Shannon (my partner) and I were talking last year. Our olden canoe was built over 40 years ago and weighs a ton (ok, I exagerate, it's weight is more like +90lbs) and we are getting older. What Shannon's age has to do with it is beyond my understanding since I am the one who either canoe-heads the thing or loads/unloads it onto a portage cart/car. Anyway, I had mentioned that a handmade canoe (of course I would mention a handmade canoe) could be built to weigh under 50-lbs and still be quite strong. She thought that was a great idea (this is why we are together amongst other reasons) and thought I should get right on it. Fast forward a year and IT HAS BEGUN. I got the plans from Nick and got him to throw in a t-shirt and his wood strip boat building book ...he "threw them in"to the shipping box but made me pay for them (Nick wrote the book, eh, it's a humorous read and very informative (reminds me of James Harriot's style of writing...interesting, informative, and humorous)). I still have that t-shirt with the da Vinci compass (Nick's t-shirt contest winner, created by Malcolm Schweitzer)...it is seriously falling apart, especially around the neck, it has been party to too many boat building/repair/paddling occasions...I think I will wear it for this project, too, I just might have to throw it out afterward but hey, I can cut out the da Vinci compass part and set it in epoxy somewhere on the inside of the canoe...under the deck I think. You're probably wondering why I am using so many ( )'s in the post (I have no idea why, except that maybe they're like little asides from the main topic) and likely you're a little annoyed (so I'll stop using them now, especially since this post is about done for now). I will post construction updates from time to time. This is my first stripping project...I have cut forms before, just not used them (Night Heron, high deck version...oops, I did it again)...and when I built the RP Sport, a design created by Chris Ostiland, I cut the panels on one side and used those panels to trace out, cut, and shape each opposing panel to excellent effect. I am also going to track the time it takes for this build so that if anyone asks how long it takes to build the Mystic...I can tell them. At this point I have cut and shaped the forms. My next step is to cut out the recommended areas to make them lighter. I did use 5/8" MDF for my forms so that I can use them again if I succeed with this project and someone decides to pay me to build one for them. I will post images at some point, can't seem to get them to post right now.
Robert N Pruden