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The Ragtime Phoenix - A Skin-On-Frame Canoe

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Squirrelly. That's the way it handled. I paddled it for a few miles hoping I would change my mind, but no. It really was squirrelly.

So here are my options:

1. Paddle a boat I hate
2. Put lots of weight in the bottom
3. Make outriggers
4. Sell it to a sucker and hope they don't drown
5. Destroy the boat

What would YOU do? I need a boat that I actually enjoy that is light and quick to get in and out of the water. I usually only paddle an hour or two at a time, so:

1. I would never use it
2. Too heavy to get on and off the truck by myself
3. Too time consuming to rig up everytime I want to go out
4. No thanks
5. Cut the boat apart and hopefully salvage some of it

So here we go...

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It all seems so clear now. How could I have not seen the problems? Love IS blind.

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I cut the deck off, look at the frame, and... I think I might be able to pull this off...

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Cutting down the ribs and refitting the gunwales...

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It looks much better!

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A 3/4" x 3/4" stringer is salvaged and lashed to the outside of the bottom chine. This will add some much needed stablitly. Finishing up the flooring is easier without a skin. With all this work I must be pretty optomistic that this is going to happen!

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Another Saran Wrap Test. This one with a more critical attitude. And... I think I like it. I think.

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So here we go again with a new skin.

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And a little blood to christen...

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The rub rails go on. The only place where metal is used, they are screwed on and then plugged.

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The plugs are chiselled flat, sanded and varnished. You can see the stringer under the skin just below the rub rail. I really like the asthetic how it pulls the skin back and under the rail.

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And finally it's in the water. Paddles just like I thought it would too. It still needs the accessories but then, no boat is ever really finished :-)

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More building and paddleing pics >
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