Cedar strip, cosine wherry, row boat #1: Not a Box . . .

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Blog entry by SM posted 09-23-2011 05:39 PM 5361 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This was my project for the last winter and learned many new skills. Soon, she will be in my livingroom for five days where I can apply the last coats of varnish, (and sill use the shop for fall projects). Bending the strips into the wine glass stem shaped stern was the source of significant frustration; i required a few glasses of wine myself to recover!

-- SM

5 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 09-23-2011 11:09 PM

Wow, that’s beautiful! It shouldn’t be long before you get to launch it. I was in Halifax one July and the water was freezing then! Don’t wait too long to try it out.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4231 days

#2 posted 09-24-2011 12:50 AM

Thanks. It was a huge family effort, that ultimately extended to friends coming across the country to participate. Everyone, even if they just came to take a look, signed an oar and I’m burning the names in. “Tipping Point”, was something my husband ask us to build. He never got to take a ride, but had a part in all stages and pieces before he passed away, and was very proud of our progress.

Yes, Halifax was not pretty in July, but it was not “freezing”; 6 or 7 C, but not exactly . . . oh, the wind . . . ya, it WAS freezing! Now is it balmy warm (+20C) and humid. Fall is lovely here, and we will be able to take her on the water well into Oct. We have had her on the water twice before, to check the thwart, (seat), placement. She is lovely on the water. Light as a potatoe chip, but tracks true and more stable than I had thought she would be.

Now, must find room in the living room to get her in for the varnishing.

-- SM

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 09-24-2011 04:29 AM

WOw very nice canoe. I know all about the frustration you can have bending the cedar around the stern. The compound angle bends are enough to make a preacher cuss. It will be great when you finally get to launch it. I did notice though that you mentioned varnishing it in your living room. I don’t wanna tell you how to do your project, but have you tried that before? The reason I ask is the varnish smell is really hard to get out of the house. (Speaking form experience) I am assuming your picking your living room because of lack of adequate space under cover outside the house. The varnish takes so long to dry you are on the right track to not just do it in the open as insects and condensation will invade it. However, what I have done in the past because I never had an adeqate finish room for the boats I’ve built and the shop was too darn dusty for a 12 hour dry time with varnish was to erect a temporary shelter from thick plastic sheeting, Like 6 mill plastic used as a vapor barrier for houses. It will keep out the insects and the sun beating on it in the day gives it a Green house effect that the morning dew won’t attack your finish either.

None the less, that is a great looking boat. Let me know when you have launch day I. I would love to see pics of the launch.

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3621 days

#4 posted 09-24-2011 06:34 PM

At +20C I can see why you would use your living room, if you used Michael1’s idea, you would have to use
some type of heater to get the varnish to dry. Glad your husband was able to contribute to the building and
I am sure he will be watching over the launching also. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4231 days

#5 posted 09-25-2011 06:09 AM

Thanks guys,
There she is, in the living room, (actually, the living room, dinning room and half the kitchen!)
Michael, you did give me pause for thought. When you say the smell of varnish is difficult to get out of the house, I’m thinking you mean it actually gets into the fabrics, chairs, etc. I’ve done small varnish projects in the house, but suddenly realized how many square feet: 14ft x 4ft x 2 hulls, (inside and out); that’s a lot of smelly varnish.

+20C is actually very warm, (70F?) so putting her out on the porch under a tarp would be like a sauna, (it is also raining), and I’d have to build a frame to withstand the wind; there is a 32k fetch on this lake when it comes up from the sea, not to mention piles of leaf litter,.

No, I think there is only one solution to this problem, and I shutter to think about what I have to do: I have to be brave, I have to be committed, and . . . I have to clean up the shop, so I can varnish in there! (The horror!) If no one hears from me in a week, send out the RCMP!

I do like how she looks in the livingroom though. Perhaps for the winter . . . ?

-- SM

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