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Small Craft Builders Rendezvous - West System

By Tom Pawlak

In July 2008 I attended the Small Craft Builders' Rendezvous in Petersborough, Ontario at the invitation of Ted Moores and Jean Barrett. Their company, Bear Mountain Boats, (bearmountainboats.com), was one of the sponsors of the gathering which included modern wood and epoxy constructed boats as well as traditionally built wooden canoes. Those attending ranged from professional builders to serious amateurs.

A great gathering of small craft took place at Trent University of Petersborough, Ontario in July, 2008. Both wood/epoxy and traditionally built canoes and kayaks were on display.

Approximately 75% of the boats displayed were traditionally constructed with steam bent oak ribs and wide flat cedar planks that were canvas covered. This was expected because many who attended were members of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association who scheduled their annual gathering the same week as the Small Craft Builders' Rendezvous. Trent University is deal for the events. it's located on the Otonabee River which is part of the Trent Severn Canal that travels from Lake Huron's Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario via a series of locks. Another benefit of scheduling the events at the university was the availability of inexpensive dorm room accommodations which many of us took advantage of.

Throughout the event a number of demonstrations, seminars, and paddling excursions took place. The demonstrations included building a traditional canvas covered wood canoe, paddle carving, deck inlay techniques (see Al Whitham's article), seat caning, and rib and stem repairs to traditional craft.

On Saturday Skip Izon, builder of wood/epoxy canoes and kayaks from Shadow River Boatworks, gave a presentation on canoe hull design and performance parameters.

Ron Frenette, owner of Canadian Canoes, Bob Arthur and Brian Heaslip demonstrated an alternative strip building technique without the use of staples and incorporated fancy inlay accents in their demonstration. Bob arthur makes the accent strips from hundreds of pieces of various colorful woods that he glues together with 105 resin and 207 Hardener. He makes these strips about 3' long each and the ends are machined to interlock allowing you to make them any length. The staple free construction kits and fancy inlay strips are available from Canadian Canoes at www.canadiancanoes.com.

An alternative strip building technique without the use of staples.

Sections of clear polycarbonate tubing embedded in some accent strips available from Canadian Canoes glow as light shines through from the backside.

The kit that allows you to clamp strips without the use of staples.

The alternative strip building technique in use.

EPOXYWORKS Number 28, Spring 2009

Copyright © 2009, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. EPOXYWORKS, Gougeon Brothers, WEST SYSTEM, Episize, Scarffer and Microlight as used throughout this publication, are trademarks of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA.

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