The Strip Building News

Summer 1998

Welcome


Welcome to the third issue of the Strip Building News , a newsletter put together by Newfound Woodworks and Guillemot Kayaks. We would like to make this newsletter a forum for communicating strip-building news and techniques to and from our customers. If you have comments, ideas or techniques for the newsletter, please drop us a line. It will be hard to keep this newsletter interesting without your help. We are asking that to continue receiving this news letter that you subscribe. You may continue receiving issues for a little while as we are giving people a few free issues just to get the word out. See the subscription info on the back cover.

News


Summer is well underway up here in the lakes region of New Hampshire and it is time to start planning the Rendezvous. The summer started out a rainy one. One rain storm completely washed out Route 3A, the main road up to Plymouth, and Michael's wife Sandy got stuck in the house all day when their road was washed down the hill. The advantage of all this rain is it raised the lake levels enough that many of the lakes were made no-wake zones until the waters receded, this permitted good canoeing and kayaking without competition from speed boats.

Missy, a long time employee for Newfound Woodworks, has left because the constant exposure to cedar dust aggrevated her childhood asthma - Wear Your Dust Masks. We will miss her around the shop. Since then Charity Collins has joined the crew. She will be answering the phone most of the time when you call. She just finished building a stitch and glue kayak from Chesapeake Light Craft for her own use. We like her anyway. We now need to get her building a stripper.

Nick took the Guillemot Kayaks road show down to the WoodenBoat Show in St. Michaels, MD in late June. He brought down two Guillemot Expedition Singles and the prototype of his new Night Heron design. It was a good show with a lot of attendees trooping through despite temperatures in the high 90s and heavy humidity. Phil Green of Woodsong Boats was there showing his absolutely gorgeous strip canoes. He had one with mahogany strips, curly maple gunwales and a drop-dead beautiful finish. Rob Macks was also there with some of his Laughing Loon kayaks. It was a good show for strip-builders.

The Night Heron was really well received up at the LL Beans Kayak Symposium in Castine, ME. A lot of people tried it and the reviews were very good. Although it is a narrow boat at 20" only one kid flipped it and he was asking for it. Nick raced the Night Heron at the Blackburn Challenge, a 21+ mile race around Cape Ann, MA. He bettered his previous years time by half an hour for a time of about 3:30 hours. Tom Mailhot and Dana Gaines borrowed Nick's Guillemot Fast Double and finished in a blistering 2:46 hours beating the course record for a tandem kayak by about 15 minutes. Most of the credit for this time goes to Tom and Dana. Two years ago Nick and his friend Dave Lind took 3:30 hours to do the course in the same boat. It shows the difference the right power plant will make.

Nick taking the Night Heron out on sea trials

The Lakes Region of New Hampshire has some of the best canoe and kayaking locations in New England: Squam Lake (Golden Pond), Lake Winnepesaukee, Ossipee Lake, Newfound Lake, and Lakes Waukewan, Wicwas, and Winnisquam to name a few. In this issue, we describe our plans for the Second Annual Newfound Rendezvous to be held on Pemigewassett Lake.

We have recently become acquainted with the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, an organization that works to preserve and protect the native character of the Lakes Region and at the same time provide public access for thoughtful recreational use of our forests and shoreline. The LRCT has purchased shoreline tracts and some islands on Lake Winnipesaukee that can become part of a canoe and kayak trail that will connect launch points, hiking, camping and lodging resources around the lake. The LRCT has a web page at www.lrct.org. We plan to have maps at the Newfound Woodworks showing these locations for those who may want to enjoy some of the beauty of this area when they are visiting.

Nobody Rolled Out of Bed a Boatbuilder!

