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Not a Yak but what fo you think of this?

4967 Views 35 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  hairymick
Hi guys,

What do you think of this one. length between 3.5m & 5m beam (on plans 650mm) but can be what ever you want. (very easy to modify) :D Has a flat bottom & draws minimal water. I think one might be ideal for fishing and touring the backwaters of our dams & rivers.

Can be built using 2 shhets (2400 X 1200) of 4mm exterior grade bracing ply and is really simple & cheap to build (about $200.00) & I reckon one could be knocked up in 3 or 4 days.

I think I am addicted to saw dust :oops:


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There's something very beautiful about stained timber sliding through water like that, love it, just need some skills. :roll: I may still have a go at it one day. When you say $200 does that include the plans? I'm guessing not.
Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.



redphoenix said:
With a flatish bottom, she'll slide over the shallows nice & easy. How do you reckon that will affect stability though?

In the pre GRP and plastic era, most hire fleets had a couple of canoes along the lines of Mick's photo; they were very stable but at a certain point the flick was incredibly fast when you over stepped the limits :lol:
kraley said:

initial stability is great. until its gone! :D
Yeah about the same as the Titanic, sinking mostly occured by ramming another kid :lol:
There's something very beautiful about stained timber sliding through water like that, love it, just need some skills. I may still have a go at it one day. When you say $200 does that include the plans? I'm guessing not.
Mate, I love it too. there is not much skill in building this one Cost of plans would be extre. (US$24.50) More piccies and basic study plans and build instructions can be viewed here.


re stability - very little (if any) secondary, but immense initial. Cajuns have been building & paddling around the Louisiana Bayou and Florida Everglades for centuries. They are their padlde craft of choice and generally, they sit very close to the bottom of the boat. (low centre of Gravity)

Soon as I finish my SOT a couple of these are ready to start. 16 footer for me and a 12 footer for my daughter. got the stem blocks cut, angles worked out for the ribs and a heap of bracing ply in the shed. :oops:

Will let y'all know what I think of them soon as I test em out. Could be a real good and cheap means to get the kids into paddling :D
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Could be an ideal kayak for local lagoons, dams and rivers down here too. As it happens, I still have two and a half sheets of ply, 3 litres of epoxy and about 5 metres of fibreglass cloth left over :idea: :twisted: . Would just need the 2 x 2 and the stock timber for the bow and stern, although there are plenty of old 4 x 4 fence posts lying around my back yard at the moment :wink: .
Hi Rick,
Would just need the 2 x 2 and the stock timber for the bow and stern,
Mate, all you need is standard 50mm X 19mm pine. laminate two together and rip the compound angles on a table saw. easy :D

Likewise, the ribs. they are only rebate or lap joints epoxied together and you can make it as wide and as high sided as you like. Mine will be 650 mm on the bottom with 250mm sides. again, easy :D

The angle of lean fore and aft off the bottom dictates the amount of rocker in the boat. 45 drgrees = 65mm rocker in a 5 metre boat. I don't like a lot of rocker so my bow and sterns will be set at around 30 degrees.
Maaate you need to stay away from them table saws.
Maaaaate, :D gettin back on the horse. :D tis a bit scary. :D

Guys, The basic plans and build instruction as provided on the huncle Johns site were pretty good and I was fairly confident I could build one with what he supplied.

I have been posting on an affiliated forum for a while now (great bunch of blokes) so i thought I would drop Uncle John (U.J.) a note to ask if he minded if I had a play, just to see what me and my crims could do. Would't you know it, he wrote right back with a lovely email and here is part of what he said. :D

How 'bout I donate a set of plans. I'm happy to contribute to skill
>building to help people better their lives.We work
>with several ministries and know the value of building self esteem and a
>sense of worth. Boat building is a good project. Let me know if you would
>prefer metric or Imperial and I'll send you a down load.

So guess what, me and a couple of my boys are building a pirogue at my work, using state of the art machinery in a multi million dollar workshop.

It will never see water and is a training exercise in a different type of woodworking to what we normaly do. If anybody is interested, I will post progress reports as we go and hopefully some piccies of the finished product. :D Some of my indigenous prisoners have volunteered to decorate the hull with traditional tribal art & I am guessing it will be a fairly impressive work of art when finished.

We are well on the way towards putting the hull panels together. Should be starting to look like a boat by the end of this week.
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good stuff, definitely let us know how it goes Mick, I'll be looking at getting those plans as soon as I pay off the scupper, until then, getting the new tupperware on the water is priority 1. :D
Bloody Oath mate, progress reports would be great.

