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Old 06-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
l'oiseau
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Canoe Design and History

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Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
I assume the bulge you are talking about is the tumblehome? I have a kevlar boat with a lot of tumblehome and it still creaks and cracks around. I've gotten used to that with kevlar. It is so stiff and brittle that seems normal.
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Originally Posted by RichieC View Post
No, I know tumblehome and rocker... this feature- not sure what the name of it is, is within 5" from the top of the gunnel. With this bulge, there is no creaking at all in the two Bells, one with the black gold carbon layer and the other, the stripped down lightest weight model, I have paddled. Down creeks, over beaver dams. The We-No-Nah I have paddled... creaked. LOL

The shape is similar to the sponsons on the old wood canvas old Town Canoes, they were designed for flotation, ( I have one I am restoring some day!) these have the same effect as fluting in knights armor, the crease put into the metal that makes the same panel of metal much stronger then a flat plate. Yost seems to be a fan of it, not sure if it is his original design... but the Lake Placid boats, the Colton and the Swift and the defunct ( sadly as this is MY favorite canoe) are of his design and all have this feature. Other makes offer his designs as well. Like I mentioned, I read somewhere i that it creates a much more complicated job to make this feature. I imagine this fact is reflected in the cost... They are indeed dear.
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Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
I'm not sure of the technical term but Dave Curtis called it 'bubble sides'.

He told me it is not technically tumblehome because it flares out at the gunnel.

The Hemlock Eagle has it. My Swift Keewaydin has it. The old Curtis Northstar has it.

There are others but I think they are all DY designs.
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Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
It's called shouldered tumblehome. The hull is flared until about four inches below the rail, then there is an edge and a sharp tuck into the rails. Tumblehome is a generic term where the rail width is less than the max waterline width. Bubble sides are a sort of tumblehome too. The shape of the hull looks like a round arc on the side.

My Curtis Nomad has shouldered tumblehome. My Wenonah Argosy has tumblehome but it starts down low...eight to nine inches below the rail. My Swift Heron has bubble sides.

DY gives a wicked good hull presentation if you can get to meet him at an event.

Here is an example of shouldered tumblehome. Its a Hemlock Peregrine

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie wilson View Post
The first guy using tumblehome in production, composite boats was Bob Demorette of Wabash Valley Canoes. It was included in solo canoes to improve / narrow the paddling station. David Yost borrowed the concept for his DY Special which was later molded by Sawyer.

DY did other sit and switch solos for Sawyer, increasing the arc and volume of the tumblehome to his characteristic "Bubble Sides" in Autumn Mist, Star Light, Summer Song, Solo 13 and ShockWave. He was also designing kneeling canoe for Curtis and included bubble sides in the solo LadyBug, BlueGill, MayFly, the Companion combi canoe and the NorthStar tandem tripper. Bubble sided canoes are more stable when heeled than competing racing tumblehomed sides because volume was carried higher but the Coanda effect carries waves around the curve into the boat/paddler's lap.

DU developed a more abrupt top to his tumblehome adding a small triangle of volume and a tightly radiussed curve to improve dryness and stability when heeled. This was used in the Curtis Dragonfly, Vagabond and Nomad solos and on a tandem stripper that was later burned for political reasons. The abrupt radius stopped Coanda flow, stiffened the hull and looked cool!

When I brought Yost to Bell, we wanted the shouldered tumblehome. FlashFire, WildFire and StarFire featured it and, after some discussion, so did the tandem North series, Star, Wind and Woods. The balance of Bell canoes employed it except those Ted thought might never sell, which became a self fulfilling prophecy. So that's one reason Bell's don't creak, the tight shoulder approximated the rigidity of Maximillian armour, famously ridged.

DY's more recent designs for Swift are about halfway between the bubble and the shoulder, easier to mold than the latter but breaking the Coanda Effect of the former. Probably doesn't contribute to hull stiffness as much as
the Curtis / Bell Shoulder.

