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Glades Skiff Build

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
When I figured out just where I went wrong, or at least think I figured it out, I decided to do what I SHOULD have done in the first place: Make a "prototype" out of some inexpensive luann door skin ply. My test piece was kind of quick & dirty, but I think it comes very close to solving the problem, maybe close enough to use it as a template to correct the marine ply I've already cut. Here is my test piece:



Ignore the wavy cuts and the part up front that splintered off, if you can. But the bow now has that reverse rake. And if you notice the (again wavy) black and red line I drew, you can see the bow now has some rocker.

Still thinking it over, but very close to applying a fix and getting the build back on track.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
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Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Jack,

All I have to go on is what I've read of the skiff and the pictures of them I've seen. I think the origin of the design itself comes from the Seminole canoes. It seems to me that the whole idea of the skiff is to fill the need for a boat that floats on VERY little water and can be poled through the emergent grasses and other vegetation found in the Everglades.

The lift under the bow, or rocker, would make it easy to "beach" the boat, and to ride up and over a log, as can be done in a pirogue. You can check out the TinyURL links in the "Worth a Build" thread in the General section to see the pics of some authentic Glades Skiffs.

Heck, I'm still trying to figure out how the transom is wider at the top, an inch narrower at the bottom, which would impart some flare to the sides at the stern end of the boat, yet every pic I see of the sides looking as if they are near vertical from every view available. I'm thinking there has to be some flair for the few feet from the transom forward, but very little at the beam and forward from there.

The text in the book doesn't mention the side flare at all.

Yes, the bow is odd-looking. But the skiffs were designed and built in, and for, the Everglades. So that is how I'll try to build this one.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com



Looking at his bow and then yours they appear to be really close. The only difference I can tell is that the bottom of his is more rounded then yours , where he is filing the bow in the picture.
But the distance of the rocker appears to be the same and the same distance if you carefully follow the hull on his out to the bow.
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Allowing for the difference in the angle of the photo, I'd have to agree, this mock-up of mine isn't too far off, at all. And it does look like I need to make that curve with a larger radius.

By the way, the light colored strip at the top of the hull, mostly on the left, is just that. A lighter color in the ply. It isn't the other side of the hull showing.

I've looked at a number of pictures, some under construction, quite a few in the water, all have this reverse rake to the bow. And that plywood "rub rail" often makes it look even more pronounced.

I've made contact with Matt. He should be able to let me know if I'm on the right track. I'd love to see what he could come up with using that design software of his. :D

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

JEM

Well-Known Member
I played with the concept a little before I got the book.

I'll try and fiddle with it again now I have the book and the starting dimensions. But it' looks like you got it down. 8)

Jack- to answer to question on the reverse rake: I think that's a product of the starting shape of the wood and straight angles cuts somewhat close to 90 degrees. Samething with birchbark canoes... it was the starting shape of the material that didctate the finished product. With today's design methods, we can develop the final shape and letting the starting point of the material be the thing that changes.
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Thanks for taking a look at it, Matt!

I've found that by the time I get around to asking the people who actually Know, I often manage to muddle through to the solution. Sometimes, it's the same solution, sometimes not so much.

I'll hunt down something to make a template and increase the radius at the bottom of the "stem," and see how it looks. If its right, then I'll try wrapping it around the problem piece and see if I can correct it, without having to drive off and pickup another sheet of marine ply. That would be the best case, anyway. But either way, I should be back on track soon.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Not sure who told me this, but I'm a believer in "Experience is what you gain from working your way through your mistakes."

I've applied my "fix" and the results look pretty good. I'll know better when I move it out of the garage in tomorrow morning and set it up for finish fitting and gluing up the bow and maybe scarfing the other bottom panel to the front half. When it is set up for that, I will be able to take some pics for posting. In any event, the good news for me is that I won't be driving off to buy another sheet of marine plywood!

Currently, I can see that I did get some lift to the bow that wasn't there before. But I'm not so sure about the reverse rake to the stem. Have to see what it looks like when I do a little sanding and planning at that end. If it isn't quite enough, I should be able to do a little more sanding and planning to add a little more to the reverse rake. I won't get radical about it, but I should wind up with enough to remain "true to the type."

Thanks for the support!