Ive been headhunted for the area you work in , although not that medium.
We need more Uncle Johns and his attitude in the world, and must be an asset to the lads at work.
Hope you can show the details here as I remember you ran into red tape the last time you proposed to show another woodwork project.

With the headhunted offer, be sure to stay clear of sharp equipment while you have intact body parts; be a shame to go the way of your northern compatriot
Thanks guys,

Not yet sure how the piccie thing will pan out, but am approaching it from a different angle :D

OK here we go. :D


As I mentioned earlier, uncle John has very generously donated a set of plans for his beautiful pirogue for me to use to train some of my prisoners in canoe building. I sent him a email yesterday morning, and he responded very quickly with a lovely email and the pirogue plans at no charge!

He has gone a long way towards restoring by belief in the fundamental goodness of people.

I will post piccies here later if I can, but will post regular reports of our progress.

Yesterday, after receipt of the drawings and a quick read of them, I called a brief muster of my men and told them of my plans and asked who would like to be involved. (nearly every hand went up!) Think about that for a moment please. This is a High Security Facility and quite a few of my prisoners are seriously hard men. Nearly all wanted to contribute to this. :D . In prison, for any project to get this sort of enthusiastic support from the prisoners is unheard of. We Aussies are renowned for our apathy.

Next came the difficult task of selecting some of these men to do the job. to be fair, I chose a couple of the better/more skilled men and several of their opposites.

Anyway, after working out cutting lists etc, we got stuck in. we are only using 3mm furnishing ply for the hull panels (because that is what we have) and ripping down some slash pine for the rub rails.

The pine we have is utter rubbish and is full of knots and shooks etc. so after ripping down to size (11mm X 42mm) the plan was to cut all the knots out and then scarf the short good bits back into long knot free strips.

I have been playing with making a simple scarfing jig based loosely round one described in an article somewhere and saw this as a good opportunity to test it.

By lunch time yesterday, all hull panels had been marked out, cut, scarfed and glued together. At finish time all the rubrails had been ripped, the knots docked out and all the short bits scarfed to perfection

This boat will be slightly different to Uncle Johns in that there will be an additional rub rail along the bottom of the side panels and a inwhale with spacers. We are doing this because of the poor ply we are using and to give additional glueing surface to the bottom side panel join. We have no fibreglassing facilities here as yet and the boat will be stuck together with AV190 glue. A water based - water resistant glue with high strength properties and should hold OK (again, we are using this because it is what we have)


Back at work today.

The boys got all the short bits for the rub rails clued together in my absence.

I decided to go with a housing or finger joint for the ribs. It will be stronger than a lap joint and was a chance to train the boys in jig making for a different type of joint.

We cut the side pieces with the female part of the joint on the bandsaw with a ramp to cut the required angle. We cut the corresponding male bottom pieces on the table saw also with a ramp set against the docking fence for the angle. Simply turn the ramp over (end for end) to cut the other side. This saves a lot of time in fence set up and ensures all angles are the same.

Ribs are made and glued together. We trimmed all inside corners with a router and roundover bit.
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This is a great story Mick, it must be bloody satisfying to see blokes in that sort of position getting involved in something constructive and even taking their own initiative to get some work done while you're not present. I hope we get a chance to see her in all her glory once finished with artwork. :D
Good work mick, am interested to follow the project and see how it all pans out. Will be good to see some piccies if you can manage it.
Magnificent Mick, this is a great story, well done to Uncle John, he sounds like a very nice bloke.

Inspirational stuff with what you are doing at work, I can't wait to see the finished product.
Hi Peter,

Ive been headhunted for the area you work in , although not that medium.
Does this meen you are no longer a good screw? :lol: :lol: Are you moving up this way?

Hi guys,

Thank you for all the positive comments.

The bow and stern pieces or in, Outer rub rails (gunnels) is on and the ribs are made and in. She is looking like a boat. Was a bit of a struggle managing the long side panels into place but there were plenty of willing hands available and they just seemed to materialize when needed.

Guys, I gotta tell you, sitting on the saw horses just outside my office, she is looking even better than the piccie I originally posted.

I’m seriously loving this boat. Beautiful simple and functional lines. She looks fast just sitting on the saw horses. My boys are as excited about her looks as I am. What a difference a day makes. I just gotta get some piccies of this.
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Bloody good read Hairy, I guess the idea of a canoe appealled to the boy adventurer in ya troops....not much sense of adventure in whipping up a cheese board (and bugger all primary/secondary stability when paddled :roll: ). It would in me anyways I reckon. Inspirational thread as Blaen mentioned, enjoying it heaps :D :D
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