NC16 completed.

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agrajag
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NC16 completed.

Post by agrajag »

This is my boat, the Vardar Wasp. She was built to go down the Vardar river from Skopje, Macedonia to Veles Macedonia. She has two sisters that should also be completed before Sunday when I hope to have them all on the water. First outings will be on a lake to get the feel of the boats, then some tame parts of the river, followed by some rapids...... and then - The Trip. Water is really high right now, so I think it will be an easy go, but I'm getting a lot of "you'll never survive" type advice from folks... Of course those were the same folks who said I'd never build three canoes in my tiny garage.

Only power tools used on this project were a circular saw and a Bosch DA sander purchased after the frustration of seeing very little progress by hand. Well worth the 60 Euro it cost me.

All the filler on this boat was sawdust scavenged from the lumberyard in Greece where I bought the plywood.

Plywood is pretty low quality stuff, but it was all that I could find. It's all covered with several coats of epoxy so I'm hoping it will hold up.

I'm planning the addition of a foot operated rudder, like a sea kayak. Will post pics when I have it on.

Used slightly more than 3 gallons of West System Epoxy to cover the three canoes.

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Thanks for your help and advice while building this... Spent a lot of time reading the threads related to this boat and building process' in general.

Agrajag



DrBones
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Post by DrBones »

Congratulations on a beautiful job! Hehehe...you must love the feeling when you grin at those that doubted you! I like the paint job and the seat you put in it. So - What kind of trip are you planning?

P.S.
I ran into someone a few weeks ago here in Florida that had outfitted his canoe (a commercial 14' canoe) with a sail and a rudder he operated through dowel rods. I saw him coming to shore and was astonished to find out about his sail and rudder setup. Ended up chatting with him for an hour or so. It worked nicely for him... I saw him sail in from half a mile away or so.

Flat Fish
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Post by Flat Fish »

Looks good. Makes me wish all the more that I was done. You'll be pleased when your out on the water. I know my NC paddles nicely.

Enjoy.

Tedr
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Post by Tedr »

Very nice! The finish on my CC14 is not as nice, but when I'm launching or taking out there is always someone who stops to ask me questions - even if there are fancier store-bought boats near by. Not only is it fun to paddle, it's also fun to enjoy the sense of accomplishment.

There's just something about paddling a boat you made with your own hands. Have fun!

agrajag
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Post by agrajag »

Thanks for the kind comments.

Dr.Bones. Trip is going to be a 2 - 3 day camping trip with two adults and four kids. I'll have my 9 year old son with me, and a friend will have his 8 year old son in another. His 15 and 13 year old sons will be in the third canoe. The Vardar is a good size river that runs right down the middle of Macedonia - I haven't been able to find any info on paddling the river where we want to go, east of Skopje. I have 1:50 charts that cover the route, but it obviously doesn't show enough detail. The only info I've found on the web about paddling the Vardar is from a trip made by a German named Oskar Speck at the onset of WWI... Horror stories abound - in our small neighborhood it's common knowledge that there are whirlpools that will suck you to the bottom - but I can't find anyone with firsthand (or second, or third, or...) knowledge, or anyone with any boating experience for that matter... Feel a bit like Columbus sailing off over the edge of the world. 8O

Like I mentioned in my first post, water is at it's highest right now, so I think most of the rapids will be tamed a bit. We'll be pulling over often to scout ahead.

agrajag
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Post by agrajag »

Back from the big trip.

We took a day and a half to go the 55 Km. to Veles from Skopje - that's road distance, don't know how long the river is, but I'm guessing pretty close.

The boats handled 12 - 18 inch standing waves (chop? white water? rapids? - sorry not a nautical type o' guy) very well, but took on water with the bigger stuff. We all had makeshift bailers on board and used them whenever we got to calm waer, or pulled to the side if it got too deep in the boat. The current was about 10 KPH when we were able to measure it most accurately... Moving along pretty good.

The Vardar Wasp was the heaviest boat, carrying about 330 lbs.

I had the oars on the Wasp, and while it took me a bit to get used to them I really liked how they helped me maneuver in the fast choppy stuff... Just stick one out and haul on it and I could usually move from side to side or in and out of the current fairly easily.

There was only one bad spot on the river, I had seen it when I scouted the river from the air, but it turned out to be a lot worse than I thought it would be. On of the boats suffered a cracked side from gunwale to bottom and the other had a 4" by 6" hole punched in the bottom. The Vardar Wasp didn't suffer any damage. I was really glad I had built flotation into the bow and stern after going through that. We lost all but one and a half paddles and some of our gear. I'll never take a canoe through that spot again.

Fortunately it was only about 10 km. out of Veles, and I had a new roll of 100 mph tape with me, so we taped up the boats, redistributed the load and finished the trip. We made new paddles from sticks, tape and plastic trash gathered from the sides of the river.

The boats should be pretty easy to fix, but I think we'll stick to calmer waters from now on.
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jasonmcintosh
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Post by jasonmcintosh »

agrajag wrote:On of the boats suffered a cracked side from gunwale to bottom and the other had a 4" by 6" hole punched in the bottom. The Vardar Wasp didn't suffer any damage.
Wow! Glad to hear you made it.

Although I'm not too surprised to hear that the canoe that wasn't damanged had the guy who built them in it... That must have give you some extra motivation keep it from getting banged up.

odras
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Post by odras »

Glad to hear you and the boys made it without injury. Spring time river paddling can be real tricky even when you know a river, Maybe you should run a stretch of river that you don't know without the kids first?

I'm sure it was an adventure you'll all never forget! My only regret is that you didn't invite me :lol

P.S. invest in some decent paddles will ya :P
Take your kid fishing!

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