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Building a racer C1 in composite or cedar? (Read 835 times)
03/08/19 at 06:12:42

Francis   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 3
I'm Francis from Belgium and a passionate ultra-marathon canoe racer (participated already 5 x in the Yukon River Quest)
Here in Belgium canoe racing is unknow, so I have to search my information overseas.
Next year, I want to participate in a race in the UK with 78 portages, so I want to make a light C1 racing canoe. The J203's are the top boats in this race, so I want to build one who is competetive with the J203, or better....
I have plans of 2 wing-boats but I have to figure out which one the best is for me...
Maybe there are boatbuilders here on the forum who can help me with some advice

Let me first explain how I built my 2 previous strippers:
C1 - stock racing canoe simular model as the Blackwater of Savage River
17' long
cedarstrips aournd 5 mm thick
Outside: 1 layer 6oz E-glass - 3 coats epoxy - 2 layers Varnish Epifanes
Inside: 1 layer 2,8oz E-glass - 2 layers epoxy - 2 layers Varnish Epifanes
Seat + pedestral: carbon
Thwarts: alu-tube
Gunwale: only innerside - Ayous/abachi
Total Weight: 15 kg

My C2 - 18'6" long
Cedarstrips: 4,7 mm = 3/16"
Outside: 1 layer 4 oz S-glass - 2 coats epoxy - not yet varnished
Inside: 1 layer 4 oz S-glass - 1 coat epoxy - not yet varnished
Seats: Carbon
Bulkheads: Corecell laminated with carbon
Seatrails: Alu
Thwarts: Abachi/Ayous
Gunwale: only innerside - Ayous/abachi
Total weight: 19 kg

So the goal for my next build is a light and stiff C1 racer
I have different ideas and building techniques but have a lot of questions to help me in the decission:
Option 1:
Strip build in WRC thickness 1/8"
Outside: wet hand-lay-up of Carbon fibre, but with the odd shape of the boat I think I need Twill Weave Carbon, but I can find that only in 6 oz
How many coats of epoxy do I need?
Can I use vacuum-bagging and/or infusion?
Some say, that vacuum-bagging don't help because it's only 1 thin layer of fabric..

Inside: 4 oz S-glass
Thwarts: Foam covered with a carbon sleeve. Corecell or an other foam?
Gunwale: Same technique as thwart
Seat: Carbon

Option 2:
Replace the cedar strips with foam strips PVC, divinycell or Corecell
What is the advantage vs cedar strips? I think the foam absorbs more epoxy resin
Laying the strips on an female or male mold?
When working in a female mold, just make 2 halfs of the hull and then join it together?
200 or 300 gr. Carbon fiber - Twill Weave for in- and outside
Is 1 coat of epoxy enough?
Is it necessary to lay a light layer of fiberglass on the outside to protect the carbon skin?

Option 3
Making a mold and do a full composite layup
Disadvantage: because it's only to make 1 boas, maybe this option takes to much work and is to expensive?

I know a guy who has experience with vacuum bagging and infusion,.so he can help me with that process.
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Reply #1 - 03/09/19 at 21:15:55

ChrisD   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Bangor, ME

Posts: 19
I don't know enough about boatbuilding to offer you serious advice, but I do have a few suggestions:

1. You might try posting your question in the forum over at canoetripping.net. There are a number of strip and composite (and both) builders over there. Mostly non-racers but I know a few people there have done the YRQ.

2. I'm sure that race in the UK will be fun, but the 340 has approximately 78 fewer portages. Just sayin. That C1 stock boat would be perfect, too bad it's across the pond.

3. Options 2 and 3 sound like a lot of work for quantity 1 boat.

The continent should have an ultra -- maybe down the Rhine from Basel to the sea? Probably too much barge traffic.
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Reply #2 - 03/10/19 at 15:36:59

yankeeclipper   Offline
MR340 Veteran
4X Gritty Fitty Veteran
Kawlloween Veteran
2X Ground Crew Veteran
Katy 50 Veteran
Kawnivore Veteran

Posts: 1506
I believe I was corresponding w/ you last fall about building but I had a crash and lost your contact.
My input on  your questions:
Strip build is fastest and most economical. I would use 6 oz on outside and 4 on inside.
Number of epoxy coats depend on covering the material. I find 2-3 work on 6 oz cloth.
If you have a boat to use as a form you can cover w/ mold release and form foam over it. Use closed cell and 1/8 thick. Epoxy will not get absorbed into the foam. You will need to drop carbon fiber over the hull in sections as opposed to covering the whole hull as in a strip boat.
You can use foam strips also but need to be 1/4" thick for support and forms no greater than 10-12" apart.
If you check Savage river and Wenonah you will see that their soo racers are 30# plus and very pricey. I don't know if all foam boat is that much lighter than a strip. If carrying a 35# boat is an issue vs a 30# you might want to consider more pushups and running to help. Wink You can also use 4 oz cloth on outside to shave a lb. or two.
Hope that helps.
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Reply #3 - 03/12/19 at 05:43:15

Francis   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply! A stiffer hull ask a thicker core, so maybe I must do a test and make 2 samples (WRC vs Foam) to calculate the weight saving.
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