Sunday Paddle

Went out to the pond behind the house today for with the Duncan and his friend Jack, to paddle around in the skin-on-frame canoes and one of the coracles. The heron circled overhead a few times and we saw lots of evidence of work (and snacking) by the beavers.


Getting Ready for the New Building Season

Thought we might be making a paddle board, as well, but not this year.

This is a preview of what we'll be building.  Our actual new boats may look somewhat different.


Family Paddle on the Housatonic

From Labor Day:  Amy, Duncan and I took a paddle on the very low waters of the Housatonic, near Ashley Falls, MA.  All skin-on-frame, low-seat canoes.

Just kidding - not in the river!


Last week of summer. Ferb, I know what we're going to do today.

Won't have much time to paddle soon, so I thought I'd check out this section of the river.  Water is pretty low - no surprise there - I had to get out and walk over several sections of gravel bar. Followed the Great Blue Heron for a ways, but couldn't get a picture.

Sheffield covered bridge to Green River

Green River as it enters the Housatonic - not very impressive

This tree will end up in the river soon
Kellogg Road bridge

Almost back to covered bridge


Another Skin-on-frame builder

Mystic Boat Show was on June 29th - July 1st.  Went down on Saturday to help Hilary Russell  with his booth.  We worked on a canoe while there and fielded questions from show attendees.  Also saw Forman School's boat building program working on some 'real' planked rowboats.


Launch Day

Ethan Marshall's boat

It was a beautiful day on the lake - perfect for a first cruise in the new boats.  The stand-up-paddleboard proved to be quick and stable, and the canoes preformed as expected.  The full name of these boats is Double Paddle, Low-Seat Canoe; it is modeled after the Henry Rushton Wee Lassie, though uses materials more like an Inuit Umiak or Kayak.


Skinned, dyed, and coated boats

Before and After:  'Cristo' wrapped boats to poly-coated canoes.


Stapling the ends

First one side is stretched
and stapled, gunwale to keelson.

Then the other side is pulled over
and overlapped, stapling again.

Let's not forget the paddle board,  being varnished.


Skinning has begun

Today we began covering the varnished frames with polyester canvas.  It gets stapled to the gunwales, pulled as tight as we can manage while stapling.


'Varnished' Boats

Waterlox, actually.  We've had good results with this, so I've continued to use it, despite the high price.


More Milestones

Just a couple weeks into the spring trimester, and things are looking good.  By the end of the week, most of the thwarts should be in the skin-on-frame canoes.  The stand-up paddle board is getting its last coats of epoxy before final sanding and varnishing.

Inwales in place, prepping to attach the thwarts.
Skegs for stand-up paddle board placed and glued.
Reinforced with fibreglass cloth, two layers
With a coat of epoxy


First Spring Paddle

I started this outing, in my skin-on-frame canoe, from the Hotchkiss Road access to Thousand Acre Swamp, in New Marlborough, Massachusetts.  Picked off a geocache at the suspension bridge seen here, then portaged to Mill Pond, where I put back in to paddle across to the final short portage to East Indies Pond.

Outlet of East Indies Pond

Mill Pond, in the19th century, powered a sawmill

Path of the paddle


Spring Break is here....

Where we are leaving off:

SUP, ready for glassing

The furthest-along of the skin canoes:  inwales glued in place


Latest Pictures

Boats and tables in Ruger Art Wing atrium

Stand-up paddle board, almost ready for deck

Work is progessing nicely.  Only a few more ribs to steam, and we will have all the boats off the forms inside of a week. While we finish at up, we will also mill and soak the ash inwales, before we trim them to fit inside the boats.  Soon we'll turn to shaping the thwarts.


Stringers are on the Forms

All of the stringers have been laid on the forms and tied on with twine.  Today I demonstrated for the students how to steam and bend the ribs and then lash them in place.

First rib clamped in place

Meanwhile, Rob Feeney's stand-up paddleboard is coming along well.  The entire hull and bulkheads are together, and we are almost ready to weld all the seams.



Stringers soaking.
Two of five low-seat canoes in progress.

Rob Feeney's Stand-Up Paddleboard

Frame of  the Greenland Kayak