Friday, October 11, 2013

Doryman's Boatyard

Technically, we are talking about the back porch. As inclement weather gears up, so does the annual winter project.

This year, it's a kayak. Or is it a canoe?

Last August, at the Toledo Wooden Boat Show, the family boatbuilding event centered around a kayak designed by Leo Newberg and Rick Johnson. Prior to the show, Rick and Leo set up a prototype to use for making patterns. A test model was roughed out to insure everything would fit.

Ever on the lookout for an interesting challenge, Doryman pounced on the prototype, with the intention of (yes, you guessed it...) improving the design. (I say that tongue-in-cheek. Leo and Rick did a great job. There will be some modifications, however.)

The hull made it back to the shop in one piece, though it was barely tacked together with epoxy. To-date, the watertight bulkheads have been secured and templates made for the decks. The shear has been shaved down, to limit windage. This will be a very burdensome boat, even though it has less freeboard .

One objection I have with traditional kayaks is the small cockpit opening. So now the question is - with a more open cockpit, is it a canoe?

To further complicate matters, this boat will have oarlocks for rowing, in addition to a double paddle, kayak style. The open cockpit is a necessity, or I'd never be able to get in the boat. The rowing station, likewise, is an ergonomic detail - from years of hard work, my old shoulders do not stand up to forward paddling very long.

A friend dropped by the other day to check on progress in the Doryman Boatyard and declared the kayak/canoe almost finished. Those of you who have built boats of your own know better.

Here is a photo of the original kayak from the boatshow, built by Jim Reim and his daughter, Amy. Nice job, you two!

The finished Doryman vessel will be fifteen feet long and sheathed in 4mm Meranti plywood, with a 3mm deck. It has a hard-chined bottom, with a slight "V" shape.


Graham Neil said...

If you are sitting on the floor facing forwards with a double paddle in your hand, its a kayak. Nice simple lines at first thought I wondered could it be K....? No but a close cousin. She'll be great.

doryman said...

If the propulsion method is the only defining characteristic, then the same boat could be a kayak, a skiff or a canoe. This project puts me in mind of the Rob Roy, which all agree was a canoe.

Katie Beardie is a similar boat, but she has a definite "kayak" bottom that blends into a sharp cut-water and stern - this boat is not so fine in the ends. In future posts, I'll be sure to get some photos to show what I mean.

Another difference, though incidental to the current discussion; this boat is not a stitch and glue design. Semantics; I know...

mike said...

Kayak - Canoe?

Who really cares as long as it floats and does what you need to to do? - I have tried a Kayak a couple of times and find that I am a lot more stiff than I used to be so getting in and out was a bit of a pain literally and figuratively

Keep up the interesting work & good luck finishing it - I long for even a back porch for projects

Glenn said...

Francis Herreshoff defined canoes as being built of wood, and differentiated between decked canoes and open, or "Canadian" canoes, to the disparagement of the latter.

He reserved the term "kayak" for fabric covered decked boats with a cockpit opening small enough for a spray skirt to be effective.

Me, personally, I'd say that if the cockpit was small enough to use a spray skirt it's a kayak, regardless of construction. I'd also note that Kodiak kayaks were driven by a single paddle vs. the more typical double paddle used in the Aleutians and the Arctic.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the final product! it looks great, and I don't consider it an insult to call it an improvement. All designs should enjoy a constant evolution.

Leo Newberg

doryman said...

Leo, I suppose you've seen my latest post about the trip up Drift Creek. The kayak performed great. I just need to be in better shape!

What do you think about making this design available to the general public? (Your original I mean...).

Anonymous said...

Of course this design can and should be made available to anyone who is interested in building it. The general hull shape is extremely versatile (as your improvements have shown) and I would love to see more people building them, in any format. If you have an outlet, please feel free to distribute the plans as you see fit.