The other is Bell's aluminum rail system. Most boat builders use a single piece extruded rail section with two "drops" below a combined inwale/outwale to capture the hull. When bent to the curve of the canoes top edge; together at the ends, wide apart amidships, the inner drop is compressed while the outer in under tension. The hull is free to rattle around in the filet caused by the tension/compression differential.

Swift's John Winters designed a two piece rail with the inner drop comprised of a second piece of aluminum. Both pieces curved to the hull, eliminated rattle, squeeks and looseness and capturing the laminate more securely. When Bell's aluminum rails were designed in Lake Placid, fall 97, the two piece concept developed a couple extra wrinkles. Again, both pieces arced to fit the hull, eliminating undesirable noises and improving strength.

If anyone really cares about the rest of the story, there it is. David Yost will be the after dinner speaker at the Adirondack FreeStyle SYmposium on Wolfe Pond in Ray Brook NY Friday, 12 July. Probably 7pm or a little later.
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Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
This effect is very apparent when comparing an Eagle to a Keewaydin for example.

I wrote this the other day:

"My only slight complaint is it's seaworthiness. For some reason, it seems the Keewaydin is a bit drier. We tested both back to back in some moderate waves and had more splash with the Eagle."

My eye cannot see the difference, and especially by memory, between the Eagle and the Kee, but the Kee kept the Coanda effect at bay.
Consolidated discussions from Raddison post here to continue.

I also found this to add some solo history:

http://singleblade.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=141
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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Yep.. Greg Spencer has compiled a tabulaton of most of Charlie Wilsons' posts from various websites as well as contributions from some others.

David Yost told me last year he threw out his computer. There is way more to learn from him but you will have to meet him in person. Its an oral history.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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shouldered tumblehome! Who Knew??!! Thank you all for this valuable bit of information, no tongue in cheek- i mean it!
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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PS I didn't mean to discourage anyone who was off topic as well on the other thread, I just pulled in the parts that were related to design features, history and related comments. I know there were other people who were interested in hearing more...
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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The difference

My two boats side by side. I had to look real hard to see the difference, but one is drier than the other. Can you say subtle?



One feels like a caddy, the other feels like a vette. Mostly due to material and weight I suspect.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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They look barely used, do you paddle much?
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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They look barely used, do you paddle much?
I paddle through water, not through rocks... I don't know about you?

If you want to know my personal paddling details and up close pictures of every scratch, pm me. If not, keep the thread on topic.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:57 PM   #8
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I'm going out tomorrow to paddle the Farmington R. with some friends, with the rain we've had lately it's more water than rock. Last year at this time it was the reverse. Actually paddling between the rocks is the fun on the section of the river were navigating. Now we try to paddle between the rocks , but it doesn't always work out as planned, the occasional rock does jump up and bight us on occasion. Now I do own a canoe that looks like yours that I try to only paddle on water, but , alas, it to has a few scratches on it.

The nice thing about paddling is that someone can enjoy their Raddison, another their Esquif and someone else their Placid Boatworks , ETC, ETC, ETC... I personally have boats I baby and others that get the Hell beat out of them and another that smells like dead fish.

John M.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:37 AM   #9
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Funny thing, if you want scratches in your boat, let someone borrow it.

I don't think he meant anything by the comment. The parts of the boat you are showing, the "Shouldered Tumble home", isn't where you'd see scratches unless you count the ones from branches! But if you buy them with a disproportionate chunk of your hard earned weekly $$$, you do tend to not run them up on the rocks or throw them around the garage, or tie them poorly in transport.

I assume the natural colored one is the faster, but a bit farther back I might have a better guess. I read back through, did you mention what they are?

Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
I paddle through water, not through rocks... I don't know about you?

If you want to know my personal paddling details and up close pictures of every scratch, pm me. If not, keep the thread on topic.
Chill out.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #11
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Pretty boats...both have a similar section to my DY Special, which, BTW, I paddle though water, rocks, gravel, mud, sticks and trees. All of my boats are treated equally...paddled hard and put away wet!!

