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The plywood boat that started it all.....

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  • The plywood boat that started it all.....
    So, there seems to be a lot of activity going with on my newly brought home Starcraft Jet (year unknown) and my 1960 Glastron FireFlite. It only makes sense to honor the boat that started it:
    Either a 2 part solo canoe/kayak:


    Or a 3 part tandem:


    With an optional trolling motor slide mount:


    Mine measures:
    Maximum beam across bottom chine of center module = 34"+/-
    Beam at module bulkheads for through bolts = 32.5"+/-
    Transom width = 23"
    3pc length = 11' 9" +/-
    2pc length = 7' 9" +/-
    'Rated' for a 30lb thrust electric trolling motor & standard battery not a deep cycle (weight) battery is kept in rear of forward most module, under your knees.
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  • #2
    Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

    It is a break down design by Ken Simpson @ Arizona, one of his Portable Boats designs. It's the Kayak++ model. It is made using TiteBond 3 & fiberglass tape. The treated w/ Thompson's water sealer for a little added protection and several coats of oil based polyruethane. Sat afternoon this weekend it got a coat of water based poly. Ken's a great guy, very helpful when building the boat & very quick to respond to questions! His plans all include detailed layout & fab directions. There are free plans on his site for some optional items, modifying a electric trolling motor shaft to make it the correct length shaft for a shallow boat (instead of the standard 30" shaft). A double ended 'kayak' style paddle out of plywood & a piece of gray plastic conduit.

    I used luaun ply, added 2" to the beam along the keel, made the optional center section a full 48" long, and made some minor changes to the layout & design of the cap sections to allow for some of the other changes, and a slightly reduced weight. The modules are all light enough for most people to handle very easily, and it is fairly stable, when seated on a square PFD cushion. The slight twist in the side panels significantly improves their rigidity. It is designed to be easily transported & assembled at the water's edge. There are 6-7" bulkheads at the end of each module, that are bolted together with 3/8" through bolts & large fender washers. I also chose to add brass bushings to the through bolt holes to reduce fatigue & wear & tear on the luaun ply:


    I had access to a planer & plenty of really nice rough sawn walnut, so that's all the dark wood you see. Ken's design had the bow's 'stem' created with just the 2 hull sides glued together & glassed over. I added the Walnut stem w/ an oak center:
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    • #3
      Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

      I started on her July 4th weekend 2011, and splashed Tues pm the day after Labor Day 2011. It was a very hot summer on the 2nd floor of our shop w/ no A/C or fans..... 1st you build the transom:


      and all the bulkheads taking the time to make sure they are all the same size, else it won't bolt together very well:


      I slightly modified the area of the through bolt, for better support of the bushings & the fender washers. Essentially, the plywood gusset & walnut backer are the same size. Ken had the backer smaller then the gusset for keeping the through bolt tucked in closer to the hull's sides. By making the gusset & backer bigger I could move the bolt inward & get a better clamping force on the bulkhead as a whole.

      To make sure the center section matches up, Ken recommends doing it now w/ everything else. Always keeping it square & cross checked:
      2 shots of the 3Pc:

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      • #4
        Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

        Ken's design includes air chambers fore & aft, that can be used w/ waterproof hatches, I used 3 6" hatches:
        2 Aft:

        And 1 Fore:


        Both of these bulkheads are installed after each module has both ends attached to the side panels. The center module does not have any additional bulkheads other then the ends for through bolts.

        Once you get the ends & sides assembled, you put on the bottom pieces:


        In this photo you can see the slight 2" keel the bulkheads give the hull bottom. That runs along the entire bottom.
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        • #5
          Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

          Once you get the hull bottom attached, you round over the edge & use TB3 & glass tape(2 layers) 1st 2"-3" & then a 2nd of 4"-6" so there is overlap onto bare wood. Then you flip it & start to work on fitting the cap:
          2pc:



          To give it a little more of a classic look, I ran a slight peak along the top of the cap:


          I would have liked to have done a curve/arched piece, but I was concerned about making sure the curve was even & faired across the beam of the boat, so, I gave it a peak. And I like the results.

          Once the cap is fit & glued down, you run the same glass tape & TB3 schedule on every edge inside & out. Including any areas where the ply had to be cut to contour (along the keel & cap):


          Once all the joints are finished, you add chine rails along the top & bottom:
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          • #6
            Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

            And you add the keel piece & the 2 side skid rails:


            Once you get all the rails installed, you spray it down 2X w/ Thompson's, and let it thoroughly dry between & after.

            Then you start the poly work:
            Center module bottom side:


            Fore module bottom side:


            Aft module bottom side:


            Once dried for a good long while after the last coat of poly:

            Splash:


            In solo mode, w/out trolling motor or battery, & just my 215lbs, it drafts just up to the lower chine, 2-2.25".
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            • #7
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              Re: The plywood boat that started it all.....

              Just need to add some cleats, a paddle & PFD:






              That's about all I've got. Enjoyed building it, hope to put it to good use soon. I highly recommend it to anyone, esp those w/ some basic carpentry skills & tools. You can use off the shelf 1X & 3/4" stock instead of fabbing walnut or whatever. I had access to it so I used it!

              Carp, now it's 4 boats again....

              Good night & have a great Easter.

              93Bay & TDF, thanks for checking in,
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