Thursday, August 13, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

One of the things that I find myself doing before my class starts up is reviewing my tools, forms and procedures to see if there is anything that I can be doing to improve the class for the students.

This year, I've got a bit of a dilemma.

I have two couples who would like to build tandem canoes. This brings up some logistical issues:
  • Bigger boats and forms need to be moved out of the shop and into the barn on a weekly basis. They are heavier and more awkward to deal with than a Wee Lassie.
  • Bigger boats require longer stock. We like to rip full length stock, so we're looking at 16' boards.
  • Bigger boats are more expensive.
  • Because we move the boats on a weekly basis, the strongback has to be rigid. I'm considering some lightweight box-beam designs for a change.
In practical terms, I would like to get the students' input on the selection of the canoe. There are a handful of good canoe designs in the 15' range that I'm looking at, but they have distinctly different paddling characteristics. Picture having someone else pick out the car you're going to drive without knowing very much about your driving abilities and how you'll use the vehicle - without doing a test-drive themselves! For this reason, I'm looking at boats which are based on "tried-and-true" designs such as the Bob's Special, which is based on an old Chestnut design and several others which are based on Peterborough designs.

The other important consideration here is the protection of a designer's intellectual property - taking a copyrighted design will require a royalty to be paid for each design - or sometimes, a price for the first design and a smaller licensing fee for the additional boats.

Anybody got any good ideas?


Da Goof said...

Have the couples' perform their own "marriages."
One person builds the bow, the other builds the stern, and the two are halves are joined in (hopefully) un-holey partnership.

It would certainly make the trip from the barn easier!


Canoez said...

You really are trying to get me in trouble here, aren't you? ;-D