Sunday 20 March 2016

Modifying a building form

Maine guide canoes are some of the best and most capable tripping canoes, owing to their design dating back to birchbark designs, that evolved into the earliest wood and canvas designs. 
These early shots are from Island Falls Canoe's website, and feature some early Maine guide canoes.
Jerry Stelmok builds some fantastic guide canoes inspired by the early designs of EM White, and others. 

Lots of tripping volume

Guide up high in the stern

Flat mid section for stability to stand, and for poling.

Modern version desined by Rollin Thurlow, named the Atkinson Traveller. 

Great profile and sheerline

Barn find very early guide canoe

All the characteristics of the earliest hulls, circa approx 1890, builder unknown

Atkinson Traveller form

New casters for steel form stand, to roll over all terrain

Shape faithful to the plans, its had 2 boats pulled from it.
To be clear, this is a fantastic, proven design with hundreds of boats built to its design, including being offered by several builders and larger companies. Not wanting to change any of the paddling or load carrying characteristics of the hull, we'll focus on the shape from above the waterline at the bilge on up to the gunwales. The reason is our desire to have a capable tripping canoe with all the characteristics of the earliest boats. Once restored, the early guide canoe will only be paddled for fun or shows, being so old and somewhat fragile. It not be suitable for had trippping or loads. 
The form, while accurate and true, is not particularly well built and will benefit from a rebuild

Tumblehome to be introduced is the major modification to be made

Form displays no tumblehome as designed

Early boat displays lots of tumblehome along its length, and is most dramatic in the centre section.

Hull displays flare, making for a more dry boat is weather and waves. To be clear, our modifications will not enhance the design, but  will will introduce the style we are looking for to try and replicate the earliest boats. A bit of work, but lifes too short not to paddle the boat you want!

Tumblehome all the way forward

Banding as fit to the form is loose, and will be tightened up for better building

A great starting point, and modifications will be made by eye rather than trying to modify the drawings and committing to a full build of the form, uncertain if the modifications were correct. 

Nice long, flat run that is an essential part of the design

Significant tumblehome, but will not alter the water line shape of the hull or compromise its performance.

Ready to be started, this will be saved for the fall and winter 

Sidwinder is a great tool for lifting as well as transferring lines and shapes

Small, elongated early decks and narrow entry that will be used

to be continued this fall...

Sunday 13 March 2016

Mountain Bike revamp

Always wanted a Kona back when i was mounting biking, and finally got one back in 1998. Pre-disc brakes, early in the evolution of front and rear suspension, old style head down riding position etc. Cycling has evolved so much faster with new advances much more than watercraft, both with respect to technology as much as fit and form. Riding positions have changed to be more comfortable and ergonomic, but the old equipment can still work fine.  This bike saw some fine offroad work, but as life changed, and with time becoming more scarce it saw less and less use as the sport evolved. Wanting to get the fitness level back up, and as the kids can now keep up, it was time for an overhaul and make it more street friendly.

Pride of 1998, suspension forks were coming on strong, but opted for the old straight blades and the rapid fire thumbshifters were ditched for the last pair of top mounts the shop had. Worn off road tires and tired seat round it out. Oh and a ton of dust. 

Evo slicks, 3" rise bars and old school Oury motocross grips. 

First slick mounted, much better!

New gel saddle, and shifter and brake cables.

Refitting everything and new cabling going on.

Done and ready for a test ride. Much better and a good way to get that cardio workout

Oldest's new ride, aluminum framed and more comfortable ride out of the gate. Bottle cages, bar ends and a computer rounded it out but forgot to take a picture of the finished product.....

Sunday 6 March 2016

Trailer racks

Racks will take down completely, sleeved and bolted so it will hold one or two boats, and a second level with take it to 3 or 4. Dismantling will allow the whole trailer to be stored inside and hung on the wall.

Bases ready for welding

Racking squared up for welding

Sleeves in place for second level

Next is tail light bar for mounting and protecting tail lights
Almost ready to knock down, paint and do final assembly

1950s Princecraft aluminum boat project

New boat! As usual needs some work but its vintage all the way. 16' rated for a 40hp, the perfect fishing machine for Georgian Bay and any smaller lake or river. We knew right away this was a keeper, and the research began. Tag on it said 'Aluminum Boats and Canoes', strange name - never heard of it. Quick internet search revealed it is from the earliest days of production from the forerunner of Princecraft boats, from Princeville Quebec. 

First production facility

Early photo from company archives
Todays fishing products

Fishing, fish/ski boats and pontoon boats along with canoes have all been a part of their line up

Narrow entry 
Built around 1957

Lines reminiscent of a wood runabout

Nice tumblehomed stern and deep sides

Just retrieved

Closed deck model

An example of what can be done with a buffing wheel, polishing compounds and may, many hours of work

With available wooden boats becoming more scarce, restorations of more contemporary craft are becoming more common. Moreover, classic 'glass and aluminum boats are more accessible, withstand harder use and are more familiar to most people these days than boats from the early part of the last century, and are much more affordable.

Nicely restored with a matching period outboard

Another classic aluminum with some serious style 

Polished and painted

Currently looking for modern power. A period correct engine, though kool looking would not provide the reliablilty or economy needed, and put too much gas and oil back in the water.
More to come, need to test for leaks and re-rivet as necessary, replace transom wood, change steering, find a windshield and rebuild seats.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

More trailer stuff, gettin closer to done

The quest for a lightweight rail trailer is almost done. No more pulling a heavy duty box trailer for a couple of 70lb canoes. Besides the fuel efficiency, being lightly sprung is easier on the boats. Two tier racks will be removable for winter storage inside, and the upper racks will go to 3 or 4 boats from just the lower ones used for one or two. 
A trip to the Metal Supermarket and its on its way, best part is they cut to length so just put it together and welder up.

Vintage, and light weight

Rack bases bolted with grade 8s, removeable for storage

Gussets for crossbar to upright joint

Sleeved, bolt holes to be drilled

New bumpers for the bigger off road hits

Front rack mock up

Set for lengths from 9' kayaks up to 20'

Time to fire up the Lincoln buzz box

Need to take the sparks outisde, welding inside not the best idea....

Be done in time for the first replica to make its way north

Small areas of rust to be cut out and replaced, where boat winch was located.

Next is mount lights, new wheels and knock down for  paint then reassemble.