Part two continued from yesterday...
My rudderless sailboats steer well until it comes time to
change tacks. Then I have to use a paddle. For the canoe I made
leeboards which rotate like rudders to help the canoe tack.
help but they are nowhere near as responsive as rudders hung
the stern. Leebords should be raised and lowered on different
points of sail. Mine are fixed in the down position. That needs
to be changed. I'm vulnerable to broaching capsizes when running
I like the turning posts. They are made from kid's bikes
from re-Cycles. The tubes cut readily with a hand held hacksaw
and were ground back with a half round file and with a stone
wheel on the electric drill.
||Leeboards - bikes from re-Cycles
||Leeboards - posts from kid's bikes
I don't know the optimum size or shape for the leeboards.
The ones I made probably have a lot more weight and drag than
necessary. They are made from a couple of pressure treated fence
boards I had on hand. The boards were cut in half and edge glued.
Attention was paid to the crown of the wood to get some laminar
flow but the outer edges have not been given any shape. Holes
were drilled in the inner edges and filled with epoxy. Three
finishing nails with the heads cut off were inserted in the
holes. PL Premium was spread along the inner edges. The boards
were held together with Spanish windlasses until the adhesives
||Leeboards - edge gluing
The leeboards are bolted to the steering posts where the
bicycle brake calipers go and are held vertical by a nylon cable
tie through a hole drilled in the leeboard. That should allow
them to kick up if they strike anything solid. Unfortunately
deck keeps them from kicking up all the way. To mount the
leeboards a plywood box beam was added to the front of the deck.
The bicycle top tubes slide into it. The head tubes drop into
cutouts in the deck to hold them in place. I forgot that
leeboards have to be tied down or they will float up. After
testing I added plywood gates to hold the leeboards down. The
leeboards are also secured with line in case of capsize. I put
piece of hardwood dowel in the stems where the handlebars go,
a coil of stiff wire to tie off the leeward leeboard. Under
the leeward board is fixed in place for lateral resistance and
tacking is with the windward board. The stems are lined up so
leeward leeboard is parallel to the hull. At first a piece of
non-stretch clothesline was used to tie off the leeboard with
caribanger clip. That was replaced with a stick with end hooks
made from finishing nails. It holds the board steady and is
to switch from leeboard to leeboard when tacking.
||Leeboards - installing
||Leeboards - installed
Bicycle head tubes are attached to the top tube at an angle,
in this case 12 degrees, so the leeboard is vertical when the
canoe is heeling 12 degrees. I read that cruising monohulls
most of their time heeled at about 15 degrees, so with luck
lateral resistance on this canoe is vertical most of the time,
just like the original Dutch leeboards.
In an attempt to increase effectiveness during testing shoes
were made out of scraps of door skin (1/8" mahogany plywood).
ends of the strips were wired together. The shoes were spread
over the ends of the leeboards and tacked in place with a couple
of small screws on each side, all very temporary to see if it
would improve steering but I didn't notice any. The tops of
leeboards boards were cut away for 360 rotation.
||Leeboards - modified
Testing was done on the canal reservoir behind the Hog's
Back dam and lock station next to the Rideau Canoe Club. Every
few minutes the busy locks would disgorge cabin cruisers and
in more. The canoe club was crowded with kid's lessons. I had
keep a sharp lookout. Kids were yelling "Hey, look at the
||On cart at launch site
August conditions are quiet with calms between moderate
gusts allowing plenty of time for thinking and making
adjustments. Unfortunately the light conditions extended well
into September. I never got to sit on the gunwales. I knelt
the bottom in the "U" of the deck with everything
reach. After getting everything to work with the small sail
larger sail threw everything off balance. The boat would not
tack. When close hauled it crabbed sideways to windward. The
shape of the hull is part of the problem. The leeboards need
be moved more toward the stern. I'll have things to work on
||Testing with small sail
||Testing with large sail
The whole sailing rig can be cut from less than half a sheet
of 4x8 plywood and a 2x4. Most canoes are 3 feet wide. A 4 foot
wide deck will overhang the gunwales. The bulkhead was made
||Made from waste
I used 1/2" exterior grade plywood because I had some.
wasn't stiff enough. It should be 3/4". I've made furniture
3/4" and that's stiff enough. The plywood is all above
it doesn't need to be marine. For stiffness two copies of the
1/2" deck were laminated with PL Premium. It's important
the corners together with finishing nails to keep the pieces
sliding around as the weights were piled on. The laminate was
wrapped in plastic before the weights were added.
