Thanks again to all that suggested I buy Roger Fletchers book. Loaded with info!
So I have decided to build the Original Mackenzie Double-Ender with Transom(16'). I am now looking for materials to purchase. I have many options near me, but so many options that I don't know what to go with. Hopefully you guys can help out a little. Reminder this will be my first build, so I guess I am looking for answers on what is going to be easier to work with. Also should I consider a different boat?
Side Panels- Hydrotek of Fir? Cost wise there isn't much of a difference. One question I do have though is this. Because I am building the 16 footer I will need to scarf more than 2 sheets together because of the loss of 3" from the scarf. Would you guys recommend scarfing in a small piece tward one end of the boat or somewhat in the center of the side panel? Or should I say what is going to be the stronger of the two choices? Also I know Rogers plan calls for 1/4" thick, but would 3/8" perform better or be necessary? I think it would be a little harder to bend, but I am more than likely over thinking the strength thing.
Bottom Panels- 1/2" or 3/8" with 1/4" shoe? I do plan to fiberglass the bottom with a few extra coats of epoxy.
Chine logs and caps/sheer rail- Fir or white oak quartersawn? I think the fir would be easier to bend because it is softer, but at the same time it would be a little weaker because of the softness. The fir in one piece will be easier to get than white oak quartesawn in one piece near me.
Stem- fir or oak?
Any info would be a great help, thanks in advance! Brian
Brian: Since this is your first build -suggest you follow the "plans" as per Roger. The current quality of DF here in Maine is crap. Too many "footballs" and some voids. The local suupplier has given up on it-too may complaints. But then again The Yankees up here may be a little picky. Suggest you go look at the PW before you buy it. Merrantti Hydroteck is doing well for me. !/4" sides with a framed boat should be fine. The bottom could be DF3/8 with a 1/4 shoe. Inwales and outwales with DF is fine. I like White Oak for stems and chine caps- stay away from Red Oak if at all possible. Some of the professional boat builders like Randy and Don Hanson might have better advice.
Good Luck PS: scarf in a section at the front and back of a full 8 ft sheet in the middle of the boat- less bending stresses fore and aft rather than at the middle of the hull.
Larry has it right.
1/4 Hydrotek for the side panels. There are some other high quality products in BS 1088 but most are more expensive. Fir is very hard to find in high enough quality to build. Every football patch is a potential blow out in the future. The small piece scarfed out of the scrap created by cutting the angle for the stem is a common way to use less side panel materials but you will find that the line deck and some other stuff that you decide to add, like bottoms to shelves, will use up that plywood.
I use mahogany for the stem, white oak for the chine logs and chine batten. Rails can be oak or fir. Fir has a very nice look but is softer. I think Ray Heater told me last year that he is using all mahogany rails now. They don't stain at the fasteners like white oak can.
The bottom should be 1/2 in and you can add a 1/4 in shoe if you want. We use a 1/2 in bottom and cover the outside with 20oz tri-axel fiberglass cloth.
You don't have to find rail and chine material in one piece. scarf it with a 12:1 scarf, cut the scarf on a table saw with a jig
see the post on Feb 15, 2011 on scarfing chine logs, rails, etc. for a discussion of jigs for cutting scarfs for rails and chine logs.
When I need to join dimensional 1 x 2 stock into long lengths for canoe or db gunnels I clean up the table saw scarf with a hand plane, then epoxy. For gunnels you may want to consider eastern ash. It bends easier than white oak.
Thanks for the feedback guys! My assumptions where correct. Fir being soft isn't going to be my best choice. I would rather spend a few extra bucks to get the boat a little more solid so to speak. I like the thought of one solid piece for the rails and chine, but I trust you guys on the scarf. I read the post that Eric suggested and it defiantly makes sense. Randy, I was worried about going with the fir plywood to begin with because of the exact reasons you stated. I have seen a lot of peoples complaints on the quality of fir these days. I think I am going to go with Okoume for the sides as I can get 4x10 sheets from the source I am looking at, I would rather have only one seam per side for a cleaner look. Hydrotek for the bottom in 1/2" thickness. I think I am going to go 20 oz. triaxel like Randy suggested for the bottom as well. Thanks for the input guys! Much appreciated. I will keep you all posted.
I have little to add Brian, the other guys hit it all. I would recommend to use flatsawn white oak on your chines and rails. Will bend easier and crack less during installation. I have used white oak for stems on two builds of the boat you are planning. I built one in fir with all ash (ash will turn black when it gets wet) and one in Meranti with all white oak.
The fir boat has a 5/8" fir bottom with two layers of glass and epoxy. The meranti boat (and three builds following that) have 1/2" fir bottoms with 1/4" wood skid shoes. In my area, this is my prefferred bottom treatment now.
I think fir for rails would be a fine choice. Nothing looks as good as oiled up fir in my opinion.
I would recommend that you use 1/2" or 5/8" fir plywood for your bottom though, regardless of the materials you use on the sides.
