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By Alan Stancombe - Leyburn - UK

I thought you might like to see a few pictures of my build of a Cinderella canoe designed by Gavin Atkin's.

The design can be obtained free from Gavin's website "intheboatshed. net"

It was my first canoe built from a book rather than a kit and I learned a lot. Being 12ft long the planks have to be butt-jointed with tape. The way the plans are laid out at present means that before cutting out the planks two 8 x 4 ft sheets of ply need to be butt jointed with fibreglass tape. This is an awesome task. I found that by transposing the origin of the offsets to the corner diagonally opposite then the bottom sheets could be cut off and the remainder of the 8 x4 's could be cut up the middle. The butt joints would then only need to be 2 ft long. I used Excel to do the sums.

To cut out the planks I used a Makita mini circular saw which proved to be invaluable. I have two rechargeable batteries as they soon discharge but it is not difficult to swap them mid-cut. I used plastic ties for the construction which I like as they are less inclined to tear the wood than copper wire. The hull is constructed around 3 tee pieces which I built into a single jig as seen in the picture. My only real problem was with the fillets. I taped them whilst the epoxy was too soft and consequently they are very lumpy. Also where I dot and dabbed between ties they were too big. Because there was no rebate and the joints were just butt joints I did not want to sand the fillets down too much. Next time I will let them set before adding tape. The problem with this is that you get air bubbles next to the fillets. I glassed the bottom of the canoe to protect it - a wife can be useful for holding the other end of the fibreglass sheet.

I fitted the buoyancy tanks which I think look quite nice. I have been told that an inverted canoe sits very low in the water and buoyancy tanks make it more manageable. I look forward to inverting it to find out! I designed my own seat and added the broken inwales which really enhance the design. I used International Interdeck inside as a non-slip medium. Anyway it doesn't look too bad for a first go built from scratch. My varnishing skills are improving, hopefully the same can be said for my methods of stitch and glue. Next time I will try using scarf joints. I was fascinated to watch my rollers start to smoke as I applied the epoxy on a warm day! I thought I had been working too hard.

Thanks to Gavin for his advice and June for holding the fibreglass - the stern end of course!


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