The box beams were made from 1/2" ply, PL Premium, and
screws. The screws hold the pieces together while the PL cures.
spaced the screws 3" apart. I buy screws cheap at the building
materials recycle centre when available so I've always got a
supply on hand. The bulkhead is 1/2" plywood. An extra
added across the top for stiffness but again, 3/4" would
better. The plywood got one or two coats of primer oil paint
(exterior alkyd) and one top coat of the same in semi-gloss.
There's nothing special about that. It's what I had on hand.
were to buy paint it would be exterior latex acrylic semi-gloss.
2. Kids' bikes:
The cart wheels are 12" from kid's bikes, both fronts.
wheels are heavier, some with coaster brakes, all with gear
I took the front and rear wheels off a solid tire bike and the
front wheel off an inflatable tire bike, and switched tires
get two front solid. The wheels were taken apart to clean and
grease the bearings, and to paint the rims inside and out with
two coats of rust paint.
The bikes for the leeboards were different sizes but had identical
steering components. I cut them with a hand held hacksaw. It
went pretty fast. The ends were smoothed with a half round file.
The down tube was cut off at the weld as close as possible and
ground down with a stone wheel on the electric drill. Any bare
metal was given a coat of rust primer. The headset was opened
up, cleaned, and the bearings re-packed with bearing grease
I use on the car. Some bike headsets have seals to keep water
out. Not the cheap ones I got. I've used a plumbing O-ring to
seal a headset but didn't have one the right size for these
headsets. Maybe I'll get some later. Bike tubing is steel and
will rust. I greased liberally. Unused parts were returned to
re-Cycles. The long bolts used to secure the deck under the
thwart are bicycle stem bolts.
Polyester - Points of wear were given abrasion resistance with
coat or two of polyester resin, for example the inside of the
beams before they were assembled, the headset cutouts in the
and, the bolt holes in plywood. In some cases wood endgrain
sealed with one coat of polyester, sometimes with paint. I wasn't
consistent over the whole project. I just want to prevent the
wood from soaking up water, swelling, and splitting. Polyester
resin will keep in the 'fridge for years. I mix it in small
quantities in the hollow bottom of an upturned soft drink can,
to two teaspoonsful at a time. One drop of hardener does for
a teaspoon of resin. It's mixed and spread with small pieces
plastic cut from a plastic jug.
Epoxy - Epoxy was used as adhesive, filler, or protection against
abrasion. It was mixed in small quantities a drop or two at
time often with an equal volume of powdered talc from the
bathroom to make it go further. It was mixed with a toothpick
a piece of plastic cut from a plastic jug. To soften it while
mixing it was held up next to the light bulb over my workbench.
like the product in twin squeeze tubes from LePage for abut
because it's easy to squeeze out equal amounts of resin and
hardener by eye. I've never used epoxy in larger quantities.
Polyurethane - Polyurethane was used as a wood and foam adhesive.
PL Premium construction adhesive keeps in the freezer for years.
I have to plan ahead and take it out about an hour before using
it to warm up. I found a large tube of PL at a garage sale for
$1. I tried making a dispenser out of downspout and a long bolt
without success. I ended up cutting off the front end and
scooping it out with a putty knife. To store it I cut the tube
down with a utility knife, cut a circle of plastic to set over
the exposed mastic to keep the air off it, found a preserving
lid which fit over the tube, duct taped it on, wrapped it all
plastic, and put it in the freezer. That works well.
||Resins: polyester - epoxy - Polyurethane
4. Shaping bulkhead:
People who build a canoe from a plan can take the bulkhead
shape from the station moulds. I traced the shape from the hull
on cardboard. It was done in halves. The halves were then put
inside the hull and stapled together to get the whole shape.
perpendicular was dropped from a marker stick separately on
cardboard and on the plywood to align them for tracing the
cardboard shape onto the plywood.