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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default First wooden boat: Michalak Piragua

    I started on this boat about 10 days ago, working evenings after work and last weekend. Made from 6mm gaboon and doug fir (oregon) framing. The bulk of the construction is complete, need to deck over the fore and aft compartments, and fill and sand sand, sand, sand some more....sand again, and paint. Oh, and I'm also adding an external stem. I can't abide in a almost pointy boat that has a flat spot in the front

    This build has given me alot of confidence to tackle a larger, more complex project as well as being a useful boat that I can toss on to my truck at a moments notice.






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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Guernsey Channel Islands UK
    Age
    47
    Posts
    307

    Default

    she looks great Rick

    they don't take long to come together do they, it's the sanding that slows you down, oh and did i mention the sanding

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by honkongphoie View Post
    she looks great Rick

    they don't take long to come together do they, it's the sanding that slows you down, oh and did i mention the sanding
    It's quite possible that 90% of the worlds sandpaper supply is purchased by boat builders.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Guernsey Channel Islands UK
    Age
    47
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_Tatum View Post
    It's quite possible that 90% of the worlds sandpaper supply is purchased by boat builders.
    yeh i can agree with that

    today i've been buying my supply's for the 22' surf scoter, several boxes of 100 6" MIRKA Gold sanding discs in various grits

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Couple of new pics. I hung it up from my Hansen scale and it weighs 47 lbs. at this point. Need to pox coat the decks, 2 oz. 'glass the bottom panel and install the bottom skid and paint 'er up.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Oz, the big smokey bit in the middle
    Age
    61
    Posts
    4,377

    Default

    She's a dainty looking thing. You sit on the floor do you? Paddles? Should be fun and a great tight location explorer (you know, reeds, creeks, overhanging trees, farmers with shotguns, etc).

    Richard

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    'Delaide, Australia
    Age
    58
    Posts
    8,107

    Default

    After the setbacks to getting started earlier Rick, I am really glad you have something to play with.

    I don't think you are so far north you will need to fit it with skates.

    Geez mate, are you really 48???? I never noticed. You look 25 to me - you must have some good genes in there somewhere!

    MIK

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Richard, yes, she's a double paddle job. Going to carve a modified Greenland style paddle for it. I've built a small low seat for it, you don't want your c.g. up too high in this boat. Be a good little boat for fishing some of the small lakes around my area.

    Mik, LOL!, yup, I'm all of 48, and my joints remind me on cold mornings when I roll out of bed!

    I've learned quite a bit from this boat, and much of it is a matter of overlooking the obvious. It will be forever drilled into my brain to sand the underside of the gunwales BEFORE installing on the boat. I suppose I could be thankful that said gunwales have provided me with many hours of quality meditation time

    Cold temps are playing hob with things as well...night time lows in the 30's means the pox takes a good long time to cure, so something glued and clamped means a wait of a couple of days before proceeding further.

    My own observation of the design is that while a handy little canoe for poking around in, if built per plans it is probably overbuilt. Framed out of quality doug fir one could reduce the scantlings and still be plenty strong. I imagine with a bit of thought one could shave 10 pounds off the final weight and still be very robust. I'd also lose the external chine logs and probably just go with a taped seam in that area.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default

    High temp in my shop of 44 degrees F, low of 30 yesterday. About the same today, looks like. Things have come to a screechin' halt until it warms a mite.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fenwick, Michigan
    Age
    68
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Rick,

    That's a sharp looking boat you've put together. Congratulations!
    Building Gardens of Fenwick, a Welsford Parthfinder
    Gardens of Fenwick
    Karen Ann, a Storer GIS
    Goat Island Skiff - Sacramento

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
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    211

    Default

    Thanks Bob. There's still a GIS in my future, but this'll scratch the itch in the meantime. Here are the latest pics. Need to finish the final sanding and prime, paint and varnish. 3.25 oz glas on the bottom panel only, with an additional layer of tape on the chines. Bottom skid is attached. Plans call for a small skeg which Michalak says may not be needed. I'll paddle it some and see if one is needed. I can always attach one later. I weighed it again, comes in at 54 lbs. That's minus paint and varnish and hatches. Lighter by a bit than the designer specs, but still and all I think it is heavier than need be. A few revisions to the plans, select materials and a good build would shave an easy ten pounds of weight from it I would expect. I have the wood to do it, so I may do another revised edition when this one is done.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Oz, the big smokey bit in the middle
    Age
    61
    Posts
    4,377

    Default

    That's a decent sized hatch in the foredeck - planning to crawl in there for a nap are you?

    She's looking good mate, and getting there rather quickly, you've obviously got more energy in the evenings than I have. Got any thoughts on a launch date?

    Richard

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fenwick, Michigan
    Age
    68
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Rick -

    Does Michalak specify gaboon/okoume or big-box type exterior grade ply in his plans?

    I'll be curious how your boat handles without the skeg.
    Building Gardens of Fenwick, a Welsford Parthfinder
    Gardens of Fenwick
    Karen Ann, a Storer GIS
    Goat Island Skiff - Sacramento

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern California USA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddles View Post
    That's a decent sized hatch in the foredeck - planning to crawl in there for a nap are you?

    She's looking good mate, and getting there rather quickly, you've obviously got more energy in the evenings than I have. Got any thoughts on a launch date?

    Richard
    Richard, that big hatch will allow me to stuff my bedroll in the forward compartment. Better yet, there is room for a full-sized "esky" behind the seat One of the uses I have planned for this boat is to use it to access some good pig hunting areas on the back side of Lake Sonoma. Only way you can reach the area is by boat or a steep hike of several miles. If I can get a spell of warmer temps I *may* be able to hit the water next weekend. My shop is unheated, and with the chilly weather we are having it is really slowing things down. Had I built this boat during the summer I likely would have completed it in a couple of weeks. It's a pretty simple and straight forward build, and it has taught me quite alot. I'm thinking it was a good thing to tackle this type of project first before I go on to something larger and more complex.

    Bob, Michalak doesn't spec a particular ply, rather gives a list of available types with all the pros and cons of each and then goes on to say that he usually uses "marine ply" whatever type it is he is using. One change that I did make was to use a single gunwale strip of 1" X 3/4" of clear doug fir instead of the laminated gunwale that comes to 1 1/2" X 1". He uses soft white pine, I have good doug fir that is much stronger and stiffer than pine, and my single strip is plenty stiff enough for this boat. Framing was speced at 1 1/2" X 3/4", if I were to do it again I'd use 3/4" X 3/4" in doug fir, make sides from 4mm okoume, bottom from 6mm and lose the external chine logs and just use a taped seam there. Even with light glass on the bottom, I think I could get it under 45 lbs. and still be plenty strong and stiff.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fenwick, Michigan
    Age
    68
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Rick,

    Thanks for the comments re Michalak's plans and materials. I don't have any of his plans although I am eyeing his Ladybug design as a camp cruiser for the Delta. (Sleeping on the GIS could be problematic.)

    Stay warm and dry.
    Building Gardens of Fenwick, a Welsford Parthfinder
    Gardens of Fenwick
    Karen Ann, a Storer GIS
    Goat Island Skiff - Sacramento

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