Want to build a canoe and travel down the Loire River in France? 2011

NEWS FLASH We did it in 2011!

Part 1 of our Quick Canoe building and Loire River Touring and Camping trip in France.

The Planning of the Loire Canoe Tour – Build boats on site.

The Duckworks forum is discussing a trip where people meet up in France, build a bunch of Quick Canoes (maybe other boats) and head off down the river for 14 days.

People who have boats locally can join the event as well but will have to take care of their own logistics and accommodation.

We have set up the Wooden Boat Trek website to act to keep people informed about this and other build & travel events/projects. Just click the link to go there.

Possibly sometime August or September (2011). I originally thought this was in 2010. 2011 will be great because I may be able to get along.

There is no commercial aspect to this trip, except for working together to limit costs. Boats will be built near the Loire and given away at the end. Much like my original idea for the Quick Canoe/Disposable Canoe.

Photo of Loire from NZ wombat, click on photo to see more from the photographer.

If you are interested you can contact the group for information or suggestionss.
loireriverraid@gmail.com in the first instance.
You will probably receive a reply from Brian Anderson.

The prices are an approximate budget for each person’s costs for the 14 days flying from the USA. It could vary depending on how careful you are with money.

Brian lives near the Loire and is helping with logisitics. This info and suggestions are from him.

Here are my thoughts on how it might work.

I think we should plan on 14 days. A good working budget would be about $2,000 per head including airfare from the States. Hopefully we will get some European
DWers too in cars with tools, which would help out with logistics enormously.

We choose a money person. He takes deposits ($200) from everybody who wants to come. He and hopefully one or two others turn up a couple of days early, and stay with me and my family.

We get my van and trailer and go buy the wood and supplies and maybe some cheap 2-battery cordless drills ($35 a pop) and a hand circular saw (about $35 too). I
have a table saw, a good hand circular saw, two cord drills clamps etc and we can get some pvc pipe to make clamps. The extra tools will also depend on how many people are going to turn up.

The early birds and I cut and build frames, stem/stern posts, and scarf or buttblock the ply.

I would favor the Tightbond III/sikaflex/screw/chine log construction on quick canoe or 6-hour canoe plans, because I know it very well and am sure it can be done. The caulk-glue I have used will set up enough to be sanded and painted overnight. But I can no problem also get glass and whatever kind of polyester resin or epoxy if people prefer that route. We need to decide and make all the boats the same way though, I would think.

People fly to Paris and take the train down to Tours. I was thinking May 2011 because there is good water in the river then, but for canoes September would also work fine, and the weather might be better. High summer is not good because the price of plane tickets goes up very significantly — an extra $400-$500

I think it might be a good idea to rent a van for the time to pickup and ferry people/gear, and to go visit places during the trip. Somebody-ies would have to drive the van along the river (this would also be a nice trip in itself). This would depend on how many turn up. I have a van that we could use, but it seats only 5 people.

We plan on one or two days to get to the site and get organized, three-four days for building, that leaves abut a week on the river, and then another two days to do whatever, entertain Mr Murphy, and get back to Paris for the flight home.

The Loire is not reliably navigable along its length for boats with engines because of rocks/shallows/medieval bridges.

Camping gear, tents, etc cost about what they do in the states (maybe $100-150 for a tent/sleeping bag and gear for a week). These things could be bought here or brought with.

I have a two burner stove in a Dutch kitchen but if a lot show up, we might have to look into tracking another stove down, and/or buy some cheap grills.

If there are some really ambitious earlybirds, we might also look at building a quickanddirty shanty boat (michalak shanteuse) or a futreau.

A bigger boat like these might be cool for those who aren’t up to canoing, but might be a little too ambitious.

Food for though, got to get to work.

Cheers, Brian

8 thoughts on “Want to build a canoe and travel down the Loire River in France? 2011

  1. […] away at the end. Much like my original idea for the Quick Canoe/Disposable Canoe. More info here Want to travel down the Loire River in France?|Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans MIK __________________ Storer Wooden Boat Plans subforum on UBeaut Woodwork Forums Boat Plans […]

  2. Hi Michael

    So I had a look at your quick canoe and got some input from Chuck, and I think your boat would be a good way to go.

    It could be done with the duct tape/polyester resin like the prototype, or also an exterior chine log/sikaflex and screws build.

    One thing that occurred to me was that if one thinks of cutting and buttblocking in advance that the curves in your canoe are gentle enough to glue on the chine logs in advance and then paint the entire exterior of the boat a day or two before assembly – I have been using a garage floor paint that is supposed to allow a second coat 4 hours after the first and then have a car parked on it the next day, and I have found that that is pretty much the case in terms of curing time.