And I say (with slow, dense, plodding enunciation) "I build de boat, I scratch de boat, I fix de boat, I build de boat, I scratch de boat..." and on and on!!

Last edited by stripperguy; 06-27-2013 at 07:05 AM.. Reason: sticks, not stacks, oops!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #12
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Pretty boats...both have a similar section to my DY Special, which, BTW, I paddle though water, rocks, gravel, mud, sticks and trees. All of my boats are treated equally...paddled hard and put away wet!!

And I say (with slow, dense, plodding enunciation) "I build de boat, I scratch de boat, I fix de boat, I build de boat, I scratch de boat..." and on and on!!
My boats save for two aren't purty either. I paddle on water. But portage over rocks and there are scratches.. Last week I had to drag my boat thorough a bog with some rocks in La Verendrye..

I trip multiweek with my boats. Sure my Monarch will have a few more scratches when I come home from Lake Superior in August.

Some people do day paddling..and use their canoes that way and others do extended tripping trying to get somewhere.

I do have scratches on the shoulder of my RapidFire. Its from rubbing against barnackes while standing in the boat (you have to snug it up tight to the pilings) and unloading gear.

Probably the one thing I hope no one does is to hang a perfectly good canoe from the ceiling for interior decor.

If you dislike bottom scratches, get a boat with a scuff patch. Essentially this is a white or beige gel coat or paint on the bottom to the four inch waterline.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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My two boats side by side. I had to look real hard to see the difference, but one is drier than the other. Can you say subtle?


Sorry to get cranky, but I was more interested in learning about production boat history and engineering than talking about how many scratches I have on my boats.

Some of you I know have seen (and replied to) my posts at the other forum, canoetripping.net, so you know some of the history of these boats.

The one on the left is a Swift Keewaydin 16. I'd have check the serial number to be sure but I think it is a 2011. I bought it last year for a good price as it was a left over. I guess it wasn't selling as good as the two-tone gel coat bottoms with carbon trim. Good for me. I liked this one better. I've only day tripped with this boat. It's been out a dozen times though since I've bought it, at least, maybe more, I don't count. It is going on it's first trip this weekend though!

Before that I had Raddi for about 4 years. I've probably paddled more miles in the 1 year I've had my swift than the 4 I had my Raddi.

The one on the right is a Hemlock Eagle. I just bought that one although it isn't new. It is used but in pretty good condition. I has quite a few scratches on the bottom but the sides and trim are in excellent condition. I've only paddled this one once (the other Eagle I paddled was a demo), and that was Tuesday night when I picked it up. It was on a small pond and it wasn't windy.

The Kee is Kevlar Fusion (maybe as you can see). The Eagle is fiberglass. I bought the Eagle for a reason - I wanted a boat I could run up on shore and pound around for day tripping. The Kee is to be reserved more for when I have to carry great distances, or when I have family that wants to go out with us in the Eagle.

The reason I posted the side by side is this:

CEW said:
Quote:
Bubble sided canoes are more stable when heeled than competing racing tumblehomed sides because volume was carried higher but the Coanda effect carries waves around the curve into the boat/paddler's lap.

DY's more recent designs for Swift are about halfway between the bubble and the shoulder, easier to mold than the latter but breaking the Coanda Effect of the former
When I demo'd the Eagle I had the Swift with me and it was really choppy. I noticed we were getting more splash in the Eagle. I commented to Dave and I wasn't quite sure why it was happening. To my eye, the side profile looked the same.

As you can see, there is a slight difference. It is subtle but I've never had any splash with the Kee, I noticed the splash instantly with the Eagle. It isn't a big deal. It is just a sprinkle of water. But I was amazed at how small a change made a significant difference.


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Originally Posted by Connecticut Yankee View Post
The nice thing about paddling is that someone can enjoy their Raddison, another their Esquif and someone else their Placid Boatworks , ETC, ETC, ETC... I personally have boats I baby and others that get the Hell beat out of them and another that smells like dead fish.

