I can read a book and think I understand a topic, Watching a video I pick up some more information and am certain I have mastered it. Once I have actually done it do I find how little I know.
The natives of the Pacific Northwest used a river canoe that was unique. The shovel nosed canoe mystery haunted me for years. I felt I needed to build one to understand why they used them.
I did not find any plans but had a few pictures and descriptions. All descriptions had a common theme. A round bow, flared hull with low sides. None of the descriptions answered the why. I wanted to know the benefits of the design.
A thank you to: Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's "The North American Indian," 2003. for haunting me with this image.
It all started with a plank found floating in the bay. If you are my wife. “you are thinking why not leave that nasty plank in the bay.” It followed me home,( as I towed it with my canoe).
Using a string and square I placed a center line with stations perpendicular every 2 feet.
I began using scrap wood to build a form.
My idea was to have a frame that would hold the plywood in shape while the epoxy was applied to the seams. Using a frame made it not necessary to draw plans or to loft designs on to the plywood.
The plan began with some boards laid on the plank. I sketched a shape of the center section on a scrap of wood (old packing crate) as the only plan. The rest was more of a sculpting than a drafting and designing. Come to think of it these amazing dugouts were made without drafting tables or CAD software.