Thursday, 17 June 2010

Hard at it...

Over the last few weeks a few of us where I work have been plodding away on making a couple of canoe style boats, each made from just one sheet of ply, based on The Prism

The boat needs minimum skill and equipment to make (but a bit more than we had) and we managed to blag the less than perfect 9mm plywood sheets for free. Other than the ply we used lots of gorilla glue, some fibre glass tape for the seams, scraps of wood that we found and the cheapest gloss paint we could find too.

So for less than about £25 each we had 2 boats, but would they float???

'Bob' on my car ready for it's maiden voyage

Despite leaving it for ages to dry the gloss was still very tacky and got every where, but we were desperate to have a go.

The first in the water wasn't 'Bob', it was the boat with no name, but it was water tight, if somewhat unstable. 'Bob' was next and had a little leakage we'll have to go back and fix, but nothing desperate, and was also very unstable. The low seat we'd put in to kneel on was no where near low enough. Here's me wondering how soon I'd be taking the plunge...

Soon enough though and with a different position I was able to paddle it after a fashion. It was still fairly unstable but much better. It behaved more like a coracle, spinning on the spot almost, but with a bit of careful paddling it would go fairly straight.

With a bit of egging on I tried a few times to stand up in it with the expected results of lots of refreshing splashes in the marina. Here I am reminiscing about days gone bye when my locks were, erm... present?

And on the way back to get dry...

It may just look like a good laugh, and it was, but there was a lot of hard work went into getting these boats made and there's more to be done yet. After the summer, as well as some form of decoration and official naming, we've plans for a fore and aft deck with floation, keel strip to help with tracking and stability and may be even a mast and fitting to join the two together catamaran style.

We'd better get at it quick though as the water is hardly tropical now and it won't get much warmer!

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