I was doing a tally of the boats built by Salisbury Students since we began the program, and was a little surprised by the numbers:

30 boats, all together, plus 5 I've built myself.


Skin-on-frame Canoes

The frames are finished and coated. We will now be working on floorboards, a cushion seat, and when the frames are completely dry will be skinning the boats.

Chris Ross started at the beginning of the spring term, but by having the stringers and gunwales pre-milled, and the strong-back set up for him, we are making great progress. He is also a great worker, doing some tasks on his own time.

We added the 'makers marks' today. We got these, by the way from http://www.makers-marks.co.uk/ . They were very reasonable, even for small batches, and add a nice touch to the finished boat.

Oxford Shells

All four boats are decked. On two, the cockpit rim and deck wash are on, and we are beginning to prepare the mounts for the Pantidosi Row Wing.


4/17 Rear decks are on the last two shells. The other two have are nearly 'built'. (See photo) Just a bit of fairing and filleting with the wood-flour mix and they will be ready for a final coat of unthickened epoxy.


Two Oxford shells have both decks on. We are still installing the skegs on the other two.

We used just four screws for alignment, then used duct tape / packing tape to hold the decks down. The only down-side to this, that I can see, is that if you have a lot of overhanging material, the tape tends to make the deck 'hump up' or take a smaller radius than it should. We solved this by pre-trimming most of the excess plywood, thus reducing the possible leverage on the edges.
The sail rig is moderately successful. It needs some tweaking. I found I had to move the pivot point down from the thwart to the floorboards, and amidships a bit. The lashing of the sail to the spars needs rethinking, so the whole rig stays in place better. Since the boat has no keel, and tends to turn into the wind without the sail, steering is problematic. With a good wind, I can drag the double-blade on the appropriate side to keep her straight. I'll keep working on it.


Now for something not completely different

Sails for canoes.

Working from the book Canoe rig : the Essence and the Art : Sailpower for Antique and Traditional Canoes, by Todd E. Bradshaw, I am trying out a simple sail rig for the skin-on-frame canoes. Any sailor will quickly see that this will only work downwind, but it is light and easy to put together, so I'm going to test it soon.

I may have to come up with something more elegant than the zip-ties holding the 'anchor' block, but until I see how this works, I want something I can remove easily. The ends of the spars are not actually attached, but simply rest in oversized, round-edged holes. I suppose I could also lash the end eyelet to the thwart, but I want to see if this works, first.


Skin-on-Frame Canoes (2)

This is where we are on the 4th of April. The boat which is furthest along is ready (note to self: double check everything) for sealing. The first boat I ever made was coated with water-based polyurethane, but since the student projects have a different rhythm, with lots of drying time, we've use Waterlox tung oil, with good success. Two coat of the 'regular' formula and then a top coat of their more heavy bodied marine formula. This last takes a long time to dry, so while it is doing so, we make the floor boards and seat cushion and start on our paddles.

Below is a detail of the breast-hook, with the rubrails in place (though they will come off again to varnish and to skin the boat.

Below: the thwart attachment below the gunwales - also shows the lashing of rib to stringer.


Stitch and Glue Oxford Shells (2)

4/3 While we have about a week spread between the two 'sections' of guys doing this kit, we are still in good shape schedule-wise. The guys furthest along will be decking next week.

4/9 All the hulls are 'glassed' now. I feel like we have turned a big corner, and the hardest work is behind us.

The photo just above shows the aft hatch opening and the aft deck attached.


Stitch and Glue Oxford Shells (1)

Four boys are building Chesapeake Light Craft's Oxford shell. As of April 1, the students furthest along have installed the slotted block for the skeg, and will soon be putting on the decks.

Today we finished shaping and sealing the blocks that will hold the skeg. Then we glued the scarph joint on the bow deck. Tomorrow we'll trim the bulkheads and plane the sheerclamps in preparation for attaching the decks.