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And so it begins ! Noels UFO reborn !

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Noel Eaton, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi ,:)
    I am now in the process of re"doing" my canoe ,
    I,m reluctant to refer to my efforts as "restoration "
    since my canoe is of unknown parentage,and it seems that "changes" may need to be made from her current form ,
    (Whether these "changes" will constitute "improvements " will remain to be seen ?):rolleyes:
    I will Welcome ALL suggestions and advice on this project,
    As it,s my first attempt and ,will prove to be a steep learning curve for me ,
    Indeed the purpose of this thread is to seek your ideas and advice,:D

    The story so far :-
    This canoe is apparently the result of a home made project ,built some time ago ,
    it appears to be based on plans printed in "Amature Mechanics" magazine and others in the 1930.s and 40,s
    ( see thread "Noels UFO " in "history and research" (sorry I cant do "links" and such)
    I have had her on the local river and she was a sweet boat to paddle ,she was responsive and turned remarkably easily in spite of the nine keels she was carrying at the time !
    there were a couple of minor leaks to the hull but other than that she,s a little love to paddle ,A bit HEAVY though,I had a friend along and neither of us could man handle her solo !:eek:
    So having decided she,s worth the effort to fix her up ,
  2. OP
    Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    First impressions

    A few pics of the canoe pre fix up :)

    Attached Files:

  3. OP
    Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Strip down

    And afterwards,
    The canvass has been removed and some of the damaged planks have been removed ,
    In the last photo you can see the canvass after removal, and the stripes indicate where the multiple keels were attached,
    It looks like some of the ribs which are now exposed are almost on the point of breaking too !:(
    The stems are made from three laminations of timber and are de laminating so may also need to be replaced,:eek: ( That feels complicated)
    A boat building student friend has inspected the boat prior to strip down and seems to think the planking is of what he describes as redwood ,the sort used to make furniture and used for domestic joinery,
    he tells me that his information would not recomend it,s use in boatbuilding,!:confused:
    it does seem very brittle and has numerous knots in it ,
    the ribs we think were made from ash? saplings or branches, which appear to have been simply split and crudely shaped so replacement will require a foray in the woods I think ?
    Any opinions or suggestions so far ?
    Regards Noel:D

    Attached Files:

  4. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    What is that greenish colored stuff your canoe is in in the first post? I have a vague memory but the memory may be something genetic yet I can't quite place it although it does look a bit like the stuff that I use for showering...wait, is it soft water?!:eek:
    Looks like a fun project! Keep us posted.
  5. OP
    Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Is your water hard ?

    Hi Howard,:)
    The Welsh water is indeed soft,
    And on the day in question, after a thaw of the snow on the hills and a day or two of raised levels it was murky and VERY COLD !:eek:
    I will indeed keep you informed,
    I am hoping the flow of information will be coming my way :D
    cheers Noel:D
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Keep the pics coming Noel,
    were watching. :)

    and yes, with winter about 1/3 over and 2 or so weeks of below zero weather (and that's F) the water is not only very hard, the hard water is deep too.

  7. Bill Mackey

    Bill Mackey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    CSO not UFO

    It looks like a CANOE SHAPED OBJECT. not a flyiing object. Looked good in the water and worthy of new life. Looks like it needs some ribs between what is there.
  8. Denis M. Kallery

    Denis M. Kallery Passed Away July 3, 2012 In Memoriam

    That's Unidentified FLOATING object.
    Denis :)
  9. Bill Mackey

    Bill Mackey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I should have known

    All CSO's are not UFO's, but the pictures show that it did float at one time. Dennis I have great memories of a trip on Two Hearted River in the UP. But to make you jealous, today is the last of 10 days with temps in the 50's and 60's and I have got a lot of work done rebuilding a 1948 OT Otca. I don't miss Michigan winters at all.
  10. Denis M. Kallery

    Denis M. Kallery Passed Away July 3, 2012 In Memoriam

    Hey we're having a heat wave, it's 29 here today. Since July we've had 154 inches if snow with 27 inches still on the ground with at least 3 months yet to go.
    Did you go to Northern Mi. Un. back in the 80s I knew a Mackey back then that was in the art dept.?
  11. Bill Mackey

    Bill Mackey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    A little history

    Denis in the 80's I was teaching high school Physics in Warren MI. Born and grew up in Dearborn, moved to Utica retired and moved to Colorado. There are just not enough places to canoe here. No natural lakes all reservoirs have to travel to get some good canoeing. Think spring and all the ice is gone.:)
  12. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Hi Noel,

    Looks like anything that you do to this canoe will constitute an improvement. Don't worry. I have no idea about the skill level or knowledge that your friend has, but does he have experience specific to wood/canvas canoes? Quite a different animal compared to other forms of traditional wooden boat building.

