What, Another One Sheeter? Work in Progress

by Stacy Smith - College Grove, Tennessee - USA


While waiting for epoxy to cure on the Bufflehead, I've given into temptation and modeled up a one sheet design that has been in my head for quite some time. I was messing with a long scrap of 1/16" basswood modeling wood, bending it into numerous shapes, when I first had the idea for a compound bend that would probably break some old rules written for stiff plywood. I think this type of bend at the bow would only work with a wood like 4m Okoume as it is much more flexible than Meranti, Luan or Fir. The other part of the idea was that I could get some pretty nice shapes out of a rectangular piece of wood and create a shapely two chine hull. The shape of the hull is pretty much controlled by the bottom panels.

The bottom on the model is basically two pieces 1 foot by about 7-1/2 feet, with a stem curve at the ends (the angle [and curve] at the ends will control the shape of the bow and stern). The shape of the flotation bulkheads will also help determine the shape. Athwartships at the beam, the bottom has a slightly rounded shape. I just realized that the bottom chines resemble Robb White's tin canoe (May his tribe increase).

The bottom and ends are stitched, then the center is spread out (ignore the "seats" in the picture - those were just to hold the shape on the model. Flotation bulkheads would be placed to help spread the sides). Some type of jig would probably be needed to keep the bottom from trying to hog upward until the sheer is put on. The sides are basically 1 by 8 feet with a very basic curve from the corners down to the center. There are two resulting triangular pieces that can be used for the bulkheads and short decks (unless you want real breasthooks).

A note here: what I have described is a big wooden spring trap. There is a lot of torque. I haven't worked out whether it could safely be done using a normal stitch-n-glue and still keep some rocker on the bottom. I'm thinking with the right jig or form, it could. Perhaps I may come up with something on the next model.

Something I found nice was that the sides are smooth flush with the bottom chine at the ends and form a chine down below the waterline amidships, which would look pleasing but still provide about as much stability as you could expect in a one sheeter. I guess this might be called a tiny canoe. If two sheets were scarphed to 4x12 or 4x14, you might make a case for a pirogue or decked canoe. I think that the same basic formula might work with varying lengths and widths.

Beam at bottom is about 24 inches and about 30 inches at sheer as modeled. Sorry for the messy glue job on the little model; neatness wasn't the goal on this one. When I get time, I'll try a neat job at 2"=1' and get some accurate drawings. Heck, I might just build it and do some messing about on the golf course pond down the street.

This type of hull shape has been floating around in the right side of my brain for some time, held in check by the left side, which apparently broke down in the heat this weekend. Here's another idea: imagine installing a nice little stern instead of a canoe stem on a 12 foot version and you might have a nice little Hillbilly Whitehall to row around the cowpond.

Well, the epoxy has cured. Time to start back on the Bufflehead.

Disclaimer: The writer isn't a boat designer, but has shared drinks with one or two. The attached drawing is a best-guess at a cutting layout and profile. No assumptions should be made as to the safety, integrity or sanity of this design.



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