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...

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