Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Annual WCHA assembly, Paul Smiths College, Adirondack region New York

Paul Smiths is a hamlet in the Town of Brighton in Franklin County, New York on Lower St Regis Lake, in the Adirondacks 10 miles North of Saranac Lake. 
Many WCHA assemblies have been held here, and the last couple of years have seen it return. A gorgeous spot in the Adirondacks, with access to several lakes including Lower St Regis and Spitfire, home to many wonderful cottages and boathouses, from the unassuming to the extravagant. 
Below are a few photos of boats, scenery and so on.

From the deck of one of the buildings located lakeside

The green, with tents and boats on display

Closer to the lake

Chris Pearson from Holland, Michigan with his Old Town sailing canoe

Heading out onto Lower St Regis

Cottage compound on Spitfire Lake

Idem class sailboat, a design peculiar to the area

Grand Laker guide canoe and 6hp from Maine, brought by Dale Tobey

Backside of tents on the green

Another view of the Idem class gaff rigged racer

Jerry Stelmok, who confirmed our new project 18.5 ft guide canoe is one of his early boats from the late '70s

Raft up after Paddle by, an annual event where owners paddle their craft by the crowd as details are announced, at which time they salute the crowd, later rafting up for a group shot. 

The annual auction, run by yours truly. This year we interrupted sales for the auction of this beautiful lapstrake canoe built by Geoff Burke, and donated to the college as a fundraiser. 

Gerrish replica  built by Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoes, Parry Sound district

Nose art on canoes displayed on the green

John Allen packing up his 16/30 sailing canoe for the return trip to Hudson Valley, NY.

Another shot of the stone residence on Spitfire Lake

Peterborough Square stern canoe

Soon to be in the shop for restoration and canvas, this will officially replace the Tremblay V-Stern canoe we used for fishing and hunting with a 4hp Mercury outboard. These are flat-sterned craft, making them better suited to outboard motors, and loads. This will officially be the fishing machine for kids once restored to its former glory and will be used for day, weekend and longer trips into the wilds for 3 seasons. 

A shot of it 10 years ago, waterworthy and looking great. Needing new canvas and refinishing, it will again return to the water

Custom made trailer for transport, this will rack up some miles running to Ontario's near north, as well as into Northwestern Ontario

Vintage 5hp, to be restored and tuned for reliability. These hulls move through the water with minimal power and great efficiency.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Skid plates

Usually seen on royalex and river canoes, these dont slow you down noticeably and for glass canoes such as this one, with no bang strip, there's nothing to protect the gelcoat stem. 
A few pictures on how to put them on, once the felt is impregnated they are near bulletproof. 

Aluminum gunwale replacement

More like installing siding on a house than traditional canoe building, a Fiberglass Scott canoe came in with a kinked and broken gunwale after the shed fell on it from snow load. A pop rivet gun, rather than a steambox, is the tool of the day. 

Rear, port side. 

Starboard rear, nice gentle sweep of gunwale

Kinked gunwale, small crack from folding due to weight

Kinked, cant be saved

Rivets from seats, thwart, carrying handles and decks drilled out, before drilling rivets along gunwale

Lots of guck, a wood boat would be well on its way to rotting away

Gunwale starting to go back on

Guck. Scott, and an offshoot Abitibi canoes, are iconic Canadian 'glass canoes, and are very common anywhere there is water to be paddled

Gunwale showing slot for top of fiberglass, it introduces tremendous rigidity to otherwise floppy sides.

Trusty pop rivet gun

Saturday, 14 June 2014

New Wanigan for WCHA Auction

Just like building 12" of a canoe, steam bent ribs, planking and all.  Building for the auction at the assembly in Paul Smiths, NY. Since i set up and call the auction, its always fun to auction off one of your own pieces and send it home with a new owner.  This one is  built of Birdseye Maple, Mahogany and Roasted Curly Maple. Maybe not the most functional, but still a nice piece of wood. 

Sides on the form, waiting for ribs 

Western Red Cedar planking milled and cut 

Lid planed to finished thickness and sanded


Lid and sides, ribs and planking to go on next

Steaming ribs for bending, 200 degrees is optimal. 

Quick set up for 4 ribs, dont need the whole steambox. Custom Epifanes support!

Shop helper, ribs all on. 

Top cut to size, rib tops to be sanded. 

Oiled, ready for varnish.

4 coats of varnish will make it dance.