Step 6: Launch!

For my paddle, I had some scrap 1/4" plywood and 2"x4" material that I was able to knock together into a simple yet functional tool.  It is visible in the lead shot.

My little car doesn't have any luggage racks, so I had to be sure I protected the roof for the short drive to the lake.  I slotted the pool noodles and slipped them on, then used ratcheting cargo straps to secure the canoe to the car.  Don't forget some sort of lateral support or it will slide off on turns.  Trust me.....

We got it to the lake and I took the kids around in it for a few laps.  In a little over an hour in the water, it accumulated a couple ounces of water in the stern where the fabric and paint may not have made a proper seal.  This, and other things, will be corrected in the next model.

In order to validate my work, I had the boat inspected and registered with the state.  It passed, and I was complemented on my work which felt pretty good coming from someone who inspects boats daily.  Now it's legal on all the waterways I am likely to get it to!

Remember that nagging problem when I had stringers too long for the frame?  When the inspector from Ohio Department of Natural Resources Watercraft Office measured it, the total length came to 14' 9".  I designed a 16' canoe.  What happened?  When I decided to do the resizing, I cut the key members shorter and didn't think about how that affected the overall length of the boat.  I should have cut a new, longer, keel.  No problem, it still floats.  The stationing was affected though, so my legs don't fit between the seat and the frame the way I would like.  Just another thing to fix next time.