Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Thoughts on an Alaskan freighter design

  1. #1
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default Thoughts on an Alaskan freighter design

    I was recently delving into older threads of this canoe forum. I noticed a decent number of threads (and posts) regarding the construction of a freighter canoe. Many diff. materials were discussed: cedar strip, canvas on wood, and aluminum for the most part. Although the Scott canoes are great (the best currently around)...to purchase a new one requires quite the drive, and paying quite a bit more than what they would cost back on the East coast (they are sold 20 minutes from where I grew up). I did notice quite a big diff. in price when compared to the price in Whitehorse. From what I've been told by Scott, and forum members.....The Scott freighters were once avail. in Anchorage but the cost of shipping was through the roof......this was one of the reasons that someone had brought up the discussion of an Alaskan built canoe.

    If I were to put forth the effort to construct a canoe....I wouldn't do aluminum, fiberglass, cedar strip, wood on canvas, stitch n glue, or any other of similar construction. No......what I would do is take the freighter into a new generation of construction that would compete against all others. To me.....aluminum is heavy (try dropping a paddle.....listen for the echo) and noisy. It transfers the bitter cold right from the water to your feet, and grabs ahold of rocks (lots of dents) instead of sliding over them. Now for those of you who own aluminum canoes.....don't take that the wrong way.......just stating it how it is. I wouldn't get meticulous with wood on canvas or cedar strip......and after all the work.....I couldn't push that boat and beat it up on a rocky river. I wouldn't go fiberglass because my whole agenda would be again.....to take the freighter into a new generation to compete against all others. What materials and building techniques are left? Graphite and Kevlar comes to mind. I've worked with both....and I've also worked with a woven graph./kev. hybrid cloth that worked really well with East Stem epoxies utilizing an extra slow hardener. This type of construction is so light and rigid that there really is no need for "aluminum" reinforcements like on the Scott fiberglass canoe. One more material comes to mind.....UHMW. 1/8" UHMW would add some weight but would protect this type of boat from cracking or shattering. Graphite is so rigid and tough....that it's more of a non-issue and a bit of overkill to line the bottom outer hull with UHMW. These two materials would accomplish so much when combined, bashing into rocks, dragging over wood, running across gravel.....UHMW we all know is PERFECT for that! It would protect the very rigid graphite hull from abrasion and smoothly glide over rocks. Having worked with UHMW a few times.....these two materials when combined would make an extremely rugged boat ready for any abuse....but would also provide a hull of rather light weight and a hull that could also be painted various colors (excluding the lower outer hull lined with UHMW). Many other materials have come to mind for all the mods. needed for pushing a square stern canoe to do things that the Alaskan rivers require.

    A little about hull design: The only two sizes that I would put the effort into would be an 18 ft. and a 20 ft. model. The 18 ft. model would be designed to efficiently push appropriately sized loads with a 9.9 horse. The 20 ft. would be a bit more beamier and designed for a 20 horse outboard. The keels would be made of shallow (beveled) strips of 1" thick UHMW. The height of the hull would be 20 (18footer and 24 inches(20 footer)....quite a bit more than the average 15-16 inch height of most. This height would still allow comfortable paddling posture......although I don't care too much about the paddling efficiency of a darn square stern.....if I wanted to do that.....I would clone a MacKenzie sport canoe. THE MOST IMPORTANT DESIGN PARAMETER: This is perhaps the flagship of my two designs (spent 5 months drawing them up). The stern! Almost every square stern canoe drafts deep at the stern. Some square stern canoes have such terrible draft that old timers would often bolt fin shaped pieces of metal to the rear of their sterns to try and get their canoe to plane out. Some....have gone other routes such as installing outboard planing devices like the stingray. Draft is so terrible at the stern that you often waste power and fuel for a miserly increase of 1 or 2 mph. One boat that I've run in that kind of defied this problem was the Grum. Sport boat. The sport boat had a slightly wider stern and actually stayed on top of the water quite well! It achieved better speed and drafted less at the stern......BUT only being a 15 footer....it's missing the load hauling capacity of the longer square stern canoes. A stern slightly narrower than the widest part of the beam is what i have on the drawing book......not to mention a shallow 2.5" tunnel that's about 3ft. long The tunnel would be about 10 inches wide and has other technical geometry to protect it from damage and other design features. The beam of the 18ft. design is 48 inches. and the 20 ft. design is 52.25"

    Having worked for a paddle company....beautiful wood accents are a must. The gun whales, the nose caps, the transom wood, the seats.....gotta have beautiful wood to counter these advanced materials! The bow has been designed to almost resemble the angle and shape of the nose of a salmon shark......the rounded up swept bow shape of traditional canoes are not practical in my design. I wanted a bow that could be bashed and ridden up over objects not "stopped" dead in your tracks.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta Jct, Alaska
    Posts
    992

    Default

    Mad River at one time made a Kevlar square stern canoe much as you describe.....seems like it was about 20'......probably a decade ago.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Thumbs up exciting

    That's exciting to think about.

