Monday 10 January 2011

Introducing Katie Beardie.

A while ago Cee Dubbs and I were having a discussion about a replacement for Polythene Pam. 

Pam is a game old bird and has done very well but she is a victim of her genes and no amount of surgery or exercise can negate the fact that she is a bit slow on account of those sharp chines going all the way forward.  Paul Fisher never designed her as a sailing canoe and I didn't build her with that in mind, maybe it was time for a re-think.

A few years ago I read Over the Sea to Skye, early Travels by Canoe to the Scottish islands and West Coast 1874-1876.   The published journals of the Clyde Canoe Club.

I was fascinated  by the exploits of these guys who would travel miles in their canoes carrying all their camping gear with them.   Above is a shot of one of their canoes, and lets just say its inspirational. 

Now Cee Dubbs has what he calls his premise, not so much a design as a way of life, which combines the qualities of two of his favourite boats, the Thames Barge and the Gloucester Dory, which results in a hull, of almost any size, which has a flat bottom amidships, so she will dry out, chines curving well up towards the stem creating a nice V bottom and a clean entry, with a broad run aft tucking well up towards a transom.   

This is then coupled with the fact that plywood comes in 8ft by 4ft sheets to inform the design and determine the dimensions.
I asked him whether the premise would extend to nearly 16ft with a beam of  less than 3ft.  

This was his response. Obviously the transom has gone and there is a little bit of  V amidships, but unlike Pam the chines twist up in a gentle curve towards the stem which will part the waters like a knife. The broad flat sections towards the stern should help support all the weight of yours truly and the camping gear she will need to carry. 

Katie Beardie is a new design using modern materials and techniques but with more than a nod to the Victorians.  She should be very simple to build, just wait until you see the plans, although I have a habit of complicating things!

The Clyde Canoe Club moved to Loch Lomond in 1898 becoming the Loch Lomond Sailing Club. You can read more about their early history here.

Over the Sea to Skye was published by Solway Dory ISBN 0-9542401-0-3  

They don't seem to list it any more on their web site but it might be worth giving them a call.

The aim is to have her ready for the summer expeditions, I'm currently nursing a frozen shoulder but I'll get on to it as soon as possible. 


doryman said...

So, you've heard the proverb about brilliant minds thinking alike?

Your new boat is alive in the flesh and what a story it's turned out to be. Visit DoryMan and see what I mean.

Follow up on Flickr:

I think the "V" bottom is to blame.
(be sure to check the comments from the gallery).


Graham Neil said...

Hi Michael, I've been following your escapades at Dory-Man. I think, infact hope Katie will be a bit more stable that your build. Katie is almost flat aft of amidships and has a much broader beam on the waterline, she'll need it when I put a sailing rig on her.
I see you've taken the saw to your Yaquina Guide Boat, I'll be watching to see how she performs. Good Luck, and watch this space!