By Mark A. Karczewski - Green Bay, Wisconsin - USA
I started out with 2 sheets of ¼” exterior grade plywood and an empty garage stall.
The first thing was to cut down the plywood. I ripped 18” off the ends of both sheets leaving me with 2 sheets 4’ x 6.5’. I set the ends off to the side to use later (much later).
I then cut two 10” strips off of the long sides of the plywood giving me my pieces for the sides and bottom. I was left then with the following pieces: 2 at 18’ x 4’ (first pieces cut off), 4 at 10” x 6.5’ (sides) and 2 at 28” x 6.5’ (bottom).
(click images for larger views)
I laid out full sheet of OSB over two sawhorses to use as a work surface. I propped it up in the middle with a couple buckets and shims so that it would not sag. I laid out the two pieces for the bottom with the edges butted together. I then fiber-glassed them together. I used several coats of resin over the glass sanding lightly in between coats. I carefully turned the bottom over careful not to crack the seam and fiber-glassed the other side of the seam. I then joined the front and back of the sides in the same way. I now have 2 side pieces that are 10’ x 13’ and one bottom that is 28” x 13’.
I used a piece of 1” PVC pipe to lay out the curves for the front and back of the boat. I stacked the sides together and then bent and clamped the pipe down to the sides to form a nice sweeping curve for the bow of the boat. I marked the line, and then cut both pieces at once. I laid the sides on the bottom with the tops of the sides toward the center of the boat and transferred the curves to the bottom and then cut that out as well. The back of the boat is flat on the bottom, but I did taper it in on the sides about 4 inches for looks. I did this by using my pipe again and making a nice curve on one side of the back of the boat bottom. I cut out that side and used the cut off piece of wood to draw the same curve on the other side and then cut that out as well.
I then laid the side back onto the bottom so that they matched up. I drilled 1/8” holes every 6” about ¼” in from the edge. I used zip ties to tie the pieces together. I tied them all loosely to start and then opened up the boat using a piece of wood as a spreader to keep it open and in shape. I then pulled all the ties tight. I cut a small piece of plywood fro the front, drilled and tied it on. For the transom, I used a ¾” exterior plywood. I glued and screwed 1” hardwood stringers to the inside sides and bottom of the transom.
The transom was then screwed and glued into the back of the boat instead of being tied in.
Keeping my spreader in place to hold the shape, I applied a fillet of epoxy resin and wood flour to all of the inside seams including the transom. I used a plastic spoon to shape the fillet and I used my fingers (wearing rubber gloves) to smooth out any edges. After that had completely set up I fiber-glassed all of the inside seams and blended the edges. After flipping the boat over I cut off all the quick ties with a utility knife. I used a router with a ¼” round over bit and rounded over all of the outside edges. After a quick sanding I fiber-glassed all of the outside seams and sanded the edges to blend into the sides.
I used 1.5”x ¾” knot free pine to form the gunwales. I glued and screwed these to the sides using lots and lots of clamps. (you can not have too many clamps)
I used knot free pine stringers for the bottom keels. I used an 8’x ¾”x1.5” for the center and 6’x ¾”x ¾” on both sides. These are glued and screwed from inside the boat. I recessed the screws slightly and covered them with epoxy.
I used the left over cut off sheets of ¾” ply from to form the bow and stern covers. I cut these to size and glued and screwed them in place. I put a 1” support under the stern cover so that it could be leaned or sat on. I put a 2” support on the top of the bow cover to divert any water that may come over the bow out of the boat.
I replaced my temporary spreader with a permanent one, gluing and screwing it in place.
I sanded, primed and painted the entire boat. I used u-bolts from the hardware store for rope ties. I put one in the front of the boat and two in the back on the transom.
I made seats out by gluing up 3” insulating foam. It is lightweight, easily moveable and they float. Seats final dimensions are 9” tall by 12” deep by 28” wide. I made two. I also made a battery case holder by gluing up the foam and cutting out an area to hold the battery case. This piece is mounted in the center of the boat under the spreader and does not move easily. This keeps the battery in place and also keeps the boat afloat if it is flooded. I am currently using a Min Kota Endura 30. My top speed is 5mph, but with two adults in calm water we average 4mph and have gone for over 2 hours on a charge.
for free plans to Scout Canoe, visit Steve Lewis' website