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
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Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
I think it might be more like the starting shape of the material dictated the shape of the boat. And they kind of left it at that. Today, we can shape the material to whatever we want, and can certainly remove what we see as "excess" material if we like. Might be one way to find out what really is excess and what isn't.

Here, I may do the opposite. I'll use the tools and methods I have to change the shape a little bit, to put back something of what may be missing in the way of a traditional shape, to make up for my misunderstanding of the old method.

You know, you could take some epoxy and wood flour and add some nifty fins to the old Caddy and give it a nice "retro" look, if you want. :D

Now then, anyone who has the book Gladesmen, care to read how he describes stitching up the bow with copper wire and see if you can make any sense of it? Stitching up the bow is easy enough, but I'm trying to understand how he did it, comparing it to the available pictures. So far, I'm not real sure I get it.

Its kind of like wondering how he nailed the plywood rub rails to the ply section of the boat. 6d copper nails, clenched, I guess? Might just attach that part with epoxy & clamps, then take my copper wire and "make" some nails and put them in, after the fact. Simulated nails, sort of.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

Kayak Jack

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Aug 26, 2003
13,554
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Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
He may well have used a different pattern than I do.
I drill holes every 6" about 1/2" in from the edge. I used stove pipe wire instead of copper wire. I made "staples" of about 5" of wire bent around the edge of a piece of 3/8" plywood. I found it easier to insert the wire into the holes if one leg of the staple was about 1/2" longer than the other. That may have been due to my inherent clumsiness.
Twist the wire until it is snug. Insert, and snug, all the wires along a line of holes, and then go back and tighten them one at a time. I tightened from the middle of the line alternately, out toward the ends of the line of holes.
 

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Page's 169 and 170 in the Gladesmen Book.

He did the stitch like we do but added something else to it.
1. When the bow is pulled together with the clamps , bore holes about 1/2 inch apart along the outside of the clamp holding the bow together.
2. The holes need to fit #12 copper wire.
3. Start at the top of the bow boring the holes , and putting the copper wire in each hole. Cut the wire so about 1/4 inch hangs over each side after threading threw the holes.
4. Pull the wire pieces together with pliers and bury the wire into the wood.
5. When done there should be about 15 of these holes in the bow.
6. After the bow is together take of the clamps.
7. Plane the bow if it is necessary being careful to not cut the wires
8. Glass the bow inside and out.

# 3. A 1/4 inch seams rather short to me to be able to go threw the holes and still twist them together.
# 4. He bury's the wire in the wood by tightening it so tight it cuts into the wood , something we try not to do so we can remove the wire after the bow sections are epoxied together. Normally by running some epoxy down along the inside of the bow pieces to glue them together.

Chuck.
 

Wannabe

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Apr 5, 2007
2,645
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on the bank of Trinity Bay
Did I miss what thickness of wood he was using? #12 wire is about as thick or thicker (I haven't measured) as some of the wood used to build some boats. I can see burying the wire a little in 3/8 wood. Does anyone on the forum build kayaks or pirogues out of 3/8 or thicker plywood?
Bob
 

JEM

Well-Known Member
FlaMike said:
I think it might be more like the starting shape of the material dictated the shape of the boat.
Exactly.


I fiddled with it on the computer. It's tough to go from unrolled panel to shaped boat (going from shaped boat to unrolled panel is just a click of the botton). I think you're on the right track.

You can simulate this with a piece of paper and see how the final product gets shaped. Trick is to get that wood to bend like the paper!
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
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Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
I'm setting up some long planks on sawhorses right now, and then I'll be putting the two bottom panels on them. I should be able to post a pic of the bow with the clamp still in place. I'd like to get that bow closure epoxied today, and maybe scarf the bottom panels together.

Matt, if you have your copy of the book, you'll see why I'm confused about the wire method he used. I'm not sure if the wire actually crosses the front of the seam or not. Remember, the clamp holding the bow seam closed is still in place when it is stitched with the wire. And the wire is pretty heavy.

It sounds to me that he puts a length of wire thru a hole from one side and out the other. Then, the wire is cut leaving just enough to put a right angle bend on the ends, it is then folded down, and the ends are buried in the wood, like a staple.

The wire isn't being used to draw the sides together, the clamp does that. The wire (and epoxy) hold the sides together after the clamp has been removed. At least this is how I interpret what he wrote. I think I might be right about that because he does mention that if you decide to plane the bow again after wiring it, to be careful of the wires.

