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Marsh Pirogue ? (Keith, Seedtick? Anyone?)

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Just a little while back, Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:26 pm, seedtick started a post on the construction of a marsh pirogue that he and Keith made for a Ducks Unlimited raffle. Unfortunately, That thread is old enough that the pictures no longer load.

First Question: If the plans listed for sale on Keith's web site are still available, is this plan set for a Marsh pirogue more-or-less just like the one in that old post?
OK, I just noticed that I've actually asked 2 questions at once, but I'm going to leave it as is. . . :roll:

I was going to ask several more questions, but it occurs to me that if the answer to the above pair of questions is "Yes," then I think I'll just order the plans and see if my other questions are answered in them. :mrgreen:

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,148
4
Denham Springs, LA
The plans listed are for a swamp pirogue. A swamp pirogue pirogue has ribs, 26 degree side flare and about 4" of rocker

A marsh pirogue has no ribs, 35 degree side flare and very little rocker

Those are the major differences. Send me a PM and I'll send you the missing pictures as best as I can remember
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
I do appreciate your offer to send the missing pics, but I do still have access through this forum to other pictures of a marsh pirogue that you you built. It is one that I think you originally built for Piper San, but something came up and it had to go to someone else. It was seeing pictures of that one that had me going back through the pages, looking for other post about this type of pirogue, built with your methods. I understand the differences in the two designs, and how they give different characteristics to them. I really like the no-frames method and how that looks with the increased flare.

I also think that the marsh pirogue would be more stable in a shorter (12ft) length, making it easier to use a push-pole while standing. I got to thinking that a marsh pirogue in the shorter length (shorter than my current 15 1/2 ft UJ version,) would be perfect for me to explore my local swamps and marshlands where a longer boat would have problems. (Maybe split the difference between the swamp and marsh amount of rocker. . .)

That is why I was hoping that the plans I saw on the web site was for the marsh type of pirogue.

Maybe I'll still order the plans anyway. Does it use chine logs and maybe not depend so much on epoxy?

I was thinking about a build that would let me get a way from glass cloth and gallons of epoxy. Kind of like to get back to nails, screws, and paint for a change. Wouldn't have to get fanatical about it and swear off epoxy completely though. I suspect I'd still be needing a glue for the build, and epoxy I know, the others I'd be learning on.

I'm going to have to think on this one for a while. Again, thanks for the reply, you've given me some things to think about!

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
I was about to make another post with a "boat-load" of questions, :oops: (Sorry about that!) but decided hold off and see what you might say in response to my last post. If you had anything to say about it, anyway.

What I have done is go back over the two Marsh Pirogue build threads and really looked at them. You packed a lot more information in those threads than I first thought! Enough that I'm pretty convinced that I really need to build one. :D

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Ohhhhh YES! I've already started down that slide! :mrgreen:

As of now, I've looked back over every thread in the Pirogue section of the Forum, most of the Serious Building Questions section, a good deal of both the Kayak and Canoe sections, as well. Of course, I've also done about the same amount of reading on the JEM forum, as well. Also spent a certain amount of time on quite a few other web sites, as well. (This one is still "home!")

Since I've become fixated on the idea of a marsh-style pirogue, I'm to the point of setting out some basic size measurements and adopting seedtick & Keith's "By hand and by eye" methodology. After all, it's only epoxy and plywood! :)

As much as I'm all in a rush, I couldn't start in less than a couple of weeks, at the soonest :(

I'm not supposed to be lifting any more than 20 lbs just yet, or the Doc says my sternum might pop open and things would fall out that could result in my warranty being cancelled. (Slight case of bypass surgery.) Won't let me go back to work until near the end of next freakin month! :x And at my current level of permitted physical "activity," it will take at least two weeks just to get the garage cleaned out to where I can build in it (again.)

Not complaining. . . Not really, anyway. In fact, I am kind of glad just to BE here. :wink:

But just "convalescing" gives me waaaay too much time to plot and plan. :D

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,148
4
Denham Springs, LA
Chine logs are not necessary on plank boats but are needed to provide nailing area for plywood boats as edge nailing into plywood doesn't hold very well

Typically the chine on a marsh pirogue is on the inside and the chine on a swamp pirogue is on the outside. The reasoning is that on the swamp pirogue you'll be banging into more stuff and the outside chine will offer more protection for the edge of the plywood. Also an outside chine is easier to put on a swamp pirogue because you you don't hve to fit the ribs around the chine. That;s not an impossible task, but it does take longer to notch out and fit ribs around an insode chine. My Dad's old boat, which he built in the early '50's has ribs and an inside chine.

