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My new Madeline 16

nobucks

Well-Known Member
I didn't know whether to post this in the Boat Bragging section or the Trip Reports section, as it has elements of building and traveling, so I settled on the Kayak section.

Anticipating our trip to the Apostle Islands in August, I built Prototype #2 of the Madeline 16. The Tandem/Triple was drawn from the original Madeline 16 with some improvements, and Prototype #2 wsa drawn back to a single seater from the Tandem/Triple, bringing the improvements over.

On this build I wanted to try out a few different things, so there are a few departures from the typical kit. I changed the design a bit to fit my long legs, so I can use Frame 2 as a footbrace. The frame rails that support the cockpit base run the full length between Frame 2 and Frame 5, giving support for adding footbraces later.


The old meets the new. Side by side with Old Blue, the original Madeline, you can see that Madeline has slimmed up a bit.


The hull profile has stayed basically the same, as has the cross section.




I skinned the hull in white to give it more of a conventional look:



Because I'll be using this kayak for touring and overnight trips, I also added 1/4 turn locking hatches to make it easier to get gear bags up into the ends of the kayak, and, of course, to get them back out.


Here's the basic installation of the hatches.

I cut a backing plate from a plastic cutting board and slid it under the skin. With a steak knife I cut the inside of the hole out of the skin.



Next, I masked off the skin to make it easier to remove the excess GOOP that would squeeze out from under the hatch when I screwed it down.



Here's the completed hatch. I set the hatches so that at least one screw from the mounting ring was screwed into the kayak frame to give it a more solid mount when opening and closing the hatch.





Here's the hatch that I'm the most pleased with. It's a small hatch for storing things like a cell phone, car keys, sunscreen, etc. I made the bag using the same fabric as we use for our seasocks, so the bag is waterproof and has sealed seams.





Here's the completed kayak, ready to paddle. The deck is skinned black and the trim is blue, obviously. I was thinking of staying with the black and white killer whale color scheme, but the coaming was blue, so I went with blue for the accessories.

Bow:




Stern:



I finally got to paddle the new kayak on Friday and Saturday. The pics below are from Saturday. We launched at Presque Isle/Middle Bay, out into the heavy fog, around Middle Island, and then Partridge Island, then back. Don paddled his SOF Greenland qajaq and I paddled my new Madeline 16 skin-on-frame. I was hoping to get some more testing in rough water before my Apostle Islands trip in August. I got my wish.

We had fog, there were one foot swells and reflecting waves coming back off of the islands as we were paddling along the rocks. Don paddled right up in the rocks on Middle Island, while I paddled out in the open water. The waves were pretty confused and I was getting a little nervous, but that soon passed.

When we got to Partridge Island I followed Don and went in paddling along the rocks, nerfing off of the rocky shore as waves would push us in. Don left a few paint samples on both Middle Island and Partridge Island.

The paddle back was a lot more uneventful. When we came around the North side of Partridge Island we saw three bald eagles, one of which was eating something. We came around the island, saw more eagles, hung around in the quiet lagoon in the inlet, and then paddled home. Things had quieted down quite a bit by then.




Middle Island:







Partridge Island:











Cool lava flow:


Don took the pics below.

Heading toward Middle Island. The fog was so bad that we accidentally headed north for about a quarter mile until we saw that we were nearing Presque Isle Point. The next stop after that is Canada 160 miles away. We decided to pay more attention to our compasses from then on.





On the backside of Partridge Island, looking for eagles.





Pulled up on the beach to look for agates.
 

nobucks

Well-Known Member
Bear, the water temp was down this week. It had been close to 60* F, but was down into the upper 40's this week. Air temp was 51* F.

Joey, I'm pushing the limits of this kayak with my weight. I weigh between 240 and 250, depending on when you ask me. I'm going to be camping ultra-light in August to make sure that I'm not paddling a submarine. ;)

Don's kayak is a Greenland kayak, so it has ultra-low freeboard by nature.

Eventually, I'll pass this kayak on to my wife and I'm planning on stretching it to 17 feet for myself to give myself a little more leg room.
 

hairymick

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
2,107
2
Queensland, Australia
G'day Joel,

I love that boat mate! Long, low and sleek - a thing of grace style and symmetry, simply beautiful. I reckon she would be a delight to paddle.

I have had to check you post several times just to look at the lovely scenery you were paddling in. You lovely boat sort of just draws my eye away from it all.

Thank you for sharing this one with us mate. What sort of material did you use to skin her with?

Frames - are they epoxy glued together? and are they encapsulated in epoxy for protection?

Oh yeah, it is very good to see spare paddles and a bilge pump on your boats too. I reckon they are as necessary in open water as a PFD.

Bloody well done mate - again. :D 8)
 

nobucks

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all of the comments!

Kayak Jack said:
Did you locate any eagles or Lake Superior agates?
Yes, there's a family of four that live on that island, two adults and two young. We saw all four. I got a few pics, but nothing great.

