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1st problem to solve - which boat?!

arrondo

Active Member
Sep 28, 2006
26
0
Seattle, Washington
I'm already confounded and I havn't even bought the ply! It's a bit of a comfort, tho', to realize I'm neither first nor last to wonder which boat is best. I think I've got it narrowed down to two...

First things last, I have a wife and two girls that will (hopefully) be joining me on the water. Types of water will likely be small to large lakes, Puget Sound (calm days only, staying close to shore and away from the city), and rivers, working our way up to maybe Class 2 once we're experienced enough. I'm not enough of a thrill seeker to do whitewater - never say never - but if the day comes I don't think I'll put the four of us in a boat that doesn't inflate. :shock: :) Types of trips would be day paddles to start, and then hopefully working our way up to multi-day camping trips. Full disclosure: I'd love to do the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit in BC eventually, just don't tell the missus yet. :wink:

So, I have it narrowed down to a couple of Matt's plans: the Issaquah (good name!) and the Sasquatch. I was also looking at the DK Touring canoe because, well, the price was right, but that one looks a bit tippy for beginners. I'm favoring the Sasquatch for it's size and extra panel per side over the Issaquah, but I'm concerned about the weight. One could describe my wife as petite, as she is two inches above Washington State's new 4'9" booster seat law. I'm just guessin' when the time comes I'm gonna be the only one wearing this boat for a hat on portages. I'm hoping to keep the weight to 75 lbs max.

Could I use 5mm ply and 4oz cloth with the overlap on the Sasquatch? Would that even cut 20 lbs? While I'm pushing limits, how about 4mm and 4oz? 6oz outside with no overlap and 4oz inside? 4oz inside and out with no overlap? If none of these are recommended, how much weight would stretching the Issaquah to 18' add? Would I even need to for the four of us? Whew! I ask more questions than my three-year-old! I am planning to use the graphite and epoxy trick for the bottom, if that matters...

I'm not planning on bouncing it down Class 3 rapids (planning being the key word there, I know), so I'm wondering which set of tradeoffs to take, how burly a boat I need. Thanks for your patience, everybody!
 

JEM

Well-Known Member
Sasquatch is a BIG canoe. To be honest, I've only sold a few Sasquatch plans, most recently to someone in BC. That's because it's a canoe for one purpose: Hauling serious gear.

It's wide so skimping on the glass and plywood might lead you to some troubles. If you're going to use 4mm, then 6-ounce is the minimum I'd recommend with the bottom overlap. 4-ounce S-glass maybe, but not e-glass.

Issaquah is laready 17'6. Stretching to 18' won't give you much more room. But if you did, you'd be looking at adding 4-6 pounds.

If you want a narrower Sasquatch, e-mail me and we can discuss.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Have you looked at this report by a new builder , He along with his wife and son are having a good time in it. Lot's of good times. :D
This is from Matt's web site, there is some info over here but this is the total record of the process. :D It will give you a good idea about how they go together and then all of the fun you can have with them.

http://www.jemwatercraft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=913

I would say to trust Matt on what you want and work it out between you guys by Email.

You will ....NOT.... be able to locate a designer as willing to work with you as Matt does....... Then you have two independent web sites (His and Mine) to help with any questions, sort of doubling your fun that way. :D

Chuck.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Aaron,

When you read the account of the other builder, you may want to email him and his wife for coordination.

Also, it sounds to me like you may be asking a lot of a single boat. Maybe Matt would want to suggest two boats. This allows a learning curve for building, spreads the family over more hulls, and provides more versatility of selection for various trips.

But, then, I could be off kilt again.
 
I'm the builder of that other canoe. We're quite happy with it. I think you could get 2 (small) girls in the middle and still have room for a little bit of gear.
Bear, there's nothing wrong with multiple boats, but it takes longer to build, room to store, etc. We wanted to get out on the water quick, and building two boats at the same time is out of most people's realm. Two is also trickier to put on top of the average car.

Also, we're there to enjoy nature. It's easy to whisper to someone in your canoe. With two canoes you have to speak louder, have two coolers, etc.

Finally, if one person is a much stronger paddler, the other canoe is going to be floundering much of the time.
 

arrondo

Active Member
Sep 28, 2006
26
0
Seattle, Washington
Kayak Jack said:
... Also, it sounds to me like you may be asking a lot of a single boat....
Yeah, I do that sometimes. :roll: :oops:

Javier hit the nail on the head, and more than once. We don't really have the room to store two boats, and it would be a feat to get two on either of our vehicles (both mid-size 4-cyl passenger cars, no hitch receivers). Plus, my wife would be a hard sell on paddling/sterning (?) her own canoe. I think she'd be pretty uncomfortable with that. I think that if it's gonna work, it'll have to be with one canoe.

