Sunday, June 9, 2013

Exhibition 2013

The school where I teach had their annual exhibition and my students and I had the opportunity to display our boats that we've been making over the past year.  Sadly, we had weather that reminded me of last year's event on Friday night.  It came down in buckets - we had at least 4" of rain.  Fortunately they have us display our boats on the front lawn under a large tent.  Still, I will save your delicate ears by not giving you my comments on the weather, but suffice it to say that I was a drowned rat when I returned home Friday after the show.

Saturday dawned a much nicer, sunnier day and our collective disposition was much better.  So, without further ado, here are some of the pictures:

Placed out front is the Genny - a 15' Solo Portage design from Rob Macks at Laughing Loon that was built by a former student with my help - it was kind of his master's level project in boatbuilding.  The hull is 3/16" thick Northern White Cedar.  Feature strip and trim are Walnut - both American and Peruvian.

 Decks are crotched Walnut burl.

It's a stunning canoe and well made, to boot.

Hiding behind that is the modified Sea Tour 15 that I finished last year as an example of what is possible.  I've been enjoying it and the speed and durability of the skin boat.  It always seems to draw interest.  It still doesn't have a name.  I've been thinking of the Banana Boat and painting a huge blue Chiquita sticker on the deck.

Hidden behind is the other stripper that was made by the student who built the Genny.  This canoe, the Harpoon, was built in the class and is a Wee Lassie II designed by Mac McCarthy of Feather Canoes.   Trim is Ash, Walnut, and Butternut and the hull is 1/4" thick Western Red Cedar.  The ropes that you see are for a foot bar and allow for quick adjustment for different paddlers.  Should you be looking for a canoe, it is for sale.

This is a detail of the seating area - a clever solution to remove the seat-back.  There are barrel catches that are both the seat pivots and let the back be removable for transport.

At the beginning of the year, we offered three different designs to the students.  They were the Stonefly canoe by S. Jeff Horton of Kudzucraft, and the Chuckanut 12 and Chuckanut 15 from Dave Gentry of Gentry Custom Boats.  I figured we'd have a "little of this" and a "little of that" in the class, but we ended up with 7 of the Stonefly canoes and one of the Chuckanut 15's.

Here is one of the more interesting paint jobs that I've seen put on the canoes so far.  The owner is a talented woodworker in his own right, and has done an outstanding job on the woodwork.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised about the creativity of the paintwork.

He was just applying the trim at exhibition.  Today was another beautiful day, I hope he got a chance to paddle it.

This one is by a woman who started the class with somewhat more limited skills, but still has created a very beautiful boat.  While we bond and screw or peg the stringers to the frames, she chose to add a more traditional touch by adding cosmetic lashings to all the joints as well as lashing the floorboards.  (All of the students lash the floors to the frame...)

Scupper blocks, decks and rub rails will be from Walnut and the contrast with the Western Red Cedar frame are stunning.  We hope to skin this boat this week.

This boat is being built by a fellow who has been developing his woodworking skills at the school and has done a splendid job of building his canoe.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the decks in the sunlight - they're figured English Chestnut.

This boat was built by a student who was enthusiastic to build a light-weight canoe to use in the Adirondacks.  He's made some unique choices during the build regarding his scupper blocks and has done a nice job with it.  The brilliant red should be very visible on the water!

This is a unique canoe for us - it was done with White Pine stringers (like the yellow kayak) and is very pretty with the blonde wood.

Decks are Bird's Eye Maple and this boat has a sculpted backrest.

This is the lone Chuckanut 15.  The gentleman who was building the kayak is 82 years young and is building the kayak to share with his grandchildren.  The colors were selected to represent the college colors of some of the grandchildren.

Oh, yeah - he also built two paddles - one of which is in the picture.

Two canoes were MIA.  One belongs to a student who gets around by bicycle - and plans to haul the canoe on a trailer behind the canoe, but had difficulty getting it back for exhibition because of this fact.  The other belongs to a builder who had some serious changes in his life that occurred during the class and has moved to New York.  He had come up to stay with myself and my family and work on his canoe.   He'd applied finish to the frame and it wasn't dry enough to exhibit - a typical issue at boat shows - you can almost smell the varnish factory.   Still, by the end of this weekend, the frame was varnished, decks and thwarts installed and the floors ready to lash in place.  From there, just skin and trim.  I hope to have pictures from the group launch party of these two boats. 

During the course of the class, we discovered that the Stonefly design had a small issue because of some of the way we chose to finish the gunwales and decks.  There was a slight "hourglass" shape that appeared in the aft end of the canoe.  So, I decided that I'd like to change the design of the aft frame to get rid of this curvature.  However before I turn this loose on the students, I figured I'd better build one.  Here it is:

I went with Mahogany for floorboards and trim.  I like the traditional shapes from wood and canvas canoes and took some cues from the class I took with Jerry Stelmok in tapering the gunwales and the shapes for the decks - curved with a hollow back - and the brass stem band and painter loop on bow and stern.

I have to admit that I had a bit of fun with the back rest.  It is a curved pivoting back-rest with some stars carved into the top of the cross-member.  I painted them gold before varnishing.  I thought it came out rather nicely.

One of my concerns when I started this class was that the boats wouldn't have the same aesthetic appeal that the cedar strip canoes did.  I had a set of clipboard out that visitors could leave contact information and be reminded of the sign-up for our next session in the fall - I have two full pages of folks who were interested in building a boat.  I guess I didn't need to worry!


Richard Wagner said...

beautiful boats! can i ask what you used to skin them? thanks!

Richard Wagner said...

lovely boats. can i ask what you used to skin them? thanks

Richard Wagner said...

i don't know if my commment got lost. could you tell me what you skinned your canoes with? thanks

and lovely breasthooks. i wanna be able to do that some day.

Richard Wagner said...

i don't know if my commment got lost. could you tell me what you skinned your canoes with? thanks

and lovely breasthooks. i wanna be able to do that some day.

Canoez said...

Apologies, Richard - the blog has been a bit fallow for a while due to some other responsibilities. The boats are skinned with 8 oz Dacron fabric which is available from George Dyson at Dyson, Baidarka and Co.