Length – 4.7m (15ft 6ins)
Beam – 0.83m (33ins)
Hull Weight – 23kg (45lbs)
Draft – 0.100m, (4″)
Three sheets of 6mm (1/4″) Plywood.
The plywood “disposable” canoe (see here) has been renamed the more salubrious “Quick Canoe”. I quite liked the name of “Disposable Canoe” but I agreed with the critique that it hinted at something that was poor quality rather than simple and Easy. It could have been the EasyCanoe, but that name was already taken.
The photo below shows two Quick Canoes a group of us built in France immediately before paddling and camping our way down the Loire River for a week.
It fills a gap that our classic Eureka plywood Canoe doesn’t cover. The Eureka is a pretty canoe that is easy to build and paddles very nicely. It builds quickly over a couple of weeks if you can work full time, but with the Quick Canoe we were thinking of something possible to whack together in a weekend.
The Quick Canoe series has been designed to be as easy to build as possible while keeping some of the qualities of a good paddling canoe – in particular the ability to track. It is not designed to be the BEST canoe, but the SIMPLEST plywood canoe that was FASTEST to build without being too bad on the water rather than going the best paddling canoe we could do as represented by the Eureka.
It includes the standard paddling canoe and also the Quick Canoe Electric which is designed to take an electric trolling motor.
Rick Landreville is a Canadian. He built an OZ PDRacer (now called the OzRacer) in ten days last year (an unusually fast building time) and used that boat to become the Canadian PDRacer Champion. That boat won the following OzRacer championships as well.
When he heard I was designing a very simple canoe he contacted me to say he was really interested in building the prototype. I agreed of course.
Some new building methods were used – at least to Rick and me. In particular using duct tape to hold the boat together rather than stitching or cable ties. It was hoped this would reduce the build time. The reason it reduced build time is as opposed to stitching with copper wire or cable ties there are no bumps on the inside of the boat to work around. The interior is completely clear for either epoxy filleting or glass taping with 50mm (2″) wide tape.
It is understood that many people might choose to go cheap with this boat, so while epoxy is preferred there is information about using the cheaper polyester resin – it doesn’t stick to wood as well so the boat will be less durable – but cheaper. Or using wood in the corners along with either epoxy or one of the alternative glues. Rick recommends PL Premium.
I cut the third plywood sheet in half, then stacked the four sheets together and cut out all the sides at once. Then separated the two upper sheets and cut out the bottoms at the same time. Pretty quick and easy this way. I think the pictures explain a lot.
Here are some pics. I spent 45 minutes laying it out, then had to go inside for Christmas festivities, then spent 20 minutes cutting out the parts, then had to go in again, then spent 20 minutes belt sanding all the parts and gluing in the butt straps on.
Rick used a belt sander. to trim the sheets down to the line. Good job shown here. A belt sander will be quite risky for most people to use .. I recommend a plane. Rick got the belt sander for Xmas I think.
The next stage was to do the duct taping and control the width of the boat at the sheerline. Rick was a bit impatient with this and tried to fly through it rather than the methodical, more plodding method from the designer. He ended up having some trouble with the boat being too floppy. He took it apart and then followed the duct taping directions in the plan – and it worked.
He was pretty happy if a bit unwell.
I have been sick with a sinus infection and a fever for the last 3 days, and have been flat on my back in bed. Today was an improvement, so I worked for about an hour and got it 3D.
The reason it works is that the plywood side panels are spaced the right distance apart before the bottom is put on. Here you can see the spacers that were in place.
Okay, I finished the plywood canoe today. (well, everything except painting it). I have a total of 4 hours and 25 minutes of build time, and anticipate another 4-5 hours to sand, prep and paint it. But this is the dilemma; Do I just prime it and give it one finish coat, and not sand anything at all (keeping in tune with the ‘quick and dirty’ build)? Or do I spend a couple of days on it and varnish it up to a yacht finish? I tend to use my boats hard, and often. A yacht finish looks as crappy as a second rate job after a month or so…
A couple of days later there was a break in the Canadian Winter and Rick and his girls tried it out on the local pond.
Rick got it out on some open water a couple of week later. He thought it tracked nicely for a travelling canoe. Still looks very cold to me!
The boat came out pretty lightweight at about 48lbs built of standard building trade materials.
The stability (not to mention floor space) will make it very suitable as a fishing canoe as well.
Plans are available from Duckworks for $30 from my agents. Duckworks has a good information piece up here plus the ordering info.
More Quick Canoes