Harry Bryan drew plans for a classic, lightweight, decked canoe. He calls it the Fiddlehead and has it available in several lengths. I find it appealing because it is built using traditional wooden boat building techniques, has a very pleasing lapstrake design, and looks reasonably achievable as a first boatbuilding project … and we won’t need a trailer to get it to the lake!
This will be a dual project. Since my boat shop doesn’t exist yet, and it’s cold out there, I’ll build a model first. My modeling approach is to mimic as closely as possible the full size techniques. So, I expect to learn things that will be helpful when going full scale.
(That picture over on the right is a clue that I’m back dating this build log. The model is almost complete as I write this in May 2008, but the entries are dated closer to when the actual work occurred.)
Like most boat plans, Harry’s plans and drawings are essentially a license to build a boat. After I complete one boat and start another for my wife, I’ll be happy to buy another license from Harry. The plans are four sheets of drawings and a booklet of instructions. The 36 page booklet is in revision 5 and appears to be very complete.
For the model, I scan the plans and reduce to 1:16 scale, a favorite scale for showing reasonable detail while still making relatively small models. A long time user of Adobe Photoshop, I’ve decided to stop paying high priced license fees and have switched to the freeware, open source, graphic editor known as GIMP. Having done this rescaling job before, I’m pleased to find that GIMP handles it just as well as Photoshop. With both tools, the job is tedious and time consuming, but having actual size drawings for the model is incredibly convenient as we shall see.
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