I didn't find any agates because the waves were crunching me up on the gravel, so I shoved off, rather than get out.



hairymick said:
I love that boat mate! Long, low and sleek - a thing of grace style and symmetry, simply beautiful. I reckon she would be a delight to paddle.
This design is as good as I've ever paddled in rough water. It tracks well in the calm, handles well in the rough, but I think I'm going to have to add a skeg for when the wind is blowing, as it needs some correcting strokes to stay on track while touring.


hairymick said:
What sort of material did you use to skin her with?
The skin is 18 ounce PVC, a polyester fabric covered with vinyl that they use to make tarps for flatbed trucks. The deck and the hull are glued together with HH-66, a vinyl cement that chemically welds the two together.

hairymick said:
Frames - are they epoxy glued together? and are they encapsulated in epoxy for protection?
I used epoxy to glue the stringers to the frames and that's backed up with screws.

The frame is basically soaked in Thompson's Water Seal. Epoxy adds too much weight, IMO.

hairymick said:
Oh yeah, it is very good to see spare paddles and a bilge pump on your boats too. I reckon they are as necessary in open water as a PFD.
We always go out with a spare paddle. Sometimes I forget the bilge pump. :wink:
 

bearridge

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

Tell me the difference tween the reglar wide blade paddles 'n the narrow blade paddles ya'll wuz usin'. It dont seem ta me that the narrow ones kin git much water each stroke.

regards
bearridge

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
 

nobucks

Well-Known Member
Bear, those are Greenland paddles, and the short answer is, that it's all about surface area. The Greenland blade has similar surface area to a European style paddle, just spread out along the length of the paddle.

They both have their strong points, which people have debated for years, but I like the Greenland paddle because when you plane it across the surface of the water it acts like an airplane wing and gives lift, giving more support for bracing and rolling. Plus, it's easier on the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

It gets as much water, you just carry the stroke farther back than with a Euro blade, which uses a shorter, more powerful stroke. With the big paddle you get all the blade in the water at one time, so you get more power right away, and with the narrow blade, you get about the same power, it just takes longer, which is why you don't see Greenland paddles in whitewater.
 

a Bald Cypress

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2007
577
0
78
Northwest Louisiana
j

Great report.
Thanks

A question tho.

I noted a few wrinkles in the hull skin. Would a "heat shrink" type cover be tough enough for a SoF boat?

I am thinking of the type of fabric that is used on Rag Wing Aircraft.
Probably not, but it was just a thought so I asked.
 

nobucks

Well-Known Member
Yes, 18 ounce fabric has its drawbacks, and a few wrinkles are one of the drawbacks. The bottom and the chines are wrinkle free though.

A lot of traditional style builders cover the kayak with 8 or 10 ounce nylon or polyester and heat shrink that, then cover it with a two part urethane or a two part floor paint. So, if you could heat shrink the aircraft fabric, then coat it with urethane, that would probably work nicely.

At least one person I know has tried aircraft dope as the finish, but I think he had some problems with that. If you go that route, I'm sure I could find the info on his method and the problems associated with it.
 

john the pom

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2007
345
1
Queensland
I keep coming back and looking at the first three pics in this post and wish I had some woodworking skills. I love the elegant simplicity of this boat. I reckon I can mark out a panel and glue a few together. Alas, beyond that I'm timber challenged :(
I know I could knock up a steel Laker in about four hours tops. Once painted no one would ever know. (wouldn't even need to graphite the bottom :lol: ) Wood sucks to work with... but it's beautiful.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,943
164
83
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
John, before I built my first wooden boat, I had the same trepidation. Then, I figured, "If stone age man with no tools but pieces of stone and bone could do this, so can I." So, I did.

They lashed the frame together with a variety of things. No epoxy, no copper rivets, no nylon lashing, etc. Sinew, rawhide, roots, etc. And THEY went to sea in these boats. Not fishing ponds - OCEAN.

Many of them even returned home again!
 

hairymick

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
2,107
2
Queensland, Australia
G'day Joel,

Like John,

I also keep coming back to this thread.

I am definately feeling the need to have a crack at something like this one day.

A couple of questions - if you don't mind mate.

1. How do you think cotton if used as a skin material and held in place with staples till the glue set would work?

2. Further, how do you think that cotton skin would work if it was saturated and filled with epoxy resin once on the boat?
 

nobucks

Well-Known Member
john the pom said:
I keep coming back and looking at the first three pics in this post and wish I had some woodworking skills. I love the elegant simplicity of this boat.
John, that's what motivated us to start Black Dog Kayaks. It took me so long to cut out the parts for my first skin on frame kayak, that I figured that other people must have the same problems I have. If you can drill a hole in a piece of wood, you can build one of our kayaks. It's as simple as laying the stringers in the notches of the frames, applying some glue, drilling a hole, and putting in a screw. Repeat about sixty times, give or take.

Otherwise, building from scratch is a good way to accumulate boats. Build one, if it doesn't turn out exactly as you'd like, build another one, and so forth.

hairymick said:
A couple of questions - if you don't mind mate.

1. How do you think cotton if used as a skin material and held in place with staples till the glue set would work?

2. Further, how do you think that cotton skin would work if it was saturated and filled with epoxy resin once on the boat?
Cotton works well as a skinning material. It's easy to stretch over the frame without wrinkles. Ordinarily cotton is saturated with urethane, varnish, or latex housepaint.

I know of a few people who have used epoxy as you're describing. IMO, if you're going to use epoxy, you should use fiberglass or carbon fiber. The problem is, if you go this route, I think that you would need to do a proper layup using several layers of fabric. I may do this myself someday. The drawback is the added weight, plus, you lose the flex of the wood frame, which is an advantage when handling rough seas.