In talking to customers who might want to come to the Rendezvous, I have encountered some hesitation or concern. I had one customer who said he wasn't sure about being here with all these "expert boatbuilders". Well, guess what: The only reason that I (for example) might be more of an "expert" than someone else is that I might have built more boats and might be farther along on my learning curve. Every day I work in this business I learn something new (or re-learn something I should have remembered). I don't become discouraged by my mistakes (screw-ups, glitches, misinterpretations, learning experiences), I'm spurred on to not only do better next time, but also to let others know where the pitfalls are so that they can do well the first time. For these reasons, we will be starting The Newfound Woodworks, Inc. School of Fine Woodworking and Advanced Boatbuilding Techniques, otherwise known as

"THE SCHOOL"

The Newfound Woodworks, Inc. will be starting THE SCHOOL the first week in October 1998. It will be held at 20 Spring St. in Bristol, about 2 miles from our shop at Danforth Brook Road. Initially, the class will be conducted two nights per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for 4 hours per night for 12 weeks or a total of 96 hours. This class format is designed so that someone within a reason able driving distance of Bristol, NH can attend without taking vacation time and being away from home and daily commitments. We will be building boats in a heated 40' x 40' area and intend to have two sessions this year, fall and spring. Since we are most familiar with strip construction, we will be building cedar strip/epoxy canoes and Rangeley boats in these first two sessions.

Our longer term goal is to perhaps have 1 or 2 week classes here next summer. We could have other boatbuilding instructors come here to give classes in types of boat construction other than strip-built, such as wood/canvas canoe construction or stitch and glue construction. In order to proceed with this, I need to get some input from our customers or potential boatbuilders

WHAT DO YOU WANT AVAILABLE FOR A BOATBUILDING COURSE?

Please e-mail or snail mail your response. At this point I'm trying to find out what the level of interest would be for summer classes in this area. Note that we are 2 hours from Boston, Mass and about 1 hour from Manchester, NH.

the Second Annual Newfound Rendezvous


Planning for the Newfound Rendezvous is proceeding. It will be help September 18, 19 and 20th this year. For those that did not attend last year, the Rendezvous is intended as a gathering for people who: have built; are interested in building; or just like, wooden canoes, kayaks and other small boats. Last year we had about 30 boats on the beach and if the interest we are getting is any indication, we should have many more this year. Boats from Newfound Woodworks and Guillemot Kayaks will be available to try, and last year many of the other people were kind enough to let others try their boats.

The Rendezvous is held at the Clearwater Campground on Pemigewasett Lake in Meredith, NH. People will start arriving Friday afternoon and camping. Most of the activity will be Saturday with some people staying over Saturday night to participate in a paddle on Squam Lake on Sunday morning. Camping is $18 per night, and a day pass to the camp ground is $5 per head (this is required by the campground, it does not apply to campers). We will be supplying food Saturday breakfast ($5), and dinner ($10) for those who want it. Please call the Newfound Woodworks (603) 744-6872 to pre-register and sign up for food. If you are not up to camping we can also supply names of local motels. Entrance on Saturday will be $6 per head, if you have not pre-registered.

Please call in advance to pre-register even if you are just coming for the day. This information will help us make the event more successful.

Jay Babina is the designer of the Outer Island , a Greenland style sea kayak. He will be demonstrating Greenland style paddling techniques.

Mac Buhler built 7 canoes the first year he started building, all while working full time at a real job. He is also an American Canoe Association certified instructor. He will be teaching canoeing skills.

Caleb Davis runs Tremolo Canoe and Crew . He will be doing the paddle making classes and classic freestyle classes. Caleb is a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and a strip-canoe builder. He is a Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association certified instructor. Classic freestyle is a highly versatile, precise, artistic and aesthetically sound style of heeling over single side solo paddling. He will do a demon stration and lead some on-the-water play time. In his paddle classes you can make a traditional Voyaguer, Ottertail, or Willow shaped paddle. He will provide a pre-cut blank of butternut ($45), cherry ($50) or black walnut ($60) in a choice of adult sizes. The class takes about 5 1/2 to 6 hours and when you are done you will have a paddle that just needs a little sanding and varnish to be ready to go. Class size is limited to 8 people.

Jason Kohn is a former sea kayak guide. He will be providing sea kayaking instruction.

Nick Schade runs Guillemot Kayaks, works for Newfound Woodworks and wrote "The Strip-Built Sea Kayak". He will be showing how to do artistic inlay work and demonstrating kayaking techniques.

Michael Vermouth is the president of Newfound Woodworks . He will be demonstrating fiberglassing techniques.