I can't quite see well enough on any of the pics I have to say for sure if the wire does cross the front of the seam. It doesn't look like it thought.

My alternative method would be to drill a larger hole thru the ply, then lay a length of wire cross the front of the stem, bend both sided back towards the hole, and then run both ends of the wire through the same hole. Pull it tight, trim the ends just long enough to put a right angle bend toward the front of the boat, then bending them down towards the front, driving the bent end into the wood.

Where the wire does cross the front of the stem, I'd try to pull it down into the wood, if possible.

What's your take on it?

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

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Jun 20, 2007
624
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Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Got the halves set up and siting on the sawhorses. Not quite sure I'm satisfied with it, but here it is:



As you can see, I did get the rise to the bow I was looking for, but very little of the reverse rake to the stem. After I took the picture, I noticed that the stem ends of the ply was not quite even, so I planed it down a bit. That did move the rake back about 1/4" at the top, improving things slightly.

The clamp on the bow is not perfectly vertical, so that makes it a little harder to judge, also, after looking at the picture, I put a level in the boat and found I had to raise the bow up about an inch or so to center the bubble. That helped a little more. (Not much, though.) Every little bit helps.

I'm at a point now of decided if I want to go with it, more-or-less as it is, or. . .

Put the straps back on the hull, remove the bolt at the top of the clamp and move it back so that I can start a cut at the rear edge of the original bolt hole, and bring it down and bring it in to the forward edge of the radius and the bottom of the stem.

I'm on the fence here. Not sure just yet if it's worth the effort, or time to get over it and move forward with the build. :roll:

Here is a shot of the two bottom panels placed together. As for the view of the garage, well. . . Get used to it. Its a perpetual work in progress. It will get finished, as I have to dig out tools to get the build done! Besides, I'll have to move it inside and with the panels joined, I'll have to create the space! :D



The forward most transverse clamp is the one I put on to (hopefully) arrest the curving of the bottom created during the forming of the bow. So far, so good. The second transverse clamp is over the bottom seam between the two halves. The "peak" up forward, where the side sweeps up to the flat part at the bow, is approximately where the plank side first meets the plywood. Of course, that sharp peak will be gone at that time. :)

As it is now, the total length looks like about 15' 6". The max beam will probably be about 29", pretty much at the forward end of the planked part of the sides. At the transom, it will taper back to 22 inches across the bottom.

Now, I have only to decide if I want to try to increase that reverse rake, or not. I'm leaning towards leaving it "as is."
(I think.) :?

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
I was leaning towards leaving it "as is." But I fell the other way!
Couldn't help but give it one more try and here's the result:



Before I do the stich & glue thing, I will round off the bottom of the stem to better meet the bottom. At the keel, if it had one, which it doesn't. (Not real sure how to describe it!)

And another look at it on the horses:



The afternoon rain should be along any minute now. I'll have to move it back inside, so that's about it for the day. Next week, the bow will be closed, the bottom panels joined, and the sides will be going on.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

JEM

Well-Known Member
I got lost in his his instructions but I'll give them another read through.

I think if you flare out the sides more you'll get the reverse rake. Where the 30 angle cut ends .... does it look parallel to the aft of the bottom panel? You might need to put the sides on loosely to get it that way and that might pull the bow back.
 

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Page's 169 and 170 in the Gladesmen Book.
This is from my above post and I added comments in red to his instructions which are in black.

He did the stitch like we do but added something else to it.
1. When the bow is pulled together with the clamps , bore holes about 1/2 inch apart along the outside of the clamp holding the bow together.
( We do the same thing )
2. The holes need to fit #12 copper wire.
( Some of us , myself included use copper wire )
3. Start at the top of the bow boring the holes , and putting the copper wire in each hole. Cut the wire so about 1/4 inch hangs over each side after threading threw the holes.
( The same but we normally leave a longer ends to the wire for twisting )
4. Pull the wire pieces together with pliers and bury the wire into the wood.
( Self explanatory )

Chuck.

Just the 4 steps I copied from his instructions is nothing more then the stitch and glue that we do. The exception is he tightens the copper wires so tight they cut into the wood which is something we try to avoid.