We don't use fiberglass and epoxy, we use marine plywood and make good joints, no need for fillets, glass, etc. We do use epoxy for glue but zillions of plywood boats were built using Weldwood glue - before epoxy was around. We use mechanical fasteners and glue for attaching, screws if we're going into an end grain and ring shank nails for face and edge nailing. You can get fasteners in stainless steel or silicon bronze. Silicon bronze is about three times more expensive than SS, so we use SS under paint or filled holes and SB under bright finish
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Lighter boat? I like light, but once I get cleared to return to work, there will be no weight restrictions.

seedtick said:
Chine logs are not necessary on plank boats but are needed to provide nailing area for plywood boats as edge nailing into plywood doesn't hold very well
More than one cypress mill in my area, but all the cypress is "grow back." Old growth, I could NOT afford. Still, if I lived on the water and could keep a boat in the water, I'd be sorely tempted to build a plank pirogue. . . But that just isn't the case.

seedtick said:
Typically the chine on a marsh pirogue is on the inside and the chine on a swamp pirogue is on the outside. The reasoning is that on the swamp pirogue you'll be banging into more stuff and the outside chine will offer more protection for the edge of the plywood. Also an outside chine is easier to put on a swamp pirogue because you you don't hve to fit the ribs around the chine. That;s not an impossible task, but it does take longer to notch out and fit ribs around an insode chine. My Dad's old boat, which he built in the early '50's has ribs and an inside chine.
I was thinking a lot about chine logs lately. Seems to me that another thing good about outside chines is that you can end up without a plywood edge being exposed. One ply edge would be covered by the other piece of ply, and the chine would cover that one. With inside chines, one of the two ply edges would always be exposed. Could use both inside and outside chines, but there things go getting complicated and heavier again!

Besides, those exposed plywood edges are not all that big of a concern when the edges are sealed with thickened epoxy and then well painted. . . Also, Ii recall that you've said that with chines on a smaller pirogue, ribs were not needed. (I'll tell you why that's important in just a minute.)

seedtick said:
We don't use fiberglass and epoxy, we use marine plywood and make good joints, no need for fillets, glass, etc. We do use epoxy for glue but zillions of plywood boats were built using Weldwood glue - before epoxy was around. We use mechanical fasteners and glue for attaching, screws if we're going into an end grain and ring shank nails for face and edge nailing. You can get fasteners in stainless steel or silicon bronze. Silicon bronze is about three times more expensive than SS, so we use SS under paint or filled holes and SB under bright finish
For a glue, I'd just as soon stick with epoxy. For one, I've got a fair amount of it sitting around, right now. Also, I am familiar with using it. Also, if I can avoid using glass cloth, then I'd be much more likely to spend the "saved" money on a real marine plywood. I do kind of have to wonder though, if I still have to saturate the marine ply inside and out, (if that is your method,) then is it really all that much better than a good, exterior A/C fir plywood? (Just thinking expense here.) But, since I am talking about a smaller pirogue that might only require 3 sheets of ply, it might be just a little too "miserly" to quibble about the cost of the ply.

But here is the IMPORTANT part!

(Or, what is currently driving me to distraction) I've seen pictures of one of your Marsh Pirogues. Seeing a pirogue without ribs, well. . . They remind me so much of the dugouts! And it is the lack of ribs that does it.

I recall you've said that using chine logs made the ribs unnecessary, at least in smaller boats, and since I'm looking to build a one-man boat that I can haul and launch by myself, for the express purpose of exploring local swamps, creeks, and marsh areas (such as the Green Swamp,) and maybe also some of the miles of salt marshes also near by, I figured a 12 foot or so marsh pirogue would do the job while satisfying that craving for the looks of the boat as well.

(Damn! I just love a good run-on sentence!)

OK, looking at what I've just written tells me its time to take my meds and lay down for a while. :lol:

And thanks guys, your replies made my day!

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,148
4
Denham Springs, LA
don't know how you're planning on laying out the cuts, but two sheets of plywood is plenty unless you're bumping around 16' long and much wider than a 24" bottom.

of course you have to be able to cut close to the line :D

as i understand it, the main difference between marine ply and a good exterior ply is that the marine ply does not allow voids in the inner layers, whereas the exterior ply does. Remember that no coating is 100% waterproof. Water goes in as a liquid but has to exit as a vapor. With equivalent amounts of water, the vapor occupies something like 600 times the volume as the liquid and has to exit the same route that the liquid came in. Voids in inner plies will accumulate and hold water longer and degrade the wood around the voids.