Paula Wanzer is co-founder of One Step Further an organization for empowering individuals, of every age and ability, to participate in life long skills. She is an American Canoe Association Instructor, who has taught for 30 years. Her goals are to provide training which is fun, inclusive and safe. She will be teaching canoe rescue techniques, putting together the kids activities and organizing the races.

 

Tentative Rendezvous Schedule

FRIDAY:

12:00-6:00 Registration

5:00-6:00 Evening Paddle on Pemigewasett Lake

7:00

SATURDAY:

All Day Long: Registration, Trying Boats on the beach, Kids' activities

7:00-9:00 Breakfast

9:00 Welcome

9:00-10:30 Classic Freestyle Demo w/ Caleb Davis

9:30-10:30 Inlaid Artwork Demo w/ Nick Schade

Fiberglassing Demo w/ Michael Vermouth

10:30-11:30 Basic Canoe Paddling Skills for Beginners w/ Mac Buhler

Basic Kayak Techniques w/ Jason Kohn

Canoe Rescue Techniques w/ Paula Wanzer

Start Paddle Making Class w/ Caleb Davis

11:30-12:00 Eskimo Rolling Demo w/ Nick Schade and Jason Kohn

12:00-1:00 Lunch (Bring a bag lunch)

1:00-2:00 Water Safety Awareness w/ Marine Patrolman Mark
Bodanza

Intermediate Canoe Paddling Technique w/ Mac Buhler

Kayak Group Rescue Techniques w/ Jason Kohn

Greenland Style Paddling Techniques w/ Jay Babina

2:15-3:30 Various Canoe and Kayak Races organized

3:30 Group Photo

4:00-5:30 Leisurely Paddle around Pemigewasett Lake

5:30-7:00 2nd Annual Newfound Woodworks cookout.

8:00 Bon Fire w/ Entertainment

SUNDAY:

6am-? Dawn Paddle on Big Squam Lake

Please pre-register, it will enable us to better plan a successful event. You may fill out the form and fax it to the Newfound Woodworks at: (603) 744-6892 or mail it to:

Newfound Woodworks
67 Danforth Brook Rd
Bristol, NH 03222

Please make checks payable to Newfound Woodworks . If you have any questions please call us at (603) 744-6872

You may also email your registration information to: info@newfound.com. Please make the subject "Rendezvous Registration"

If you are interested in taking Caleb Davis' paddle making class please call us at (603) 744-6872. We will be accepting reservations for this class on a first-come-first-served basis.

Launchings

Joey Winsor built this beautiful Guillemot as a school project. It is built with western red cedar with basswood and mahogany accents. It weights in at about 30 lbs. Joey is trying to sell it for $2,800. Call Newfound Woodworks (603) 744-6872 for more info.

Techniques

Avoid Stripping off Old Glass - By Nick Schade

I am currently peeling the fiberglass off my original Expedition Single. I didn't want to, but a bubble appeared under the glass on the deck. When I opened it up, I found that I could keep peeling back the glass - very depressing. I am currently trying to figure out why this is happening. So far I have several theories: the epoxy I used; how I applied the epoxy; and the wood.

I did not use MAS epoxy. Back then I used a brand that has a low -viscosity resin they said was a good "penetrating" resin. I applied a seal coat to the raw wood and let it cure before laying on the fiberglass. This seal coat may have blushed. Although I sanded before putting on the glass, maybe I should have washed it with soap and water.

Maybe the epoxy did not blush, but for some reason there was not a good mechanical bond between the seal coat and the cloth coat. Maybe I should have sanded better. However, the seal coat was probably not necessary. With MAS and other low-viscosity resins you can wet right through the cloth and still get good penetration into the wood. Not only does this save time, but it will make a stronger boat.

The parts of the deck that peeled most easily were stripped with redwood. It is possible that the wood had some incompatibilities with the resin, but I don't think so. Redwood is harder than the western red cedar and pine I used elsewhere on the deck and the surface remaining after peeling was very smooth. I think that the surface was probably too smooth for a good bond between the coats. I believed I sanded to 220 grit sand paper. This was overkill. 80 or 100 grit paper will leave a smooth enough surface as long as you use a random orbital sander or sand with the grain.