    Nice paddling technique, by the way!
  13. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Sometimes it's hard to say, perhaps given the condition, materials used, and restoration experience, you might want to find another canoe? I mean no disrespect, really, just trying to steer you in the right direction based on mistakes I have made. Based on the fact that the planking and the ribs are not made of the correct materials, it might bite you later on. Consider this, you will spend a chunk of change on repairing the canoe, paint, varnish, stripper, canvas, filler, wood, etc., After complete, resale will be less than a canoe made with "correct" wood material. Also, the planking will continue to give you trouble, cracking and moving about,not to mention the fact that it sounds like you will be replacing a large portion of it. There are lots of canoes out there that you could restore, made of quality materials. Again, this is hard to say, but this is something to consider. If you continue this restoration, I'd have to say I wouldnt blame you, just based on your experience paddling her, welcome to our love affair with wooden canoes my friend, you get it!!!! I dont mean in any way to burst your bubble, just consider some of these facts.
  14. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle


    Given his location in Wales, the supply of a "proper" w/c canoe might be very limited.
  15. OP
    Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Nail on the head !

    Thanks gents for your comments ,:)
    In reply I have to say that I agree 100% with both of you !;)
    You hit the nail on the head Douglas,
    "proper" wood canvas canoes are indeed scarce to say the least,
    The only ones I,ve heard about in the last year that I,ve been looking have been ,already restored or virtually new and VERY expensive ,usually well in exess of £1,000,:eek:
    This one cost me £265 + £50 fuel to go and collect it
    For that kind of money it,s just about my only chance of owning a wood canvas canoe here in Wales,
    I only wish I could have the choice of boats available to you guys over the water !
    You also "got it" Chris
    My decision to go ahead was confirmed when I paddled her ;)
    I,m sure I will end up with a reasonable if not venerable boat when I,m done ,and I will have learned so much and had some fun !and "met" some interesting people on the way
    And precisely because wood canvass boats are so rare, and mine,s definately a "one of a kind " :p
    think of the kudos and the big self satisfied(internal !) smirk :eek: when I take her on the water !
    Thanks for showing your interest,
    Thanks for the compliment Re paddling technique by the way ,it means alot coming from a proper canoeist!( hope you werent just being :rolleyes: )
    I only started paddling last spring when I fitted out a GRP hull ,
    That was my first taste of "boat building:p "and I guess I "got it" now too!
    Keep the comments and tutorials coming please!
    Your my inspiration chaps !;)
    Regards Noel:D
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  16. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Wow, sorry guys, I didnt look at the address info.. Noel, I would forge full steam ahead. Perhaps take pride in making the canoe a "Noel" special. It's all about location, we are a spoiled lot over here! It's really cool that you have been bitten by the bug, which is probably one of the worlds biggest secrets, wooden canoes are real special. Good luck, use this site as much as you need, these people are awesome.;)
  17. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    One thing that strikes me is that its pretty lightly ribbed. Makes me wonder if the true function of those keels is not in fact, structural reenforcement?
  18. Bill Mackey

    Bill Mackey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The learning curve

    Noel, no matter what you do with this canoe you will learn a lot of techniques that will be useful no mater what try next. One technology you should learn to appreciate is the use of the clinched tacks. It is such a tiny device, simple to use and the holding power of a tiny bolt and nut. (not to forget cheap). I agree with Larry in the last post on the lack of ribs, I would consider adding a few, your problem is availabily of good spruce in Wales. ?? Don't be afraid to ask question here and anyone you may run into. Some of the best information I recieved through the years has been from men over 70 years of age, you don't tap into that store of knowledge unless you ask so ask anyone and everyone. Best of luck.
  19. OP
    Noel Eaton

    Noel Eaton Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I,m asking ?

    Thanks so much for your support folks ,
    I do appreciate your input and that this is a fairly steep learning curve for me ,
    progress so far :-
    I,ve managed to strip off the canvass and removed the damaged sections of planking ,
    So far so good !,
    The ribs as I,ve mentioned seem to be made from Ash ? withies/branches simply split,
    and the planking seems to be some sort of red wood ,Deal ? or other domestic furniture type wood ?
    So the question now is ..
    do I make repairs with the same ,or do I opt for a more appropriate timber to make repairs ?:confused:
    and if so what ?
    The existing wood is Very dry and brittle ,
    Would it help to give it a dose of boiled linseed ? or will this cause probs further down the line ? ie. filling ?:confused:
    I agree that the multiple keels would definately have acted as extra strength for the hull,
    whether intentionaly or by default I,dont know ,
    But the keels wont be replaced and extra ribs or half ribs will be added,;)
    again do I go for split whithies of ash or spruce or What ??
    or do I opt for some machined timber ,again what ?:confused:
    As for tack technology I,m sure that will be a revelation , question .. What am I looking for exactly ? ( size ,metal )and does anyone have any ideas as to possible sources in the UK ?also tips as to technique also how to fashion a dolly?
    Sources of canvass and filler are also an issue ,and what type or grade of canvass ?
    weight is and will be an issue with this boat ,
    I,ve already discovered it,s a heavy beast :eek: and lightness is almost a top priority for me ! ( I have arthritis of spine and shoulders in particular ):(
    I did however notice that the weight almost halved when I took the canvass off !
    I,ll post a few pictures later ,
    but keep the advice?opinions coming please
    regards Noel:D
  20. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Dollies can be easily found at an auto body supply store.

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