I was inspired to build my first strip-planked dinghy while working for a talented woodworker in a quaint little wood shop in Nashville, Tennessee. He showed me a strip-built canoe, something I’d never seen before. The wheels in my head started turning. I was completely captivated. Continue reading →
The John Williams Boat Co. (JWC) on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, recently a set of iakos for the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hôkûle’a, built and maintained for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We sailors sometimes think of ourselves as adventurers and explorers, self-sufficient and capable of handling the vagaries of wind and weather. But our view of voyaging includes refrigeration to keep the food and drink cold, sail handling and navigation systems to make sailing easy and safe, and a good dry, comfortable boat so we remain content while sailing to the ends of our own personal world. When we compare that to the skills and equipment of early voyagers, it can be almost embarrassing. Continue reading →
If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small eye pads (also called pad eyes) in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes this lightweight carbon fiber or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line eye pads for his sailing canoes.
He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The eye pads are easy to make and amazingly strong. Continue reading →
Above: A handle trick when you want to cast an epoxy tabletop is to warm epoxy resin and hardener to 80° F to reduce viscosity, then let it pour from a puncture in your mixing cup. These steps will eliminate most bubbles behind.
Pouring a thick coating of epoxy onto a tabletop can produce a unique effect. With a ¼” thick coating, you can cast an epoxy tabletop with a variety of objects covered in the epoxy for decorative accents. Coins, fabrics, sticks of wood, memorabilia, and photographs have been used in this decoupage application. Here are a few tricks to make things go more smoothly. Continue reading →
If you are using the strip planking method to build a canoe, kayak or even a telescope, you already appreciate the beauty of wood. The following tips will help you achieve the clearest possible fiberglass coating to protect and reinforce the wood and show off your handiwork. Continue reading →
I recently built a double-ended paddle for my kayak. The blades were made of thin mahogany plywood coated with epoxy. I had coated all the paddle parts with two coats of epoxy the day before, and overnight a thin oil-like film had formed on the surface of the epoxy. This is amine blush. To ensure a good bond between the blade and the shaft, I removed the blush with water, dulled the surface with an abrasive pad, and dried the surface with paper towels. I’m confident using my new kayak paddle because the mating surfaces of the shaft and blade were properly prepared prior to bonding. Continue reading →