or out. Or you could sit with something between your legs while you fish but it is really not necessary. Feet on the skin isn't a problem either and adding full length floors just ads weight.

 

Of course it is your boat and if you don't mind the extra weight I don't think it would create a problem, but I have never tried it.

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