Flathead Catfish Sneak Boat Almost Complete

Discussion in 'Kayaker and Canoe Fishing' started by Mark J, May 7, 2009.

  1. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Some of you followed my build of a hybrid canoe last summer that I had designed to list of specifications I dreamed up.
    Taking those specs and putting it to plan revealed what the designer refers to as a pack canoe but I view as a hybrid canoe. It handles more like a yak and you paddle it like a yak but with the basic lines of a canoe.

    It was designed as an open boat with nothing in it but two cross members and paddled sitting on your knees while sitting on the back of your legs to lower the center of gravity. I'll be sitting in a yak seat, not on the back of my legs.

    I've done several sea trials before it's completion mainly to find the center of gravity from bow to stern before I completed the build because I was modifying it or deviating from the plans.

    First let me say I'm building two of them at the same time.
    The difference between the two will be the width of the canoe at the gunnels. The canoe I'll use is wider at the gunnels.
    Amazingly this small hybrid canoe can handle a 550 pound payload.
    It's not for the skinny folks. It needs some weight in it to tame it. It's quick on the water and nimble. It has a pretty tippy feeling to it until you get accustomed to it. It's actually not as tippy as it feels. After 10 minutes of paddling I was experimenting in heeling it over.

    I took the open design and did away with the cross members. I added a rear deck with 2 openings. The one behind the seat is for the fuel tank (beer cooler) and the other is for a 5 gallon bucket. I have a couple of nice 5 gallon buckets with screw on lids. A 6" opening in the bow bulkhead will house a deck plate with a screw on lid for a watertight compartment for cameras, wallets, etc.
    Keep in mind that the design of this canoe was not to fish from but was solely purposed for transportation in the upper Neuse river where boats with motors don't go. It's prime trophy flathead grounds and barely fished except around bridge crossings.
    However provisions have been made to lock these two canoes beam to beam for stability if the need arises to fish certain locations. The problem with solo fishing is not the act of hauling a trophy to the canoe. The problem occurs when you get a 50 pound flathead to the canoe. Nothing you can do but either get in the water with him or cut the line.

    I'm in the fairing stage. All of the glass work is done. It's basicly adding final trim, mixing micro ballons with epoxy for fairing, waiting for epoxy to cure, sanding, and drinking beer while you sand. The reddish purplish color you see is microballoon enriched epoxy with some cabosil added. The bondo of boat builders.

    The bottom of the canoe has four coats of graphite powder enriched epoxy. Graphite provides abrasion resistance and if you elect to sand it with 120 grit as I have it is slick as snot. Nice for going over water obstacles or through weeds. Some may think paint is slick but if you run your finger down a painted bottom gradually increasing finger pressure you start getting resistance and friction. With graphite that isnt the case. In fact at this stage I often put something under one end or the other to get a better angle in fairing. Got to be careful though and chock the other end. If I dont it will slide off the work table and onto the shop floor.

    How tough are these boats? You be the judge. Twice I've found my canoe 25 feet out in the yard a 1/4 full of water. No damage. To get there it had to go through an opening smaller then the length of the canoe. No visible damage on the 6x6 shelter posts that I've found yet.
    Total weight? Heavier then I planned but I opted for plan deviations, exterior luan, and I double glassed the bottom. About 60 pounds.
    Using 60 dollar a sheet Okoume I could have shaved about 20 pounds off the builds.

    Paint colors. The outside and deck tops will be a canary yellow. Primarily for safety. We'll be using these canoes more at night then during the day. It would be nice if the canoes can be spotted if we get into trouble on the water. The interior will be Hatteras off white to cut down on sun glare yet make it lighter in the canoe at night. The anti skid on the floor of the paddling compartment will be a cream color.
    The trim will be a mid brown color.

    Construction is stitch and glue using 5.2mm exterior luan plywood, epoxy, and 6oz. glass cloth.

    Notice the curve in the rear deck from the bow shot. You cant see much of the rectangular opening but you can see alot of the bucket opening. Pretty nice curvature.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I had to complete the storage area in the rear to completion before installing the rear deck. It's done in a bright white bilge paint. A flashlight aimed in it at night should light it up bright as daylight. Plenty of room for sand spikes, cast net, tackle bag, and a midnight snack along with the cooler and bucket in place.
    The rear deck was framed with 3/4"x1/2" stock with 5.2mm plywood glued and filleted ( pronounced, fil-it) in place. Glassed both sides. The whole piece was glued in place using epoxy. All of my glueing is done with epoxy thickened with wood flour. It's not coming back out, atleast not in one piece.
    The rear deck was then glassed to the seat back with a 5" wide piece of fiberglass making it all one structure. Hull, seatback, and rear deck.
     

