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Curved Stem

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,807
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Chuck, I didn't curve it like a canoe stem because I never considered it. The whole proses has been to increase the water line in relationship to the overall boat length. These stems are a few degrees more vertical than the last boat. We had no issues with it and this not a drastic change.
Joey I should have stated a disclaimer with the post. I was not trying to show it was easy to make the "canoe" stems with wood. I only wanted to show how I had reduced the size and shape of my stem pieces to save weight and have a good fit.
 

jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,290
38
South Louisiana
Bee, I realized that you were just showing how you did it. When I was doing my stems, I realized that 1/4" ply will probably never make the curves that a real canoe stem has. It's just too stiff. I got about as far as I figured I could get with it and filled in the rest with putty.

Almost my whole reason for building a pirogue is shape..........a 3d shape that pleases my eye. I don't really care too much about the history, tradition or heritage of boat building when I build. I build for me. I am still very interested in the history and the tradition, but that's not the kind of boat I want. I'll use whatever material and whatever process it takes to get where I'm going. Some might not even call this last boat a pirogue. You can call it a flat-botttomed paddling craft. Cool.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,807
49
We have discussed in the past how much the different designs evolved based on the materials available to the builders. Apparently it controls a lot of little features also, like stem shape. Round bodied canoes have rounded over stems, Straight paneled pirogues have straight angled stems.
Plywood does not lend itself to making rounded features. The "Fly Canoe" method may be the exception. Most plywood canoes are multi paneled, stich and glue.
Your epoxy solution was not the "usual" way to make stems but it worked and was right for the "unusual" look you wanted.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,807
49
Chuck, that's the problem I saw in doing a stem piece. Not that it couldn't be done. It's just that there's a LOT a geometry figuring that goes into that 5 or 6 inch transition section. I like a simple, gentle curve there. Simple to look at, but not necessarily simple to do.
I have been stumped about making the curve stem shape(canoe look)that flows under the bottom. When you built your boat you had to make the transition between the floor and sides with epoxy goop. The floor sat proud on top of the sides and chine logs. My thoughts was to curve the stem pieces under the bottom and but the chine logs up to it. Still left the floor on top. Then I remember and realized why I was confused. I usually put my floor on first and the sides are attached to it. That makes the bottom of the floor flush with the sides. Here are some pictures of a curved (canoe look) stem being built. This on a modified pirogue that has a shallow V bottom in the bow end. You may recognize the boat> I believe it is the boat islandpiper got from swampwood.
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jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,290
38
South Louisiana
Thanks for the pics. I figured it had to be done something like that. He did a good job. Still, way too much figuring and fiddling for me.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,807
49
The V bottom part would probably not be needed. If you wanted to build your normal method (sides attached to logs and stem first) the floor would be standing proud. A external stem piece (cutwater / batter board) could be fitted and faired to it. Thin strips laminated together in place would probably make the turn with little problems. That is how I fit them on my pirogue curved stems, but if you think that is too much trouble we know the epoxy peanut butter will work.
 

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
10,417
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Quite a while ago ( Many Years ) I did a Peterborough Canoe and attached the bow and stern with the stitch and glue style. Then filled the seams at both ends with the epoxy fillet.
Most recent Canoe was the 14 ft Sasquatch from Jem Watercraft and used the same building meathods including the bow and stern.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,807
49
Joey we often talk about our design needs and likes are different. Our preferred building techniques are also different. I know I'm a dinosaur but the "figuring and fiddling" is what I like. I often wish more people were building with these outdated methods. I think I know how the dugout chopper felt when the plank building started, or the plank builder did when the plywood building started. Now building is moving on to epoxy/glassing and other ways. The chopper thought "mine are smoother, more hydrodynamic, etc.". The plank builder thought, "mine are less work, don't need a whole log, etc.". The plywood builder thought "mine are lighter, easier to bend, etc.". The epoxy guy thinks "mine don't need many tools, easier to do, etc.". I'm stuck at the plywood/ fastener building right now.
Since our boat building are hobbies, we can play which game we want to. I will never think mine is the best way. Best is "in the eye of the beholder" or what game you choose to play. Each type of building is limited to certain style/designs boats one can "easily" build.
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jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,290
38
South Louisiana
Well, Bee, my main thing now is that I don't have the patience I had when I was younger. I like progress, and too much figuring and fiddling slows progress. My way is definitely not the best way or even a great way to build a boat. It produces a boat that does what I want. This last boat took 12 days from Lowes to the water. I could have knocked off a couple of days if I wouldn't have had to wait for the epoxy to dry. Exact fit and finish is not evenly remotely enjoyable for me anymore. My boats are built, not hand-crafted. On the other hand, I really appreciate when someone ELSE goes to the trouble to finely craft a boat.