There are a few of Matt's boats that the four of us could fit in now, as my girls are only 7 and 3-1/2. I was hoping (okay, still hoping) to build a canoe that would give us years of growing room, plus potential gear, and still be light enough for me to car-top and portage myself, at least until the oldest gets taller than Mom. But, like the "Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick Two." sign at my mechanic's shop suggests, maybe that's one too many.

Matt, thanks for the offer. I will give it a good mull this weekend and let you know. I'm sure I'll have a list of questions for you by Monday! If anyone has more thoughts feel free to share; I really appreciate the advice.

And Javier, just to spread the kudos to another forum, good job on your Merrimac! A beautiful canoe you and your family can be proud of!
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,259
90
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Aaron

Only one way to have the boat that is correct for you and that is to get some wood .... then make a lot of sawdust and the boat. It is nothing more then wood, epoxy and fiberglass but in reality it is a dream fulfilled which can become an obsession.

There are two types of wood boat builders .. The builders who only make one boat and then there are folks like me that make to many, if that is posable. They are like potato chips, you just are not happy with only one.

I am making a prototype boat right now for Matt and it has cost me about $300.00 in supplies , if you were to out and purchase a pre made one (almost like it but not as good) it would cost you about $2,500.00 plus taxes.

"O" ... In a week or two it will be done and then I have to get Matt to say it is OK to post the pictures of it here on southernpaddler. It is going to be a HONEY. (Remember .... I solo paddle , it is a one person craft )

Chuck.
 

arrondo

Active Member
Sep 28, 2006
26
0
Seattle, Washington
Thanks, Sparkey! With your and Matt's and everyone else's encouragement, I'll find the plans for us and get 'er built yet.

And you're probably right. After the first, we'll need to build another to keep her company!

Thanks again! :D
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Psst, Aaron. When Chuckie sez that he is a solo paddler - paddling alone - he makes it sound like it's HIS choice. Uh uh. It's OUR choice to have him paddle by himself.

Good luck on your boat. Keep asking questions, bouncing ideas, etc.
 

hairymick

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
2,107
2
Queensland, Australia
Hi Arrondo,

Welcome aboard mate. Thinking a little outside the square here :oops:

Might I be so bold as to suggest - a Big Swampgirl :D Add a couple of feet in length and about 2 inches to the side height and it should be all the boat you will nead. I am sure Matt would be able to draw something up. :D

The 16 footer is a seriously good boat, immensly stable, reasonable turn of speed a delight to paddle and relatively easy to build. I reckon one could be built well within you desired weight and apart from BIG water would do everything you want.

Good luck with your choices mate and I second Chucks opinion of Matt. :D
 

Eichhornia

Active Member
Sep 22, 2006
32
0
Florida
Trying to show how much space we have inside...
I took this the day we took a friend with us. He paddled while I ate a granola bar and took pictures


He's not a little guy at all:


When it's just our son, there's this much room:


He's not really a little guy either. He's a tall-for-his-age 10 year old:


Hope that kinda helps
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
Friend Aaron,

This one tells some bout Haldane, frum the gas station ta runnin' the Colorado by hizownself.
http://www.fretwater.com/buzz.html

This one haz a few pichurs of hiz homemade boat. It looks like a family could all ride in this. It done okay on rapids a heap bigger'n Class III.
http://www.utah.com/raft/buzz_holmstrom.htm

This haz a better pichur of Buzz's boat.
http://tinyurl.com/y6ayc2

regards
bearridge
sideways bound

I hate political correctness because it's founded on the idea that by means of language you can escape truth -- that if you simply give a different name to something you've somehow changed it. It is a very childlike idea. P. J. O'Rourke
 

arrondo

Active Member
Sep 28, 2006
26
0
Seattle, Washington
-= UPDATE =-

Taking him up on his offer, Matt is going to be drawing up some modified 'Squatch plans for me to build from. As soon as we can agree on price, anyway... :wink:

Bearridge, thanks for the links on Buzz! Sounds like he was quite a guy. I'm kinda surprised I never heard about him while I was living in Ory-gun. His boat is a mite bigger than what I had in mind, but it looks good behind that old Ford, tho!

All I need now is to clear some space in the garage! Oh, and start shopping for some more tools... :twisted:
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
Friend Aaron,

Buzz's tale left a big mark on me. I aimed ta paddle the Colorado in my canoe, but I never overcome the roadblocks. The biggest one wuz the kids-in-the-dark-attic roadblock. By yerownself, a dark attic iz mitey scarey ta a kid, but with two 'er three pals, aint nuthin' to it. I never had no pals who would do more'n say "okay, mebbe next year.....".

The book on Buzz's life makes mitey good readin'....even won the outdoor book award.

regards
bearridge

ps I got $5 sez Matt iz bout the best fella ta come up with a special homemade boat. I hope he reads that book about Buzz one of these days.


You’re never too old to do a thing until you say you are. Harry McDonald