John M.
Such is the case with mine. My Kee is going to be for multi day trips as well, but on flatwater. And you don't have to drag a tandem much as far as I know. It is pretty easy for both of us to lift the boat. It has some scratches and I know it will get many more, but seen as how it is more fragile and expensive, I am going to be more careful with it.

The Eagle is heavy and tough. I don't want to neglect it, but I will beat it. And I have no reservation about letting other people paddle it.

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Originally Posted by RichieC View Post
I assume the natural colored one is the faster, but a bit farther back I might have a better guess.
That comment actually wasn't about their speed. I feel both are about the same. The Eagle might glide a little better. Hard to tell because it is so close.

It is more about how they feel in terms of stiffness and ride is what I meant. The stiffer, fiberglass boat feels comfy and steady at cruise - like a luxury car. The lighter kevlar boat feels twitchier and quicker to respond, like a sports car. That is all I meant.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:44 AM   #14
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I am not sure the splash was due to the shape of the tumblehome. It can be..but bow flare could be a factor too.. What is the comparative cross shape of the two hulls at two foot apart stations? That a hard one to answer without lofting stations. Sometimes the eye can fool you. Thats why we sometimes go under cover of dark to feel up hulls and their shapes at the WCHA assembly. We learn more from our hands.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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I wanted to post a photo this morning, but my firewall at work makes it cumbersome to do so...
Here's a reasonable view of my DY...

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Old 06-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #16
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Looks like you are more in the water than on the rocks

And yeah they look better in wood

Tough to tell from that angle but that doesn't look as flared as the DY boats I've seen. Looks to carry the width very low in the water.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
Looks like you are more in the water than on the rocks

And yeah they look better in wood

Tough to tell from that angle but that doesn't look as flared as the DY boats I've seen. Looks to carry the width very low in the water.


You simply haven't seen enough DY boats yet. Give yourself time. The Summersong had a similar shape as well (to the DY Special, which was among his earlier boats)

Charlie knows the exact figure but I believe DY has designed close to a hundred boats now. He has been busy over the last 40 years.

Here is another one

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Old 06-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #18
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Yellowcanoe,

I fell in love with both the Summersong and DY Special when I first saw them...must have been late '70's or early 80's. The first thing that popped into my head was "Those would look great in wood"....apparently I voiced that thought out loud, I was soon admonished by an employee at the store that sold those Sawyers...at the time, I couldn't afford such a luxurious purchase for a solo boat.

Fast forward to this century, and I finally got to build a DY Special in wood...yeah, I'm a patient guy.
The best part of building that DY was the conversations with DY himself...somebody needs to write his biography before all those stories fade away!!
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:56 AM   #19
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It's amazing that we NY'ers have all this canoe history right under our noses.

And you're right YC. I haven't been around for 40 years let alone into canoeing. I grew up with Raddi's. When my wife convinced me I should buy a boat 5 yrs ago we bought a Raddi because that's what I knew. Having a limited boat severely limits what you do with it.

Now that I know better I'll never go back and IMO there's no better place to be on a hot summer's day than on the water
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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It's amazing that we NY'ers have all this canoe history right under our noses.

And you're right YC. I haven't been around for 40 years let alone into canoeing. I grew up with Raddi's. When my wife convinced me I should buy a boat 5 yrs ago we bought a Raddi because that's what I knew. Having a limited boat severely limits what you do with it.

Now that I know better I'll never go back and IMO there's no better place to be on a hot summer's day than on the water

SSSSH! People from the Midwest get really upset when I mention that the current hotbed of canoe making and canoe design is the Adirondacks and Western New York.. and that western part of PA.

You have DY, Hemlock, Colden, Dog Paddle and Placid and Hornbeck just to mention a few.. And Swift is from western NY too.

You live in a really bad place to become addicted.
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