We’ve started in on a new build–a commercial boat of my Bear’s Ears design. It’s for Canyon Explorations, and one of the proprietors, Garrett, is helping build her. She’ll be called Shaman’s Gallery. Martin Litton began naming dories after places lost to man’s excesses. Shaman’s Gallery is a spectacular archaic rock art panel that was the end goal of an incredible hike up a stunning side canyon on a Grand Canyon river trip. But due to regulations we are now no longer allowed to visit it. Too many people on the planet, too many of which misbehave. So although it still exists, it is lost to us as part of a trip.
Here’s a piece of the panel, from my last visit there. These dudes are life size.
So let’s build a boat. Day one–we start milling Port Orford cedar.
By day’s end we have built all the ribs, six of them with bulkheads installed, and scarfed up two side panels.
Day two–in the morning we cut out the side panels, marked, drilled and countersink them, and built a transom and a bow post. And in the afternoon we built a boat. Well, a floorless boat. And we scarfed up a floor for the next day.
Day three– On with the floor. Cricket is our inside gal–she makes the 50-ounce biaxial inner chine go where it’s supposed to go.
Justin is adding a fillet, which Cricket will also massage into place once the floor drops.
I really don’t know why she looks so happy about this.
But she’s happy its done.
Time for a voyage to the South Rim for the Grand Canyon History Symposium. They were calling for Snowpocalypse, so we tried to hide all the boats from the storm.
History Symposiums don’t usually make for great pictures, but the blizzard made up for that.
And the Mountain got a pretty good dusting as well.
As snowmadgeddon melts, the troll get his first wet feet in a year or two.
Back to work.
We are trying to mate a wood boat and an aluminum one to see what sort of dinghies they produce.
Day 4. Glass bottom and sides on all at once. It’s kinda scary but it makes for an exceptionally strong laminate, and makes for just about no sanding.
Then right-side up to frame in the decking. At this point the alarming speed of progress hits the molasses patch.
And the boat goes through the ceiling.
Glassing in the rear passenger footwell.
I lost a bet on this one. She really can fit in the stern hatch.
On with the decks.
We spent an afternoon casting hardware for the Shaman.
Cricket made a ghostly breastplate.
And Marieke made some more giant oarlocks for her giant oars.
With Cricket and Pat on the river, Justin and I glass the decks and hatch lids. Then Justin leaves for the river too. Poor me.
After an eternity of sanding I paint the interior walls and deck edges. The main decks will get SeaDek.
I am consoling myself during my solo shop time knowing that all three of my rivering helpers are getting destroyed in the current storm system. They should have stayed here, and we’d be done.
Awesome looking boats! I'm starting a McKenzie boat based of some plans from Don Hill I bought a few years back and have a couple questions if you have time. The plans spec 3M 5200 for all of the joints, but in some of your pictures it looks like you might be using a polysulfide like boat life. Do you use that to make it more easily repairable? I was also considering glassing my boat, or at least the bottom, do you have any recommendations for that? I'm thinking of doing a solid white oak transom as I have some left over from another build, any reason not to? I live in Salida, CO so this boat will see a lot of the Arkansas (shallow + rocks and basalt). I notice you're using glass tape for the chine logs, is that because you're finding rot in them when they're wood? Thanks for putting all these awesome pictures and info out there!
Yes, we use LifeCalk for the seams so e don't have to destroy the boat to repair it. Reversibility is the key here, as I think I have a good idea who might have to do the repairs.
For the bottoms I use 24oz Biaxial w/ mat, with a cover layer of 10oz. For commercial Grand Canyon boats we're doing an inner chine of 50oz of biaxial glass, mostly because chines get broken a lot and the wooden inner chine is so hard to repair properly.
We use Resin Research 2040 epoxy for all of this–it's a very modern, low-toxicity, resilient (non-brittle) product, ideally suited for situations where impact is an issue.
Don't know what to think of a solid oak transom. You'll want to protect it so it doesn't crack. Maybe even glass it.
Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately I already bought the epoxy – I'm trying out Entropy Resins – hopefully its tough enough, but I'll keep Resin Research in mind for future projects. I bought some 10 oz fiberglass that I'm going to cover with a surfboard fabric called innegra, it's supposed to be tough like kevlar but its way cheaper. I think I will glass in the transom like you recommend. I like your glued rubber chine guards btw, I was thinking of putting UHMW wear strips on the chines but the rubber is probably better.
I put the frames in last weekend, and the chines this week, and will hopefully have the bottom on this weekend. It's definitely starting to take shape.
I have a couple pictures up at http://www.instagram.com/lwrhyland/
-feel free to let me know if you see something amiss. Thanks again