    I love my Scott Albany and it has treated me better than I have treated it, so thinking along these lines almost seems like "cheating"....

    What would this new design do better?
    - Would it be light enough to both haul a huge load AND be lifted more easily? Or even portaged?
    - How much tougher would the hull be than a Scott?
    - Can a hole or crack in the hull be repaired in the field? I don't have experience with those materials, so sorry if that's a dumb question.
    - If/when the hull has as failure, what would that look like damage wise? Repair wise?
    - Are there advancements (beyond the Scott design) that would improve the use of a lift? Or would the lift be "assumed" to be present in the design of the hull, stern, and transom?

    Fun things to think about. Keep going on this mainer. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Consider an Adirondack Guide Boat. It's essentially a double width freighter with oar locks. Even under load they cut through the water pretty easily.

    In the early 1900's they were the "only" way to hunt deer in the Adirondacks.

    Here's a link to a builder in Vermont that sells DIY kits. Not cheap but beautiful.

    http://www.adirondack-guide-boat.com/kits.html

  5. #5

    Default

    man they'd be nice to have...would love to see it, but honestly doubt I could afford one atleast at this point in life! dont let me stop ya though!!!

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,599

    Thumbs up

    I've seen some gillnet boats built out of kevlar and the owners were very happy with them.

  7. #7
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    That's exciting to think about.

    I love my Scott Albany and it has treated me better than I have treated it, so thinking along these lines almost seems like "cheating"....

    What would this new design do better?
    - Would it be light enough to both haul a huge load AND be lifted more easily? Or even portaged?
    - How much tougher would the hull be than a Scott?
    - Can a hole or crack in the hull be repaired in the field? I don't have experience with those materials, so sorry if that's a dumb question.
    - If/when the hull has as failure, what would that look like damage wise? Repair wise?
    - Are there advancements (beyond the Scott design) that would improve the use of a lift? Or would the lift be "assumed" to be present in the design of the hull, stern, and transom?

    Fun things to think about. Keep going on this mainer. Thanks.
    Geeze......had to quote yah so I wouldnt miss a question Steve!

    1. The hull would suffer no abrasion induced damage...after 2-5 yrs of abuse and dragging.....you could shed the skin......do a little sanding......and re-skin the lower hull with it's UHMW armor.

    2. A crack would be next to impossible because of the rigidity of carbon fiber....or carbon fiber/kev hybrids, working in conjunction with the UHMW Impact and abrasion resistance. BUT if this type of damage occured.....a boo boo patch with a quick setting glue would work fine until the return home. Repairing graph/kev is a lil more difficult to fix. I would prob provide a gaurentee to fix any hull damage of that severity.

    3 The improvenments over any square stern canoe would be less draft at WOT (wide open throttle), much less weight than glass, built to be abused, and much more efficient flow of water for a lift system/prop....or even a small jet on the 20 ft. model!

    4 one problem with a few lift designs is the tendency of the motor to rise when using a stingray (not good). I have an all aluminum lift design that I've also been working on that would be avail for purchase seperately with the boat (not everyone needs a lift). This is a scissor type lift that utilizes a remote control with two operations...UP or Down (pretty technical huh?) and a manual back-up mounted under the seat in case the 18v. lithium battery operated lift motor craps the bed. Polyurethane bushings would be used to ensure zero movement/vibration of the lift frame. This lift design would allow you to stand up and operate the canoe without having to reach back to a handle. While standing up...... One hand.....the tiller.....the other hand.....a small controller......you could only imagine how instant your response to river hazards could be!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,763

    Default lift

    is the lift still on the drawing board or do you have a working modle ????

    SID

  9. #9
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    I'm part way there Sid. Gathered up all the aluminum, the motor, but havent yet found the exact type of poly bushings that i want to use..........good winter project.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,763

    Default your project

    I will be waiting to see how it will work I know you have spent a lot on time working on it

    SID

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    POW
    Posts
    71

    Default

    mainer-in-ak,

    What would such a 18' boat cost a person? BTW, I worked for the canoe shops in Atkinson for a few years. My son and I recovered the canoe this summer that I made in 1992 while at the Northwoods Canoe Shop in Atkinson. He had a nice trip with it on Upper Ebemee Lake.

