Greenland Workshop on the Hudson

Atlantic Kayak from Roger McKee on Vimeo.

Last weekend, I spent the day on the Hudson river with Atlantic Kayak Tours and Cheri and Turner Wilson .   Morning spent on rolling technique and the afternoon on strokes with the Greenland paddle.


Interesting Link

 Paddle History

Click on the image for a short history of the traditionally-shaped canoe paddle.


Boat Building Workshop - Saturday - Final Day

Re-installing the rub rails - everyone lends a hand.

Boat Building Workshop - Friday

One more half-day.  Finishing up a week-long workshop in which seven participants built four skin-on-frame, double paddle canoes.  This afternoon, in one long push, we coated all the boats with a two-part urethane product know as 'Goop'.

urethanetimelapse from Roger McKee on Vimeo.

All that remains is tomorrow morning is to install the rub rails and the stem bands, drop in the  floorboards and seat,  and go for a paddle on Twin Lakes.

Its been a busy week of full days, but with some hardworking participants has been very successful.

Skinned, dyed and dried.

Skin coated with 'Goop'.


Boat Building Workshop - Thursday

After fitting the mahogany rub rails, today was primarily a day of polyurethaning the frame, floorboards, seat, rub rails and paddles.

Boat all in a row for coats of polyurethane.

Skinning the first of four.


Boatbuilding Workshop - Wednesday

Another big day.  All the frames are done; two boats have their rub rails drilled and finished.

This frame is nearly done.  The rub rails need to be drilled and trimmed.

This frame has a 1/2 coat of polyurethane.

Caned seat from Ed's  Canoe

Another view.


Boatbuilding Workshop - Tuesday

Day Three.

The soaking trough is almost empty.

Ribs all in; ready for inwales.

Inwales installed, ready for thwarts


Floorboards glued together


Boat Building Workshop - Monday

Second day - first full day.  We made tremendous progress.

Well over half of the ribs are in

Lashed ribs

Thwarts roughed out, with backrest

This was a very busy day, and very productive.  One team got ALL their ribs in.  Everyone else will be able to finish ribs on Tuesday morning.  Thwarts are at least roughed out, with backrest pieces glued in place, a little clean up will get those done. Also:  stem/knee sub-assemblies are done and in place on the boats - glued to the keelsons and set into the space next to the breast-hooks.


Sunday Evening of the Workshop

Day One.
Two hours into the build, and off to a great start.

Stringers laid on

Rib Stock Prepped and Soaking

Stems and Knees Glued Up


Setting Up for the Summer Boat Workshop

Gunwales, Inwales and Keelson laid on the forms

The Atrium of the Ruger Art Wing

Since the summer workshop is only six days long, much of the tedious and time-consuming milling has been done by me, ahead of time.  Some final shaping of parts and some sub-assembly has been left for the participants, but it will be busy days, even so. 

Stems and Knees 
Rib Stock
Thwart Pieces, Rough


Photo From a Former Student, Eric Macy

Greenland Kayak

Eric made this during the 2012-2013 school year.


Getting Ready for Summer School Workshop

The 'lighting round'.  This year, during the regular Summer School, but separate from, I am doing a one-week session where a maximum of four boats will be made.  Because of the time constraints, I am doing a lot of the tedious, time -consuming milling of parts before the session starts in July. Gunwales are soaking, and I'm setting up all the forms, as well as cranking out the octagonal stringers.


Wrap Up

Steve Ross's Oxford Shell, rigged and ready to row.

TJ Lindsay varnishing the framework of his 'Berkshire Canoe'.

TJ heads for Penn State this fall; he decorated his boat's
skin with the lion logo.

Though we only made four boats this year, it was a very successful batch.  With fewer students, 'quality control' was easier, and I was able to give more individual attention.  All the boats are very well crafted with few 'boo-boo's' along the way.  We've decided, in general, that "less is more" when it comes to the strength of the dye on the canvas. We diluted the dye a lot this year, yielding more subtle, very transparent colors.

John DiCaros's skin-on-frame canoe.


Boat Launchings

First time with the Go Pro in a canoe - this one is a bit shaky.

This year, there were fewer boats to launch, and some seniors were going to be away during exam week, so we split into smaller groups.  On Saturday three of us went for a short paddle on Twin Lakes.

On Wednesday of Exam Week, John DiCaro and Steve Ross launched their boats.


Playing with the new GoPro

Here is what's up in the shop:

video may not run on some devices

It's coming down to the last week of school.  We have just a few things to re-assemble on the boats (rub rails, stem-bands, etc), and are making some easy double-bladed paddles.


Dyed vs White Polyester Skin

Subtle use of  the Skinboat School's spruce dye


Wee Lassie

Photo Credit: Feather Canoes

I came across this post about Feather Canoes, on Facebook, via WOODENBOAT's page. "The Wee Lassie may have started out as one of JH Rushton's designs but it has gone through several variations to become what it is today. This is a great, lightweight solo canoe for a moderately sized person." The Feather Canoe versions are strip-built wood-fibreglass, but this is the basic shape and concept as our skin-on-frame boats. Note the double-paddle and the low seat position of the paddlers.


Ahead of Schedule

All the boat frames are oiled and skinning is well under way
Meanwhile, the ribs are soaking for this new Greenland kayak


Sunday Outing

After coming close over the summer, but not quite nailing it on my own, I went to a class this past Sunday, hosted by ConnYak.  The instructors were Cheri and Turner Wilson, and they were great.  By the end of the hour-and-a-half class, I was doing the roll with confidence,as well as sculling and recovering.  The session was done in their boat, which was a tight fit. (I had to really wiggle to get my knees and thighs in and out of the boat.)  After a rest break, I tried my own boat.  Because mine is significantly wider, I feared I would have trouble making the transition, but I had no problem rolling up. Though I was a little sloppy on a few rolls, I have no doubt I will now be able to refine my roll and get smoother.  And this was with the skinny Greenland paddle.


New Crop of Boats

3 skin-on-frame canoes and one Oxford Rowing Shell:

Shell wired together

Stringers, gunwales and breasthooks in place.