Another contributing factor is the redwood was very dark. This would make it heat up more in the sun, and could eventually soften the bond between coats of epoxy.

In final analysis, I think several things contributed to the problem: A seal coat that may have blushed slightly, over a harder wood that was sanded to the point of being buffed. Since that boat I have stopped applying the seal coat and I don't sand the surface as smooth. I don't see signs of this problem on any more recent boats.

All told, I really don't have much to complain about. The boat has withstood six years of abusive treatment and if I hadn't started peeling it, there is no reason to believe it wouldn't have gone a few more years as most of the glass really was well bonded to the wood. After stripping off the old glass and apply new, the boat will be as good as new and with a better application of epoxy should last indefinitely.

Kayak Thigh Braces - By Nick Schade


In order to really be comfortable in a kayak, it helps to fit securely. A firm object to push against is less tiring that having your legs loose in the boat. But then again, it is nice to be able to move around and get in and out easily. A secure fit and room to move can be mutually exclusive properties. Having a place to brace your knees and thighs usually requires a small cockpit which may be hard to get into. One solution is thigh braces. These are a part of the cockpit coaming that sticks into the cockpit opening giving something for your legs and knees to brace against.

I incorporated thigh braces into my Night Heron. It is doesn't take any extra material and is not very hard. The thigh-braces cut into the room in the cockpit, but leave space where you need it. I can still lift my knees out of the boat by bringing them up between the braces one at a time. I built the recessed deck as described in my book, making sure I had long strips in the region I wanted the thigh -braces. When I cut out the hole for the cockpit, instead of just following around the "oval" of the cockpit, I left part of the recess-deck sticking into the cockpit area on either side of the front.

way, gluing strips in vertically starting at the front. As I got back to the thigh brace, I just tacked the strips directly on top of the recess-deck, continuing backwards while following the line of the cockpit. You don't need to do a good job gluing here because it will all get glued together with epoxy later. When I got back to the section where the hole followed the cockpit line again, I went back to gluing the strips to the edge of the hole. Where the strips transitioned from being glued on the side-of-hole to the top-of-the-deck, I needed to sand away the corner of the vertical strip slightly for a close fit. I used hot-melt glue throughout.When the vertical part of the coaming is completely installed, clean off the squeezed out glue and sand the inside and outside. The outside is indistinguishable from a normal cockpit. Put a fillet in the corner and fiberglass normally. The inside will need a fillet where the thigh-brace meets the coaming. Fill up any gaps with epoxy/sanding-dust putty and apply fiberglass over everything. Attaching the coaming lip is no different than if you didn't have the thigh-brace. Sand everything smooth and you are all set. You can put foam padding on the thigh braces as needed.I have found the Expedition Single probably doesn't need thigh-braces because the contour of the recessed deck provides enough room to brace. Some people may find them beneficial in the Guillemot and the Great Auk.

way, gluing strips in vertically starting at the front. As I got back to the thigh brace, I just tacked the strips directly on top of the recess -deck, continuing backwards while following the line of the cockpit. You don't need to do a good job gluing here because it will all get glued together with epoxy later. When I got back to the section where the hole followed the cockpit line again, I went back to gluing the strips to the edge of the hole. Where the strips transitioned from being glued on the side-of-hole to the top-of -the-deck, I needed to sand away the corner of the vertical strip slightly for a close fit. I used hot-melt glue throughout.

When the vertical part of the coaming is completely installed, clean off the squeezed out glue and sand the inside and outside. The outside is indistinguishable from a normal cockpit. Put a fillet in the corner and fiberglass normally. The inside will need a fillet where the thigh-brace meets the coaming. Fill up any gaps with epoxy/sanding-dust putty and apply fiberglass over everything. Attaching the coaming lip is no different than if you didn't have the thigh-brace. Sand everything smooth and you are all set. You can put foam padding on the thigh braces as needed.

I have found the Expedition Single probably doesn't need thigh-braces because the contour of the recessed deck provides enough room to brace. Some people may find them beneficial in the Guillemot and the Great Auk.