  12. #12
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wynot View Post
    mainer-in-ak,

    What would such a 18' boat cost a person? BTW, I worked for the canoe shops in Atkinson for a few years. My son and I recovered the canoe this summer that I made in 1992 while at the Northwoods Canoe Shop in Atkinson. He had a nice trip with it on Upper Ebemee Lake.
    not quite sure just yet....won't know until i keep a price list of materials.....which will double from there with the price of the work. it's gotta go from drawings to an actual mold too. I have many pieces of outdoor gear that are on the drawing board scheduled for creation.......where to begin?!

  13. #13
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    soon to be back in Alaska
    Posts
    1,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    not quite sure just yet....won't know until i keep a price list of materials.....which will double from there with the price of the work. it's gotta go from drawings to an actual mold too. I have many pieces of outdoor gear that are on the drawing board scheduled for creation.......where to begin?!
    Are you hiring? I am only half kidding, I can do everything from hand drafting, 3-d modeling, swing a hammer or turn a wrench. Where to begin is to get several working prototypes to test and market. Even if you built your first canoe out of another material than the graphite/Kevlar, it would be a good way to test stability and maneuverability. If getting and building with graphite and Kevlar are not a problem, then your biggest issue is a reusable mold.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Question authority!!!

    That is what was suggested from the key note speaker from my graduation..... To always question Authority,,, can go a bit further into all realms of life,, including such ideas,, as you and I ,, being able to build a better mouse trap,, I mean a better canoe,,, at least for our personel needs,,,,
    I say go for it,, ,, you guys are doing some great research on tried models and ideas,, and combining those ideas into something that could work...
    This thread excited me .. and I have stayed back to see what would be said,,, and its really a great thing.,..
    think about this forum,,,, its only been a few years that the world has been able to converse in this fashion,, with people from all kinds of places with all kinds of different weather and water,,
    I am sure that we will soon see some great ideas meld into some wonderful crafts,, the likes never seen before..
    this is exciting to listen to all the ideas...
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  15. #15
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    That is what was suggested from the key note speaker from my graduation..... To always question Authority,,, can go a bit further into all realms of life,, including such ideas,, as you and I ,, being able to build a better mouse trap,, I mean a better canoe,,, at least for our personel needs,,,,
    I say go for it,, ,, you guys are doing some great research on tried models and ideas,, and combining those ideas into something that could work...
    This thread excited me .. and I have stayed back to see what would be said,,, and its really a great thing.,..
    think about this forum,,,, its only been a few years that the world has been able to converse in this fashion,, with people from all kinds of places with all kinds of different weather and water,,
    I am sure that we will soon see some great ideas meld into some wonderful crafts,, the likes never seen before..
    this is exciting to listen to all the ideas...
    Max
    Thanks for the encouragement. Yes....this forum is an excellent place to discuss things with folks who have a passion for the outdoors. I've now been with the forum community for a little over a yr. now.....and I must say it's been an awesome learning experience. The older I get....the more my passion has grown for designing outdoor gear specific to Alaska. Although many of my peices of outdoor gear may not turn into a success (from a business standpoint).........it's exciting just to get it from a thought of something better performing....to the drawing board.....and finally to a working prototype doing what I designed it to do.....surving everthing AK can throw at it. Sometimes if feel discouraged due to shipping and supply issues living in AK......but I'm trying to work through it and get these darn boats ready by May.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Rosalia, Washington
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Can't wait to see a finished product! If I were buying though, I would want something other than wood to finish off the canoe......speaking purely from a durability and maintenence standpoint. Nice Job!

    Grumman Boy

  17. #17
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    further development has commenced. i'm using this boat as the subject of one of my final college papers. still attempting to establish pricing for materials shipped from the port of washington. The study of geometric considerations in boat hull designs, materials used, hydrodynamics, and other various subjects relative to my design has brought further interest in these boats. Figured I'd bump this thread due to Rick reviving interest in a very specific boat design and going the Osagian route in the other thread.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default keep it up..

    sounds like you are keeping the ideas Alive..
    My wife is after me to finish my project boat also..
    I hope to have my mold ready by May..
    I am supposed to pick up 10 or 12 new canoes from Canada in mid june, and I want to be ready to put the keel protectors on and have my mold sprayed at the same time..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default brand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    I am supposed to pick up 10 or 12 new canoes from Canada in mid june,
    Max
    Are these Scott canoes?

  20. #20
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sterling
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Canoes

    Scott canoes yup
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •