Cutting out hull panels

20 Jan 2016

Like any Mik Storer design, construction of the quick canoe begins with cutting out hull panels. First, marine plywood is laid out and index lines are drawn across it at 285mm intervals (the plans call for 300mm spacing, but we are building canoes at 95% scale to get four bottom panels from two sheets of plywood.)


Offsets are measured and marked where the panel outlines cross each index line, then a smooth curve is drawnthrough the marks with the help of a long, flimsy piece of wood (called a batten) to mark the fair curves. The canoe’s hull shape is identical front and back and its overall length is nearly 15 feet. As a result, there is a seam exactly in the middle of each panel.


The two pieces of each panel are joined by a so-called “butt strap”. That’s a strip of plywood glued over the seam with epoxy, like an extremely tough piece of tape. This is all the same construction method used on the Goat Island Skiff, so it was familiar to me from that project. Here’s a picture of a butt strap after the epoxy cured:


We are left with three panels (two sides + one bottom) per canoe. The next step is to combine these two-dimensional panels into a three-dimensional boat-shaped object.

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