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Thread: Modifying Frontiersman freighter?

  1. #1
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    Default Modifying Frontiersman freighter?

    Last year scored a Frontiersman freighter with the windebottle transom. Boat is in good condition, although I have since scraped some of the paint of the bottom floating some rocky stuff. I ordered some Gator Glide, I'll be coating the bottom of the freighter and my flatbottom boat when the stuff gets here.

    I like the Frontiersman, hauls plenty, is stable, and with the small kit from Swamp Runner with a 6.5 Predator it is very fuel efficient.

    But with that Y stern the rear end plunges under power, even with weight in the front. I feel like if I could keep the stern from plunging so much I'd go faster with less power, and be quieter about it as well.

    I did a google image search for stitch and glue Thai boat, thinking of building a boat some time and that crossed my mind. Found this picture of one those big Thai double enders. It had a platform coming off the stern, it looks like it's there to help keep the stern from plunging. What do you guys think of putting something like this on the stern of a Frontiersman? Any tips on how to go about it? Sources for materials?

    Also attached is a photo of the Frontiersman.

    Be safe out there!
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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    took 8 12 hour days to modify a frontiersman/valhala 18 footer. that stich n glue talk, is silly speak, not necessary with fiberglass canoes. the boat went from an 18 ft long, 45 in wide, 14 in deep canoe. to an 18.5 foot long, 57 in wide, 18 in deep canoe. instead of a 21 in. bow, it sports a 31 in tall bow. instead of a tiny lil wine glass transom, it sports a 42 in wide transom, with a 32 in. wide planing surface. instead of a worthless keel, it has a foam core floor. this extreme geometry change, is really challenging work, I enjoyed it. If you've never worked with fiberglass, it's a bit beyond novice stuff, and these materials are too expensive for experiments imo. I'm too busy working on another canoe order ( a new Taiga Creek canoe for a yukon moose hunter) for anymore typing. give a shout in the evening after work hours if you need to brainstorm: 907-903-2101

    rotten transom, flotation pods full of water and canadian trash:


    removed worthless keel:

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    final product, a weird viking-surface drive canoe for a gold prospector who didn't want to buy a new freighter canoe:


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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    the right transom geometry for the best efficiency and shallow water performance:

    I inject a mold built onto the stern, with expanding marine-grade foam. i then carve it. it acts like flotation pods. after some calculations, the genteleman has over 300 lbs of buoyancy just in the stern alone. the marine grade foam core planing surface, another 400 lbs of buoyancy. He's getting 18 mph cruise speed at 3/4 throttle. I effectively doubled his speeds. he couldn't get past 1/2 throttle before, because of the stern digging in. Because he needed to get prospecting, there was no time for fairing the weave with a compound and sanding the surfaces smooth, so it has a rough finish, for a rough n tumble boat, meaning, you can see the weave through the paint, but he doesn't care.
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    Have you considered putting solar panels on this guy? There is so much surface area and a canoe is a great platform for solar.

    I lay my solar backpack on my sail boat which works great but Im thinking if you add some thin film panels along the sides of this thing you could generate a lot of power. Probably enough to power a small (very small) fan motor that could move the canoe slightly... like peddle assist on an e-bike
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 09-04-2014 at 19:49. Reason: advertising

  6. #6
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    That is some serious modification Mainer! I've done some glass work, nothing approaching that level.

    The stitch and glue would be for building a different boat, not modifying this one. My Frontiersman is in fairly good condition, I'd be leery of such destructive modification. My Herters, on the other hand, was nearly a raised garden bed, maybe I'll start with it as it's already nearly cut in half from wear along it's keel.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aknative1987 View Post
    That is some serious modification Mainer! I've done some glass work, nothing approaching that level.

    The stitch and glue would be for building a different boat, not modifying this one. My Frontiersman is in fairly good condition, I'd be leery of such destructive modification. My Herters, on the other hand, was nearly a raised garden bed, maybe I'll start with it as it's already nearly cut in half from wear along it's keel.
    I nor the owner of the canoe would consider it "destructive" modification. I would consider it constructive modification, where the environment sculpts the canoe. These wineglass sterns are ok for lightweight two strokes and large lake travel, but fail miserably in shallow creeks and rivers. The transom was rotten, and the boat is now stronger than it ever was. Likewise, with the flat stern, it won't dig in as deep, and consequently won't take on damage concentrated to the rear of the stern.

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    No doubt that boat is worlds more capable than it was before.

    What I should have said is I'm sure I can cut my boat up, I'm just not sure I possess the know how to reconstruct it that you do, and would therefore be leery of trying that on my Frontiersman myself. My Herters, however, is already almost cut in half along the keel from use, most of it previous owners', but I did put the finishing gouges in myself. It nearly became a raised garden bed. But I think I'll try to rebuild it into an amalgamation of what you've shared here and what Boud'arc did with his Herters. Thanks to both you for sharing your modifications.

    What poundage of foam did you use? From what research I've done it sounds like the 8 pound foam would be minimum for structural use, but the 16 pound stuff would be better. It would be cool to buy you a beer or coffee next time you find yourself in Fairbanks.

    Be safe out there!

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