    Attached Files:


  3. tnvol

    tnvol New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Clarksvill
    That's pretty sweet! You do good work man!
     
  4. rush_60

    rush_60 New Member

    Messages:
    1,719
    State:
    Troy, KS
    Looks good. I wish I had the patience and attention to detail to do something like that. Are you adding any floatation to it?
     
  5. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    :worship:

    You have the gift. That is a nice looking boat. It would be awesome to float around in a boat you built yourself.
     
  6. dknight

    dknight New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    South Carolina
    That is really impressive. I ma new to the site so I havnt seen how you started.
    I have always wanted to make my own canoe but could never find good plans. Any sugestions in where to look for some?
    Great work.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    When you build a boat the level of attention to detail is up to the builder.
    We rate finish quality in feet. It looks good from 5 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet ect.
    This one will have a 5 foot finish.
    I could have easily quit filling and sanding 3 weekends into it.
    As far as flotation the storage in the bow is watertight. It serves as a flotation chamber. Beyond the bulkhead in the stern is foamed with flotation foam. Not necessary at all as you could seal that compartment as well with no access to it. A sealed chamber is as good as foam.

    Grimpuppy, I been saying since I been on this site that ANYBODY can build a boat. These stitch and glue boats require minimal tools.
    Cordless drill, orbital sander, and a saber saw is all you need.
    However I like a beltsander for shaping. I bought a nice Porter Cable palm belt sander just for that. It's a belt sander you can easily hold and operate with one hand.
    If you aren't a purist a brad gun and compressor come in real handy, especially with installing the rub rails where you are glueing and bending rubrail in 2 different directions at once. Notice the boat is rounded on the horizontal plane but at the same time it has verticle curvature.
    I use 3 layers of 1/4 lattice for rubrail.

    Dknight, welcome to the site. The original thread is here..
    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79534

    I build stitch and glue boats. The easiest to build without buying alot of tools.
    Generally they are lighter in weight and strong.
    As far as skill level you don't need any skills. It's all pretty sef explanatory.
    Probally the most difficult part for a beginner would be laying out your pieces.
    Once you get the concept that becomes 3rd grade education.
    Epoxy does have a learning curve but after you mix 3 or 4 small batches of glue you fall right into it. The only thing measured is the epoxy ratio of resin and hardner and that is done with measured pumps that screw on the gallon jugs. 2 pumps of resin, 1 pump of hardner. The additives like wood flour, micro balloons, and silica become old hat too. You learn quickly how much you need to add to get the consistency you are looking for. Sometimes you want it runny, other times you want a stiffer mix.

    This plan came from Jemwatercraft.com. A canoe/yak designer here in NC.
    His plans and step by step build manuals are of quality. Easy for a beginner.
    The same goes for Bateau.com out of Florida. Those to guys were loosely tied together once in selling boat plans. As a result the plans you get from either site will be of the same quality. As far as the plans , they are pretty much identical only the actual type of boat plan will be different.
    Bateau is primarily power and sail plans. All stitch and glue.
    As far as buying epoxy, glass, and fillers I buy almost exclusively at Bateau. His prices are hard to beat. Not many places can you get a quality epoxy at 150 bucks for 3 gallons.

    You can build these canoes in the yard, the garage, basement, and even the living room provided you aren't married.
    Dont laugh. There are pictures on the net of a guy lowering a kayak out of second floor apartment window. He built it in the dining room. He couldn't get it out of the door.
     
  8. dknight

    dknight New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    South Carolina
    thanks for the info, will look them up now
     
  9. marcusbigdaddy1

    marcusbigdaddy1 New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    ohio
    That is awsome.Ive drawn up plans but have yet started my project.Im not sure where to start or what to use. Hope mine turns out as nice as yours
     
  10. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Take this piece of of advice and run with it.
    Buy a good set of plans. There will be no question as where to start or what to use.
    My fortay isn't in the engineering aspects and mechanics of boat building materials. I would rather pay someone for their expertise.
    For instance the average person out here would never think of building an 18 foot center console with for the most part 1/4" plywood. Too thin. not strong enough. Better use 5/8".

    The truth is that 1/4" is thick enough and strong enough thanks to the laminating schedule the designer has included with his plans.
    Home builders tend to over build and wind up with heavy boats.
     
  12. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

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    2,207
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    That's great advice, Mark. I would also suggest that anyone interested in the concept of building their own kayak or canoe check out Amazon for some outstanding books on the subject.

    Stitch-and-glue, strip-built, and even fabric-over-frame building techniques are well documented by excellent craftsmen in outstanding books. They will show you the amount of work required, investment, tips and tricks, etc.

    I have several books on kayak/canoe building on my bookshelf, and consider them to be among my most valuable books. Great wintertime reading! :big_smile: