Stripper Grand Laker ....



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  • Stripper Grand Laker ....

    I've been going through Gil Gilpatrick's book - "Building A Strip Canoe". It include patterns and discriptions of several canoes, including the Grand Laker canoe. The original Grand Lakers were usually wood/canvas, and are similar to the Scott freighters in design. The dimensions given are:
    Length = 19'6"
    Width = 45"
    Depth = 18"
    Approx. weight = 135 lbs.

    If I'm unable to buy what I want in aluminum, this may be a reasonable option, although pending the reports we, on this forum, hear back from those trying truck bed liner coatings on their boats this summer, I would likely coat the hull below the waterline. The strippers I've seen are actually pretty tough boats. It may be a good option for me. A further benefit is that I could lengthen or widen the form to my heart's content. Would be a fun project to build. And strippers are beauties to see, even if up to the waterline, mine would be black. And they're not heavy for their capacity. Have to decide pretty soon. (Then I'd have to get a new owner of a Scott HB to make me a lift.)

    I envision it as an Alaskan Moose Hunter's Special.

    Just thinkin'. Rick

  • #2
    It's been a lot of years ago, but I helped a friend build a couple racing canoes.....a very interesting project indeed. Today, there are far better resins for the fiberglass which should help make things easier. As you say, you can let your imagination run wild and modify at will.

    At one time, Mad River was making a large canoe.....I'll have to check that out again.


    • #3
      Stripper GL ....

      Another advantage of that building method is the inherent stiffness of stripper boats ... necessary for powered canoes. And, if I build it, I'm certain I can fix it, need be.

      Last edited by Rick; 03-26-2009, 18:54. Reason: slow wit


      • #4

        Originally posted by Rick View Post
        I envision it as an Alaskan Moose Hunter's Special.

        Just thinkin'. Rick
        If it goes from thinkin' to action, please post lots of pictures. I know many here would love to help enjoy your/that project vicariously through your posts and pictures here.

        Sounds great!


        • #5
          I received the plans today for the Cinnamon 20
          I received the Gougeons Brother book and a few others last week and I'm still waiting on Gilpatrick's to come in the mail. I'm building it for a 20 hp short shaft.
          I'll study and think over the summer and go to work this fall after moose season. I don't know if it will the perfect moose hunting rig but it will sure look good with one of my selfbows laying across the gunwales.

          I know of a guy that sprays polyurea. I too am considering a coat of that on the bottom. I was in Red Wings today and saw it sold in a kit to cover your work boot toes. My wife showed me a video of two concrete block buildings loaded with explosives. One building had polyurea sprayed inside and out. The other didn't. The one with polyurea expanded in slow motion and then retained it's shape. The other turned into a dust cloud. So if you ever wanted to blow up your canoe don't spray that stuff on it.


          • #6
            I finally, finished a stripper last winter. A 14' solo, no staples, beautiful boat with a bad varnish in a hurry last spring before I left for turkey season. Havent put it in the water yet, joys of being gone all summer...this summer I'll be here. I'll get a pic or two of it up tonight. (if I dont forget LOL). Has a sweet accent strip on it and the decks really came out perfect!

            Reason I'm posting this is being I'm going to be back in the interior for the summer, I'm also considering building a strip freighter. Forgot about Gil's Grand laker...I'll have to dig up my books tonight. I do have a ton of books on building part and some plans so if anyone is looking I may be able to help you out. Both Kayaks and canoes!

            Just some notes on my strip building experience.

            My 2nd attempt (first died on the floor of the garage when my strongback leg broke, ugg horrible memory) took approximatly SIX MONTHS to strip out. This was running strips every nite, usually 2 per side per nite was all i could get using the clamp method. Again I used ZERO staples. I wouldnt do this on a canoe again though I may on a kayak...Unless I was building a really good looking canoe...a utility canoe needs staple holes or you'll be there forever. I have a wild design for a kayak stuck in my head....someday maybe.