Fir plywood, whether exterior or marine will tend to check on the exterior ply with time. We have put a skim coat of epoxy on some of out boats in hopes of reducing the checking, but we don't have any long term data to confirm that this helps. A skim coat of epoxy isn't near about the quantity of epoxy required for saturating and leveling out a layer of fiberglass cloth

last few years, i've seen some good looking grow back going for $2 bd/ft. Haven't tried building a boat with it yet, but for a boat that stays mostky out of the water and always out of the elements, it should hold up pretty good. And yes, $2 bd/ft is a bargain compared to old growth
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,576
18
FlaMike said:
[I was thinking a lot about chine logs lately. Seems to me that another thing good about outside chines is that you can end up without a plywood edge being exposed. One ply edge would be covered by the other piece of ply, and the chine would cover that one. With inside chines, one of the two ply edges would always be exposed.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
I'm :? ! I built a boat with an outside chine log and still had a ply edge exposed (floor's). If the side and floor are nailed to the chine log, how can it cover both edges?

beekeeper
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
beekeeper,

My first thought about the outside chine might have been a little unlikely, now that you've made me think about it. But what I pictured was the side panel sitting on top of the bottom panel, with the chine on the outside, kind of like: lL with the large "l" being the chine, and the "L" being the side and bottom panel. (And the bottom of both being even.) Of course, now that can picture it better, I see the obvious problem of any fastener is going to be going into the edge of a sheet of plywood, which isn't such a good idea. :oops:

Well. . . Thanks for helping me see this before messing up any wood. :)

Oh, and while I'm at it, looking thru a number of your post kind of got me started on this! :lol:
Seriously, they have been very helpful.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
seedtick,

No, not looking to build a 16 footer, that 15 /12 foot UJ pirogue I built convinced me to go short, this time. Ii was thinking 12 feet, 14 at the very most. I really think that 12 to 13 feet really should do it.

As far as the width goes, think I could go with a 26 in. wide bottom and still stay with two sheets? (And NO ribs?) Meaning, I'm still thinking about that marsh pirogue flare.

For the ply, I do think I will go with the marine ply, but I'm not sure if there is anything other than okoume available locally. Might be others, I'll keep looking. But I did see where one source actually does sell half-sheets! (Might be fun to call and ask if they sell them as 4X4 sheets, or 2X8? :lol: ) Maybe not.

Also think that giving it an epoxy coating before painting would be the way to go.

Since you mentioned it, I did look around the web for cypress planks. The one mill that was just a couple of miles from the house closed down, but there are still several in operation within driving range. From what I've seen so far, I'm not sure they'd have 1X12 any more that 10 feet long for dried lumber. But they do have 1X12 in stock lengths up to 15 feet (I think it was,) and longer by order. However, this is rough cut "green" material. Don't think I have the patience to to buy is and set it aside to dry. Also, since I did just have heart surgery, I'm not even going to think about the "sinker cypress" planks and whole logs I found while looking about. . . YIKES! :shock:

Yes, I do think plywood sounds about right. . .

Oops! Past my bed time and I gotta' go to the litter box, too!
Later,

Mike S. (off at a brisk trot, if not actually a dead run.)
Spring Hill, FL
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,553
97
82
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Mike, if you use glue, the joint can be as strong as - or even stronger than - the parent material. I value the strength that glue brings to a structure. Can still use an external chine log for both protection and more bearing area for glue.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,576
18
As I understand your questions and goals. You want a short, easy to turn, stable, no fiberglass, marsh style pirogue.
Do you like the wide "flaired look", or the "no ribs look" feature the best? I asked, because some of the things you mentioned could change one or the other.
Food for thought:
A wide floor and a lot of flair could = a boat too wide to paddle comfortably. If you pole it, not an issue. The wider the floor, the less flair for the same beam, but more stable for polling.
Inside vs outside chines = Inside looks like traditional marsh pirogue, and won't stick in mud. Outside = more bump and rub protection from stumps, etc. Less floor beam, but can reduce the overall beam at the gunnels, and the inside floor width.
1/4" okoume will be stiffer than 5mm luan and help. A laddered gunnel will add strength, stiffen the sides, and reduce weight. Longer breast hooks/decks can help stiffen the sides. Fixed seats can act as thwarts, but may be in the way when polling.
"How much rocker?" would be the hard question for me. I would think hard on my intended usage. How far do I paddle? How much close turning, and backing up will I need to do? If you get it wrong, you will have a difficult boat for your use.

beekeeper
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Jack,

Yes, I'll "stick" with epoxy! (Always wanted to say that. :D ) With the added surface area of the chine logs, I'm thinking the epoxy will most certainly keep it all together. And since I really want to do this one without fg cloth, I'll be certain to give all ply edges an epoxy seal, and probably some wood flour thickened epoxy as well, any place on the edges that I can squeeze some in.

beekeeper,

You ask the tough questions! The very ones that need answering before any kind of building can begin. 8)

beekeeper said:
Do you like the wide "flaired look", or the "no ribs look" feature the best?
Toughest one, right off the bat! Uh. . . Both? (Let me try that again.) I understand why you asked, but "Both" is almost the best I can do. It was the pictures in that thread you started, "A New Marsh Pirogue" that got me going on this. That is the "look" that really grabbed me! Now then, I know that pirogue was 15 feet long, and that simply scaling it down to maybe 12 feet could keep the exact same proportions, and preserve that "look," but could also result in a boat that is just too unstable to be a good idea.

So, I guess the idea is to reproduce that look, which is a combination of flare, beam, and length, without the ribs, and see just what length could be squeezed out of 2 sheets of marine ply. Gosh, I make it sound so simple! :lol:

Inside chines for certain, and as for the rocker, I don't have very strong feelings about that. Not perfectly flat, I don't think, but if I really need the bow a little higher out of the water, I can just shift a little to the rear. Also, I think more rocker means more depth, and when this one will go, "skinny water" is more like "heavy dew."

I'm talking mostly very nearly still waters, come current in some parts, but pretty lazy at that. If something gets bumped into, there'd be no real impact, nothing that would require a substantial rub rail. Maybe just a 1/4 in. piece of molding on the outside, something just enough to put a contrasting stripe of paint on, mostly for looks.

Now on the inside, however, a laddered gunnel would be what I'd want, not only for the strength, but it's nice to have something to tie things to.

I kind of wonder if I stick to the the maximum length I could get with this type, out of just two sheets of ply, if I'd still need any of those bottom ribs? Maybe use 3/8 inch for the bottom? One the other hand, those bottom "ribs" do look more like battens and wouldn't really be in the way. . . I don't know.

A fixed seat? Maybe, I did see a pic somewhere of one that had a single bottom frame that was right under a fixed seat. The seat was quite low, of course, and that single rib being under it was kind of easy to ignore. But a fixed seat in a 12 to 13 foot pirogue? As narrow as a 2 sheet boat would almost have to be, I don't know that it might not be too small for a fixed seat to be a good idea. Remember, even though it would be by some people's standards, quite narrow, my balance is pretty good, and I do intend to spend about as much time doing some stand up-poling, as sit down-paddling.

In fact, I can see where it's possible I might just use one of those "throw-able boat cushions" for a seat. My UJ pirogue seat might be kind of high for seated paddling, won't know 'till I try it. One thing I can say about a fixed seat is that it would make the hull a bit stiffer.

Wow! :wink: That's about enough info to base an actual design on!

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL
 

FlaMike

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2007
624
2
Spring Hill, FL
www.ptponds.com
Yes, indeed! Slidin' down that ol' Slippery Slope1 :mrgreen:
(That song been written yet?)

Might be a good time to mention that with all the sitting around I've been doing lately, I have noticed I have several distinctly different areas that I want to explore. The pirogue will cover the still waters in the back area nicely. Lots of swamp and marsh very near-by.

Then there will be a need for something to cover the more open (and moving) rivers and larger lakes. No where near white water, though.

Then comes the inland waterway system and the shallow flats of the Gulf, itself.

Sounds like three boats, absolute minimum! :D

Now, for this one, I can play around with shape, form, and size a bit, without wasting any good ply. I do have about 10 sheets of 1/8 luan, "door skins," and 5 or 6 thicker, 5 or 6m (1/4 in?) sheets of luan that are not committed to anything in particular. Now, I wouldn't want to build this particular boat with any of that, but can certainly use it for "experimental modeling."

And I'd certainly use any of that for a future build, unless I decide to go with a good, exterior ply, but something less than marine.

But for this one, I'm pretty much decided on marine Okoume, hopefully just 2 sheets, but maybe go to 3rd sheet if I have to, maybe see if that one place really does sell half sheets. Mostly, I do want to try and make this a 2 sheet project, though.

Mike S.
Spring Hill, FL