Of Spindrifts and Strippers
October 5, 2013


In preparation for this week's activities, I'd spent some time at home, tracing out the forms for the strip-built canoe we'll be making. It's the 12'-16' Motor Canoe design by Selway-Fisher.

The plans call for 13 forms - 13! I laid down carbon paper and traced the patterns onto plywood. After that, it was off to the Boathouse.

No white boats. That's gonna be the rule at the Boathouse from here on out.

When last we left the Spindrift, she'd gone 3D and had the interior seams taped. My first order of business was to put a coating of epoxy on the interior.

I'm doing something different this time: Applying all the epoxy, then sanding down the knobs, drips, and runs. I'll use my angle grinder and 40 grit disks. It should save a little time.

I love this shot - Spindrift standing against the wall to help keep sawdust from landing on the epoxy, Curt looking up from sanding the edges of some canoe forms he'd just cut, Bob is prepping the forms for installation, and Geoff is working on his kayak.

A better shot of Bob. The forms all have to be at a specific height.

Sorry to mix these all up, but we are building boats concurrently to keep a steady workflow. Here's a shot of Curt applying a second coat of epoxy while I do touchup.

And a better shot of Geoff as he installs a tricky bit of hardware.

Setting up the forms correctly on the strongback is the most important step of building a stripper canoe. We were following the plan spec exactly: One form every 12".

Another busy shot with Bob admiring our lamination of the transom for the canoe, Geoff working on his rudder, and a stack of canoes providing the background.


I'm installing the inner bulkhead on the Spindrift's seats. We needed to use the spreader because we'd switched from doing a nested version and a standard version of the boat. A boat builder can never have too many clamps.

There's the bulkheads epoxied into place. That little disk is my fillet gauge - I like uniform fillets.

Bob and I got to setting up the forms on the strongback. This is all new to us, so we were taking out time.

You can see we've run a string to set a centerline. It was right about here when I noticed that even though the plans say to space our forms 12" apart, there are also only 13 forms. I don't want a 13' boat, I want a 16' boat. We'll have to do it all over again.