I started putting on the vertical part of the coaming in the regular way, gluing strips in vertically starting at the front. As I got back to the thigh brace, I just tacked the strips directly on top of the recess -deck, continuing backwards while following the line of the cockpit. You don't need to do a good job gluing here because it will all get glued together with epoxy later. When I got back to the section where the hole followed the cockpit line again, I went back to gluing the strips to the edge of the hole. Where the strips transitioned from being glued on the side-of-hole to the top-of -the-deck, I needed to sand away the corner of the vertical strip slightly for a close fit. I used hot-melt glue throughout.

When the vertical part of the coaming is completely installed, clean off the squeezed out glue and sand the inside and outside. The outside is indistinguishable from a normal cockpit. Put a fillet in the corner and fiberglass normally. The inside will need a fillet where the thigh-brace meets the coaming. Fill up any gaps with epoxy/sanding-dust putty and apply fiberglass over everything. Attaching the coaming lip is no different than if you didn't have the thigh-brace. Sand everything smooth and you are all set. You can put foam padding on the thigh braces as needed.

I have found the Expedition Single probably doesn't need thigh-braces because the contour of the recessed deck provides enough room to brace. Some people may find them beneficial in the Guillemot and the Great Auk.

New Products

VCP Hatches

The wooden hatches you make for kayaks are 99% waterproof, but some people want 100%. For this, the best solution are the rubber hatches made by Valley Canoe Products (VCP). They work like Tupperware and are completely waterproof. However, they are black rubber. If this does not bother you and you need waterproof VCP hatches are the way to go.

VCP Retractable Skeg

Rudders can be helpful to keep your kayak from weather-cocking, but they are moving part under a lot of stress, exposed out on the end of your boat and prone to failure unless cared for properly. A more secure form of assistance is a retractable skeg. The skeg can be deployed as much as needed to overcome the weather-cocking, and retracted back inside the boat when it's not needed. It does not use the footbraces so in no way interferes with proper bracing. This skeg can be retro-fitted into finished boats.

Mesh Gear Bag

A large duffel bag with mesh sides for carrying your wet gear such as life jackets and spray skirts. Keep all your gear in one place, ready to go for spur of the moment paddles. Imprinted with the Newfound Woodworks logo.

Greenland Inuit Style Kayak Paddles

We have Greenland style paddles made by Malone of Maine and Mitchell. These narrow bladed kayak paddles don't look like they should work, but they are really quite effective. The small blade area makes them easy on the shoulders and they are not feathered so they are easier on the wrists. They are also very good for rolling. $159.95

Rawhide Canoe Seats

We now have pre-made canoe seats of rawhide on ash frames. They look similar to a snowshoe and should last better than the natural cane. Seat: $40, Rawhide seat back $55.

Night Heron Sea Kayak

Nick's latest design is now available. At 18' x 20" it is a long and narrow boat. It is quite fast and though it is probably the least stable of the Guillemot Kayak designs, it is not too scary. It is available with two different deck configurations. The "high" deck comes with a roomy fore-deck and a low back-deck (13" front, 7.5" back), and the "low" version has a lower fore-deck and an even lower back -deck (11" front, 6.5" back). The low back deck makes it easy to roll. It is intended as a day boat, but with a hatch installed in front and back, the high version would be suitable for overnight trips. Plans: $75; Standard Kit: $1,150; Deluxe Kit: $1,400.

Show Schedule


Newfound Rendezvous

September 19 and 20, Pemigewassett Lake, NH. Bring your boat to show off. See and try different designs. Talk to other people who have built their own boats. Last year was a lot of fun, this year should be even better. Call Newfound Woodworks at 603-744-6872 to register.

Subscription Information


The Strip-Building News is published on an "as-possible" basis. This will hopefully translate to 3 or 4 times a year. It will include tips and techniques for constructing strip-built/epoxy boats and other related news. If you would like to continue receiving this newsletter, please send $10 for the next 5 issues to:

Strip-Building News
Newfound Woodworks
67 Danforth Brook Rd
Bristol, NH 03222

Newfound Woodworks phone: (603) 744-6872; email: info@newfound.com
Guillemot Kayaks phone: (860) 659-8847; email: info@guillemot-kayaks.com

 

Newfound Woodworks phone: (603) 744-6872; email: info@newfound.com
Guillemot Kayaks email: info@guillemot-kayaks.com

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