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A new pirogue project in Tallahassee

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
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Tallahassee Florida
I wonder what folks are doing for deck plates or breast hooks on pirogues similar in construction to an UJ pirogue. Options I see for mine:
  1. Nothing, the little Christmas tree shaped stem is good enough.
  2. A piece of 4mm ply on top of the rails. It would likely be bent to a curve rather than plane/sand the area flat and maybe it would be reinforced on the unsupported edge.
  3. A piece of 4mm ply fitted to sit flush with the top of the rails. It also may be reinforced on the unsupported edge. It would sit on small pieces of solid wood that would be glued in.
  4. A solid wood breast hook.
Bear in mind that the boat will be painted and I am talking about little deck plates, not decks that will shed any water.

My initial plan was to do choice #2, but looking at it I wonder if choice #3 might be less likely to have the edges of the ply deck plate get beat up loading and unloading the boat and so on.

The other thing I wonder about is whether anything is really necessary and choice #1 actually makes the most sense. In other words is it more work and more weight for no real advantage?

I figure that the handles/tow loops/end tie down loops will be loops of good quality rope threaded through a holed drilled through the stem. So no deck plates needed for that.

Thoughts on any of that?
 
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PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
144
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69
Tallahassee Florida
All of the glass is on and wetted out with epoxy. The floors need another coat of epoxy, the inside sides need to be sealed, and there is plenty of sanding to be done before painting, but once everything is sealed I may go for a test paddle. That should be in just a few days. I am really looking forward to it!

I am not sure how much weight a coat of epoxy on the inside and paint all over will add, but I balanced her on a bathroom scale and it looked like exactly 30 pounds. Better than I expected for a 14' pirogue with 12" sides at this point of progress. I took pains in trying to keep weight down with most choices, but feared that the 6 ounce cloth, my not so perfect epoxy work, and other poor choices might have added more weight, so I was pleased to see the scale read 30 pounds. I'll get a better weigh in on a better scale when she is all painted and done, but I am optimistic. Even if she comes in quite a bit heavier, I am pleased how easy she is to move around and without a center thwart at that.
 
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Kayak Jack

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Aug 26, 2003
13,798
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
My canoe thwarts are light rope, drawn or twisted to desired tension. Thwarts operate in tension, not compression. If a loaded boat gets bridged - supported on both ends with its middle in the air - the hull expands outward. That puts a thwart in tension. It’s a thwart’s function to hold the gunnels in place should a loaded boat be bridged. The rest of the time, they just hang around and present a tripping hazard.
 
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PeteStaehling

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Aug 23, 2020
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Tallahassee Florida
What I hope is the last coat of epoxy went on the pirogue this afternoon. Tomorrow the real sanding starts I guess. Since it is all sealed I could go for a test paddle first though and just might.

I haven't decided how much sanding I will do. It would be a functional boat and not terribly ugly with not all that much sanding or I could spend a ton of time and make it pretty. The epoxy went on well and I did a little sanding between coats so it doesn't look too bad. Given that it will be flat olive drab I probably won't go crazy with the sanding. I certainly won't sand it like I would if I were going to varnish it.
 

PeteStaehling

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Aug 23, 2020
144
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Tallahassee Florida
I sanded the bottom and put on a coat of the Hunters Specialties Camo Paint. The olive drab is a prettier color than I expected. It is almost more hunter green than olive drab to my eye unless it dries to a different color when fully dry.

I hope it dries to a smoother finish than it looks like right now. Brush marks show more than I'd prefer. They aren't terrible, but are pretty obvious up close. I applied it like I'd apply varnish and it didn't flow out as well as I'd like. With good varnish I have applied so there were no brush marks. Maybe it will flatten out when it fully dries and if it doesn't the flat nonreflective nature of the finish should minimize the brush marks. If not I'll try wet sanding it (if this stuff can handle wet sanding) and either spraying or rolling another coat before deciding what to do on the rest of the boat. Worst case it isn't so bad that I couldn't live with it.

I am thinking maybe rolling with a roller would have been better. I think the slightly stippled look would be fine with a flat finish and bother me less than brush marks.

It is probably one of those things I obsess about when building but is forgotten a month later when using the boat.

By the way, I hooked up the random orbital sander to the dust collection system instead of relying on the little bag on the sander for the sanding this morning. All I can say is that I should have done that long ago. Not only was there less dust, but the sanding went better and the abrasives lasted way longer when they weren't clogged with dust.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
144
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Tallahassee Florida
Would some thinner in the paint have helped it to lie flatter?
Maybe, but it seemed fairly thin already. It didn't seem like it needed thinning to me, but perhaps did given that the brush marks didn't flow out.