            On strips...I went with 5/16" instead of 1/4", I felt the 1/4" with not quite premo wood was to thin. Buying clear cedar is out of my budget minus maybe a board or two from home depot, plus sanding..oh the days spent sanding haha...makes me rethink I should have gone with 1/4" and used tougher glass..lesson learned. Do use 3/8 bead and cove router bits on your strips if you use 1/4" strips!!! Fitting is MUCH easier!!! I also used a thickness sander to help get all the strips to equal thickness..this also helped considerably. Reason i went with 5/16 was a lesson learned from canoe attempt 1...some strips came out thicker or thinner then table saw is a small one and not all that great. With a thickness sander it did the job well.....

            For epoxy...used the Raka system. it was cheaper to buy their glass epoxy and resin then it was to buy local and have it shipped up to boot! As much as I was worried about saving a little money...I was quite worried about epoxing a canoe. My now X father inlaw helped me out on the first go, was nice but not needed. Having done a ton of research at the time on it, on both kayak and canoe forums...the Raka system seemed the most user friendly and one of the better longer lasting epoxies. Did I mention it was cheaper? Much cheaper then buying locally here in Fairbanks...easy decision. It also had a longer use time. That did make it harder to apply coat after coat, however with the lack of amine blush, you can do one coat a day and be fine.

            I also did the seal the wood before I put on the glass...this was perfect..very very few bubbles or to much/to little during the wet out of the glass. The glassing went very easy though with the tight weave I used it took forever or so it seemed. I did float it due more to error in judgement when I first started out, which is a simple fix. In reality I should have put on 1/2 more coats then starting varnishing...just ran out of time before I had to get cleaned up and ready to be gone for the 6 months of summer. rushed my last coat of some boogers from dust..ugg. Sprayed it on with the Preval sprayers.....really like them and they are cheap, they do a good job...better then I can do .

            Eager to here more on freighters if anyones built one. Dont have the money to buy one outright but I do have the equipment to build one. Not sure I want to go that route again LOL! I think using a staple gun you could strip a boat out in a week, so maybe a month or so build time depending on how tired you get of sanding and me it gets OLD real quick. I did have issues with dust, horribly bad. The garage I was using had a hot water heater with a monster fan on it...and a maintenence man who couldnt clean his crap up when he did work...needless to say the garage was COVERED in dust. Made for a couple weeks of cleaning the garage and getting set up to glass...if you can do the wood work in one area and the glassing in another that'd be best.

            Anyways, sorry to ramble...keep it coming, the urge to build again is there....and I need a river boat for one...atleast for now


            • #7
              The freighter plans I have offer the stitch and glue method with plywood. The designer and a few on this board have all said the plywood s&g is stronger and much faster to build. I prefer the looks of the strip and ribbed laker like Rick described but it would take me two winters to finish and then I'd be scared to scratch it. The plans I have offer an option to edge glue strips into a panel for the top two panels and apply just like the plywood. Basically, everything below waterline is plywood and painted and everything above waterline looks like a stripper.

              I built a thickness sander once for bow lams but tore it apart when I moved. I still have the pieces and motor to build another. I need to hand feed but it would work fine for making the strips the same thickness.

              In the past I've searched through the entire stack of 2"x4" and 2"x6" spruce at Lowe's to find clear boards to make homemade arrow shafts. I don't know why a fella couldn't do this a couple times and get all the clear spruce he needs. I've been told by several that the wood is just a filler anyway. The strength is in the glass. That's how I plan to get my wood if I ever make a stripper.

              Boat building is new ground for me. There's a lot to digest before breaking out the tools.


              • #8
                Stripper Grand Laker ....

                My copy of Gil Gilpatrick's book is the revised 2002 edition. Don't think there is a newer edition.

                Along with several other double ender canoes, the plans for the Grand Laker are in the the book, although they require you to 'loft' the plans to full size. However, a set of the full sized plans is available from the publisher for $40.

                Further, I'm going to contact Mr. Gilpatrick, and discuss the project with him. Want to link up with a maker in Maine who still builds them, to discuss changes I would make to the form to modify the boat's shape to better suit the needs for an Alaskan Moose Hunters Special. I still want a canoe that can be worked over logjams and other obstacles without serious damage. I don't foresee being able to get an aluminum canoe to meet my needs. This may be my best option.

