Building a canoe

How would this work? Make a fiberglass mold of an aluminum canoe then laminate wood strips to the outside. Could it work? All comments welcome.

Thanks Pat.

legal question but doable

– Last Updated: Dec-16-07 12:47 PM EST –

Technically you are copying a design. There's some legal questions to it. If it's just for you, I think no one will give you too much grief.

Ok so let's just say everything was on the up-and-up legally....

Assuming wood-strip is your desired material, you could just cover the hull with clear packaging tape. Epoxy or wood glue won't stick to it. The challenge you'll have it getting the wood strips to conform to the shape of the hull since you can't use staples hold them down. Some creative clamping and strapping could get the job done.

Building a Kevlar Canoe

– Last Updated: Dec-16-07 10:56 AM EST –

Get James Moran's book "Building Your Kevlar Canoe" on Ragged Mountain Press/McGraw-Hill Books.

Gives you plans for a couple of hulls and step by step directions on how to build it using a disposable styrafoam male mold. If out of print try Amazon.

Outside of that, I would recommend getting plans for a stripper and do it the traditional way.

Kevlar Canoe Book

– Last Updated: Dec-16-07 12:58 PM EST –

Building the Kevlar Canoe book is a great reference.

I think the appeal of using an aluminum canoe is that the "mold" is already made for you.

Using an existing canoe for a form
Be careful that your form does not have significant tumblehome or recurved stems. Either will create difficulty getting the new boat off the form. In the case of recurved stems, you could possibly refrain from gluing your stems together until the boat is off the forms. As for the tumblehome, if there is much at all, you’ll have to split your new boat in half along the keel line to remove it.

Other considerations:

As stated earlier, you’ll likely be violating copyright laws unless you get permission from the original designer.

Secondly, I don’t know of an aluminum canoe that is worth the effort of duplicating in cedar strip. Most are low performance, flat bottom designs suitable as fishing platforms and the like. Used ones are available for less than the cedar, glass and epoxy will cost you.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

I can’t wait to see a carbon-Kevlar
clone of a Grumman 17’ shoe keel !

If you “clone” a boat.
Will it be close enough to the “cloned” canoe to worry about? I don’t think so. But I would find something else to copy.

Saw a “cloned” Canoe once
A few years ago I fell into conversation with a young guy at a local lake who had “cloned” his Dad’s old canoe. I can’t remember what model he molded it after, but if memory serves it had a big ol’ keel on it. He literally used the old tub as a male mold. It was a globby looking rig with a very uneven surface & a dark blue aerosol-spray can finish. It had to take the prize for the worst looking canoe I’ve ever seen. Yet the young guy who built it was very proud of it and he and his girlfriend/wife enjoyed taking it out. It brought them great pleasure, was cheap to build and he’d “done it himself” - so the little imperfections mattered not a bit. Good for him.

I don’t think any copyright laws cover such things. If they do, so what. He wasn’t making copies for sale.

Obviously a more elegant canoe could be built using the tried and true epoxy covered stripper method like Ted Moores does.

male mold
If I understand your proposal, you are going to use your existing canoe as a male mold and epoxy over the top. This will result in a boat that is larger than the original by the thickness of your layup (epoxy and wood strips). Generally not a problem in length, but will change your entry shape and can add as much as an inch to your beam.

The typical approach is to use a prototye to make a female mold, then use the female mold to make boats, It is a lot of work for one boat.

and you might get an ugly performing
boat. You will not have a clone.

I have seen really bad dangerous results from using an existing boat as a mold. And the result did not paddle at all like the original.

Why not do it the “traditional” way
Google “how to make a cedar strip canoe”.

Plenty of info out there.