    On the other hand, your point about tape and glue and easy and quick is well taken. I don’t have any experience with polyester resin but as I understand it you can mix it to kick pretty quickly and it can be painted fairly soon thereafter. Would it be useful to put a coat or two of resin on the bottom of the boat to waterproof it a bit like you do with epoxy?

    So anyway, what are your thoughts on the whole deal?

    Cheers, Brian

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks very much for your email!

      Hope I didn’t come over too strong on the Duckworks forum. I guess part is me being a bit protective of the original concept, but also I thought long and hard over several years before deciding that the chinelogless construction was the way to go.

      I do like using chinelogs in my designs, but I do think they add quite a bit of labour. But the advantage is the assurance of fairness of the chine. As a really cheap, basic boat the quick canoe can break my normal rules to get the building time down.

      I do worry a bit that on a low power boat like a canoe the external logs add a fair bit of drag – but I do have to admit that I don’t really have any solid data that they do either.

      On the other side the Quick canoes can go together really quick. We have 4.5 hours for one without seats, 5.5 hours for one through to completion (incl painting) and another that was about in the mid 5s as well but he didn’t really keep a good record.

      There have been others where people seemed to take several weeks to get them together, but it looks like you will have a really talented team of people there. They will not take weeks to do anything!

      You can set up the polyester to kick off quick, but too quick and it doesn’t stick to the timber very well. That is its biggest flaw that even at its best it doesn’t bond directly to wood like epoxy does – a thinned first coat before the tape goes down can help – unlike epoxy where you never need to thin as it bonds directly to the cellulose molecules.

      However there have been many successful boats built with glass tape over many years. the normal reason I dissuade people from considering it a prime method is that they do tend to start leaking after a few years of use. Hardly a problem with the Loire.

      I would tend to go to paint to do the bottom etc. The polyester doesn’t stick really well to wood and is also thick and brittle. I think paint is a much more reliable choice.

      Generally my attitude to changing things on my plans is that I will will try and push people toward my suggested methods, because there are reasons for them, I will dissuade people from anything that (as Chuck would say) is STOOPID, but for things I don’t quite agree with but can’t see the harm, like external chine logs or sika or whatever – then plaudits and self blame for the builder if they don’t work.

      So I won’t stop anyone or gripe of ppl want to try chine logs.

      Actually the ideal might be to try some boats one way and others the other and see how the building goes and the use.

      Anyway … shoot any questions my way that you like.

      There are going to be two or three little revisions of the Quick canoe in future.
      1/ move the seats down about 50mm.
      2/ either swap the gunwale and inwale so the 3/4sq (19mm sq) goes inside the hull – it gives a bit more glue surface for the centre spreader. Alternatively gunwale and inwale could be 3/4sq – might make more sense for standardisation of timber.
      3/ I think the skegs are a bit too big, I would halve their height before the keel batten goes on. Just gives a bit more manoeuvrability.

      Now that is a good french word!

      Best wishes

  3. I misunderstood!

    The Loire trip will be in 2011, so I have some time to see if the finances are possible.

  4. I’m trying to make deposit for two but have not found a way to do it. I’ll look around on Duckworks again. Have e-mailed Chuck for instructions.

  5. Mik, I just read your article on Duckworks.

    I love the idea of the whole adventure but alas for me it’s not to be.

    Something you might consider, if drying glue becomes a problem, is aluminum duct tape on the outside of the seams. In a past life, I worked on military airplanes and we used it expedient bullet hole repairs.

    I know from person experience that it’s good for at least 300+ knots. For quick construction/repairs just tape it on and burnish it well to seat and it’ll hold for quite a long time.
    Fair winds,
    John Boy

    • howdy JohnBoy,

      So maybe that’s why sailors call it “thousand mile an hour tape!”. The idea is you stick it on some slow sailboat and transform it into some sort of lean and mean racing beast.

      We do often use it for spot repairs.

      One of the hardest problems to design a boat for is torsion or twist (same with aircraft – flutter). The things that make a big contribution are
      1/ limiting movement along seams of the hull
      2/ Built in enclosed areas (very effective)
      3/ knees that locate the angles of one part panel against another.

      I think it would be quite possible to build a short term boat using the aluminium tape alone for a short period, but would worry that the movement and huge leverages involved at the chine would rupture the tape. Also the chafe and wear and tear might be a problem.

      If you think about it the leverage at the chine is something like the width of the side panel divided by the size of the gap.
      Panel – a foot wide roughly
      Gap – plywood thickness approx – 1/4″
      so looking at a mechanical advantage opening up the join of around 48:1.

      I think it would be interesting to see if someone could make a reasonably long lived success of a duct tape only join in a canoe hull. If it worked I would be happy to eat my, hopefully educated, guesses above.

      But the aluminium duct tape will continue to be one of the first things I pack to deal with minor and even surprisingly large holes and cracks.



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