                Sure would like to see pictures of stripper projects you folks have done.


                • #9
                  I bought 2 or three clear boards from home depot, the 12' ones. One was for the color for an accient piece.

                  The long boards were from Rivers Wood and Spenards and hardly clear...just break them off at the knots. I didnt need a ton being it was a 14' canoe. This 19' freighter has caught my attention..completly forgot it was there and up till now I had no use for one.

                  If you have to splice strips, watch for color, I have a couple that are quite extreme, wasnt paying attention Also have to watch the grain if you plan on using a plane, or spoke shave...can easily tear out where it swirls near the old knots. But it definatly can be done and it does look quite nice. To spice I used a disc sander, table was set to give me a longer splice, ended up using a belt sander for the same purpose, worked really well once you get the hang of it.


                  • #10
                    forgot to add the link to the it is. I dont have an in the water pic but you get the idea. Havent been on this in awhile (and cant from my work computer) so I dont remember what is on there for pics and what isnt but you get the idear anyways..



                    • #11
                      I built an 18 foot stripper quite a while back, from Gil's book, still a god canoe. I don't think you guys need to be very picky about the wood as long as the strips form , it is the fiber glass that has the strength the wood is the form for it. the wood I used was not that great but worked fine. Gil is a really nice guy met him a few times, by all means if you have any questions, contact him I am sure he will be more than helpful.

                      On another note look at Gil's plans for his grand laker it looks like the old grand lakers that was used around here, it is not nearly as deep as a Hudson bay freighter, the were designed for guiding fishing trips not hauling freight. Most of the designs here now are much deeper canoes and can take a lot more wt, most are still made rib and plank which is a much stronger more flexible canoe than the strippers, I have a mold for a 21ft rib and plank and have one i am about to fiberglass. Should have taken some pic along the way, but maybe next time.


                      • #12

                        I built a stripper more than 25 years ago. I just went down to kenai supply and bought a bunch of 3/4 inch cedar siding and went from there. It worked fine. I still have and use the canoe. It's a 14 foot double ender. It's my favorite canoe for paddling, hard to beat.
                        Wasilla Real Estate News


                        • #13

                          I just got Gilpatrics book in the mail. I bought it for the sole purpose of getting plans for a freighter canoe. I am going to build one this year but it wont be done in time for this season. I am thinking of modifying the plans a bit as well, would be nice to make a touch wider and deeper. If you get any info on this let me know I'm new to boat building but have plenty of fiberglass expirence.
                          I did send Gil an email about concerns on tearing up the bottom and he recommended applying some Kevlar over the fiberglass but a friend in Homer said to put a graphite additive in the epoxy. Either way I think it would help a bunch.
                          Glad to here someone else is thinking of building the same thing.

                          Thanks William


                          • #14
                            Hey DWLong,
                            On a quick side note, how did the spruce you bought at Lowes work out for arrow shafts??? I have wanted to try sitka spruce for shafts ever since I read Jay Massey's book. Also I'm curious about yer lam thickness planer? Sorry Rick didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.

                            Thanks William


                            • #15

                              The grinder looked something like this.

                              It works pretty good with a 3/4 hp motor. It can grind accurate to +/- .002 if you build it carefully but is very difficult to consistently be that accurate when fed by hand. If you're just building bows for yourself it's fine. It would be perfect for getting your canoe strips to the same thickness without saw marks. 3/4" to 1 1/2" cedar would go pretty fast with 36 grit.

                              The spruce I used for arrows came from Lowe's 2' x 4"studs . I didn't build them with a hand plane like Mr. Massey. I made a jig with a router and a drill. Look for a straight grain board with zero or 1 or 2 knots. Use the wood between the knots. The heaver boards make the heavier spined shafts. You'll see the difference when you go through a stack or two. A 23/64" - 3/8" shaft will get you above 70# and 550 gr. with a heavy board. They fly great and work for deer but I prefer much heavier arrows for big game. Great rabbit arrows.


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