I does seem to be lying flatter as it dries, not without brush marks but flatter. Not sure if it is as good as it will get at this point. There is a little bit of an area where the color of the wood is still showing through a little so either some touch up or another full coat will be needed.

My wife who often points out stuff I don't even notice, looked at it and said, " It looks fine and it is on the bottom. Why are you worrying about it?".
 

PeteStaehling

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Aug 23, 2020
144
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Tallahassee Florida
I found that this paint goes on nicer with a foam roller. I sanded the bottom lightly with 220 grit to get rid of the brush marks before applying a second coat with the roller. On hind sight I could have sanded a bit more aggressively because I didn't completely remove the brush marks, there is still a hint of them, but I am calling it good enough. I can come back later and sand again before applying another coat if I change my mind, but that is more likely to be when she gets a freshening up somewhere down the road (hopefully not for a few years).

There were a couple spots I decided to touch up the epoxy on the sides so I didn't paint them yet, but did a couple little dabs of epoxy here and there. We are having real warm weather (over 80 today and tomorrow) so the epoxy should cure quickly and I should be able to sand and paint soon with no concerns about that.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
144
2
69
Tallahassee Florida
It sounds like a wavy matte finish? Fish in it, camp under it at night propped up against a tree.
You could call it that.

I have a nice 5.3 ounce bug bivy that I use for backpacking or bike touring. Also a 7 ounce and a 12 ounce tarp that I have use either of to sleep under when backpacking or bike touring. Either would nicely supplement the shelter the pirogue offers if the weather was iffy.

Hopefully I will catch many fish in it and spend many nights under it. If not there will at last be lots of afternoon on the local lakes.
 

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
You could call it that.

I have a nice 5.3 ounce bug bivy that I use for backpacking or bike touring. Also a 7 ounce and a 12 ounce tarp that I have use either of to sleep under when backpacking or bike touring. Either would nicely supplement the shelter the pirogue offers if the weather was iffy.

Hopefully I will catch many fish in it and spend many nights under it. If not there will at last be lots of afternoon on the local lakes.
On one trip down the Suwanee River we camped at Big Shoals.
It was the middle of the afternoon and we decided to stay there since it was a nice campsite. One of the guys ( Randy ) decide he was going to cowboy camp under his canoe that night. Evening arrived and later on when all the BS quieted down all of us decide to hit the sack.
About 2 in the morning we heard this ungodly scream and a racket like you have never heard before in the woods.
A Rat or a large Mouse , not sure which , caused all the noise.
Apparently it wanted to warm up ( it was cool out ) and crawled up Randy's blue jean pant leg. It got a pretty good distance up his leg before he woke up.
From what we could gather neither Randy or the rodent wanted anything to do with the other so it was a canoe in the air and Randy doing a wild dance while furnishing all the sounds to accompaniment his dance.
The camp site was so nice we stayed there 2 nights , the 2nd night was critter free and quiet.
 

Kayak Jack

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Aug 26, 2003
13,798
136
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
In the horse drawn days of farming, corn pickers weren’t what we have today. Dry, ripe fields of corn were cut off just above ground level. Individual stalks were gathered into an armful bundle, and tied with twine. After Cyrus McCormick’s invention of the corn binder, that part of the job was done by machine. And, those bundles were left lying on the ground. Farmers stacked the individual bundles upright, into corn shocks. The next step was to drive a wagon along the rows and load the bundles up onto the wagon to take to the thrashing machine..

Well, sometimes field mice would take shelter inside those shocks. And when a man would start dissembling the shock, mice would run out and away. If a booted pant leg was handy, a mouse would scamper right up. Leading to the infamous corn shock dance, accompanied by mal-odious music. They learned early on to wrap pant leg cuffs with binder twine, and knot it tightly.

When I was about 4, a 60 acre field of those corn shocks were just across the road. To Tippy (my beagle) and me, they weren’t corn shocks - they were India tepees! A WHOLE village of’em! We spent several days hunkered back inside some of them. We held war councils, watched herds of passing buffaloes (black and white Holstein cows looked just like buffalo to us), and plotted raids on neighboring villages.

In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that Mom and Dad had an ironclad rule about matches. I don’t think my uncle would have appreciated field roasted corn.
 
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Kayak Jack

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Aug 26, 2003
13,798
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
We traditionally have a dog along on our annual Geezer Run canoe trip on Michigan’s Au Sable River. We guys need some adult supervision. Tyler, the Brittany who came first, has had his last trip. He’s too old and crippled now to go along. Now, Dewey comes along. He’s an Australian mix with a sharp brain.

Dogs add to our pleasure out of proportion to their body weight.