Good luck. Visit often with your questions, there are a ton of us that have built the boat you are planning on.
Thanks for the input dave. I was kind of thinking of doing the fir bottom just to save a few bucks. Here is another question as well. In Rogers plans it calls for the transom to be 3/4" plywood. Have any of you substituted that for a thinner plywood or I had the thought of epoxying a few 1/4" sheets together. Would this work or should I just buy a sheet of 3/4" ply and use the rest on the bench seats perhaps? Also would making the frames out of white oak, mahogany, or another hardwood be a mistake? I know the plans call for fir,spruce, or cedar, but is this for the purpose of softer material will have a little more give or flex so to speak if you bump into a rock or something along those lines? Just a thought I had for sprucing up the overall look of the boat. Thanks again for all the info guys.
Make the transom from 3 layers of !/4"- no need to buy a sheet of 3/4". Bench seats of 3/4" would be overkill and add weight up high where you don't want it. Spruce/fir/cedar will be fine for frames- again keep the weight down- but I must admit oiled mahogany frames would be classy.
Jason Cajune of Montana Boatbuilders uses the 1/4" layers to make his famous curved transoms. He showed us how to do it at the Wooden Boat School. Too much effort for me.
So i have been doing some rethinking while planning my first build. I have reconsidered and I am now going to build the trapper in Fletchers book. Start small and work my way up is the thought I had. I am limited to garage space currently so I figured the Trapper would be a little more manageable. I have done some searching around and I am having a tough time finding clear fir for frames by me. So my questions are this
1. Has anyone used American walnut, american cherry, or hard maple for frames? They are fairly light and comparable to the weight of fir with the exception of the maple maybe. I think the walnut or cherry would give the boat a great look. These 3 species of wood I have readily available and could get them for next to nothing.
2. If I where to use Birch or Pine plywood(non marine grade) for the side panels and bottom and fiberglass and paint the boat rather than oil would this work? My thought was as long as it was fiber glassed and fully sealed with epoxy it should work pretty good. Am I wrong on this assumption? This boat wouldn't see any whitewater really. Mostly lakes, and rivers.
Brian: Don"t use maple for anything on a boat. It is not rot resistant and gets "blue stain" fungus and will look like hell and not last. Any cheaper PW must have 5 plys or more all of which must be equal in thickness. Birch is not rot resistant. While it may look great on the outer plys(kitchen cabinets etc) it probably has a thin outer skin and thicker inner plys- sometimes of poplar. Pine PW would be OK-again look for inner ply voids and equal plys. I have seen "marine grade" PW with 4 plys. Its the inner voids that will cause the real trouble-failure when bending or getting a rock hit and as a great pathway for moisture to get into the PW- then you have real problems.
You can paint a boat well- I usually give new work 4 coats- but nothing is perfect and scrapes, dings etc. can allow moisture to get to the wood. Full glassing/epoxy might get a little improvement along with paint. When you think about the amount of time put into building the boat spending a little more on quality materials will pay off. Now if you only want to get several years out of the boat then use lesser quality materials and see how long it lasts.
Marine plywood is the recommended material because it has no voids - not because of the glue used in laminating the ply. If you cut a piece of plywood for side or bottom and transect a void it will need to be filled. If you are using frames, nails or screws from the side panel into the frame would be a problem if a void lies over the frame.
Finally, condensation can form inside a void leading to rot from the inside. I generally use hydrotech which has only micro voids in 1/4 inch, and 5 plys. Most of the 1/4 marine fir has three plys.
For dimensional lumber (for frames and other stuff), check Glenn - L site for a primer on boat woods. You want rot resistant and light for frames. You may be able to get spruce or cypress in your area if doug fir is unavailable.
I kind of figured that was going to be the answer on the birch. But the good news is that I just found some fir for frames. What kind of epoxy do you guys recommend for frames and scarf joints?
I have built both the 16' DET twice and the very second Trapper, and will tell you that you are in for about the same amount of work either way. The Trapper is a wide, but short boat and is very nice. You might also consider the most versatile boat of all the drift boats, the Rapid Robert. Only has 6 frames. I could sway you further to a versatile boat based on your water type, and check out my drift pram. Roger has it on his site as well, although it is not in the book.
Regardless, you will be building a fine boat.
You can build a boat as cheaply or as expensively as you want... Kelly (ukulady) around here built a driftwood drift boat of all recycled materials.
I built a small skiff years ago with hardware store grade pine, encapsulated it in glass cloth, and painted with exterior latex. It is still around and holding up fine.
You will have a considerable time commitment in your boat, regardless of the materials or design. You will want to spend the money on the best you can afford. My advice is to locate a source for your plywood and go with Hydrotek BS1088 as recommended and 1/2" fir for the bottom. Your frames could be western red cedar, cypress, fir, spruce, or even good grade white pine. Using a hard, heavy wood adds nothing but extra weight. The structure itself is quite strong even when made of the softest woods.
Good luck and keep us posted.