any misfits here?

I have been building a sassafras canoe for two years-- I'm going into my third year and I was wondering are there any people here maybe fit into the same category as I do. I have had problems since day one every page in the manual has been blown way out of proportion. Everything is wrong and my canoe, though almost ready for primer, is going to be 'not quite ready for prime time'. It's a little crooked on one end --I think this end will be the bow--and because it's a little crooked, the rails didn't line up exactly right and I had to shave them down. The profile view will be OK, but looking dead on's gonna be a little off. I will paint the inside and the outside with the exception of varnish on the decks & rails. The fiberglass on the bottom is lumpy and bumpy and I can't fix it. I suppose only the fish will notice.  So...Are there others like me on this small island of misfit boat assemblers? Did you guys finish? How did you cope? Cheers!



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RE: any misfits here?

Sounds like a standard first build to me.  Every home built has its imperfections and nobody will notice but you.  Your boat will be lovely and you will be proud of it.  You get better with each build but they are never perfect.     

RE: any misfits here?

Rule 1: Never point out any mistakes.

Rule 2: see rule #1

The "Ten Foot Rule" - If it looks good from ten feet away, it's great.

Remember, you are building a boat not a coffee table. If it floats and is fun then you have done your job. The rest is vanity.

The first build is a learning experience and very few on this forum had previous experience with the technique or products before taking the plunge. Once you get your baby wet and have some adventures any warts will be forgotten and replaced with memories.

One caution though, this can become addictive.

RE: any misfits here?

Hey, I've been waiting for someone like you to post here. I fit into that category, threefold. A Wood Duck Double kayak that is under construction since 816 days, the Teardrop Camper 581 days, Chester Yawl 192 days, all at the 'a week before painting' stage. To answer the question of 'why three simultaneous unfinished projects?': my workshop has zero insulation. I can apply epoxy between late spring and early autumn, but in August it has been too hot the last two years. I can't paint approx. December to February.  So I have a small time window for epoxy, and a wider window for paint works. I live in a remote area of Germany and there's no chance to find an affordable, better workshop. I have to drive 15min each way to get to the current workshop already. It is also fairly expensive for what it offers, so I still think it's reasonable (not pleasing) the way I have it now.

Wood Duck: didn't get it into shape for a long time. Viking funeral was considered more than once. Ended up applying lots of filler at the bow and a little less at the stern. Stern's a bit twisted, but otherwise the shape looks really good now. I won't allow anyone to use the fore and aft compartments. Will be painted inside & out. Maybe I'll varnish the decks and the coaming, but not sure yet, as I did a terrible job glassing the coaming, twice. 

Teadrop Camper: used non-CLC epoxy with amine blush on that, didn't know it, and had to sand off an entire fill coat of epoxy later. During sanding I cut through the glass at min. 5 spots. Will fix it and paint the whole thing on the outside. Still confident I can varnish galley and interior.

Chester Yawl: thought I did it all nicely. When I applied outside primer, I realised my fillets are partially terrible and I didn't fill the wire holes properly (I had pre-coated the planks with epoxy, and even though I tried hard to fill before primer, I failed). Had to sand off the primer in the affected areas and applied small tips of wood flour epoxy on the wire holes I have yet to sand off. Shapewise it's all good, but the inside fiberglass job was mediocre. So I'll apply paint inside & outside. Rubrails will hopefully end up varnished.

There are many reasons why things are as they are. Anyway, I’m confident I can wrap up all projects within next year, and the results will be satisfying. I’m also looking forward to build one or the other additional CLC project (via Fyne Boat Kits), maybe a Peapod, and sureley a strip-built kayak. But that’s a couple of years away, until I have a proper workshop within walking distance...

Thank you for allowing me to let off some steam. All the best for your homestretch!

RE: any misfits here?

   Mine have gotten better (3rd kit done last year) but all are enjoyed and complimented.  My first was a Sassafras 12, 18 years ago.  You don't want to know how much grinding and rework I did during the 'glassing but it came out ok in the end.  

From this:

To the proud nephew who was the ultimate owner.  Eighteen years later, he's working on becoming a master electrician, but still has this boat.  The orange hull was his request, but it came out well, with a cream interior.  The young lady is now a graduate student, but her brother paddled her around the pond after his first voyage with his dad. 

It doesn't really matter about the lumps and bumps if you can have fun and memories with it.  Besides, even this first one gets compliments when you obey the 10 foot rule.

The skerry, built 6 years ago, got attention from professional boat photographer in Annapolis harbor as I sailed it through Spa Creek and it is another painted boat with the 10 foot rule in mind.  I actually added flattening agent to the hull paint to reduce the gloss and hide some of the boo-boos.  


RE: any misfits here?

every child of mine, however imperfect, is my child.... and i love them equally.

that said, my first kayak had a distinct feature that effected its lateral symetry - a hooked beak, kind of like the nose you have when you go a couple rounds in the boxing ring.  a proboscis, some would say, that was akin to that of the wicked witch of the east.

her unique feature aside, (not readily discernable from three paces back) appears to not have impacted her life in the bit.  she is a gregarious boat, living a full and happy life as the go-to kayak for the younger generation of my family.

while i had secured the bits for a nose job, they have sat unused for the better part of 10 years as her feature has become a unique and endearing characteristic to her family and friends.


RE: any misfits here?

   Nearing the end of a two part first build. MC 13/CLC sailrig. There WILL  BE "Features"

But the fun part is figuring out how to hide the blemish and making it look intentional.

Going through that right now so Any tips?

RE: any misfits here?

   Thank you all for responding. I like the "ten foot rule"! And i realize that i started this project because i wanted to go boating again. so i will get back at it.  Best wishes for a great xmas & new year!




RE: any misfits here?

   My brother, on his first biuld, a sassafras 12, thought he was going to get the boat completed while his daughter was away for a month at sleep-away camp. I wondered what part of 'hobby" did he not understand? Life is always conspiring to get in the why of hobbies, be it boiulding boats or using them. When he finally gave her the finished boat, she named it "Three and a Half". Lovingly and teasingly refering to the years to completion. Flaws abound, but the boat is a family favorite and very very heavily used.

Just do the next step! and the next one, and the next one.... And if there is not time in your life to do a step, clean the shop/workspace, so you are ready to go when time arrives.

Frances Herrishoff refered to epoxy as "frozen snot". He was demeaning the stuff. I find that 'frozen snot' fixes all my boat biuding/boat repair errors. That's snot funny.


RE: any misfits here?


   We definitely are part of the misfit club. Don't know if we are ever going to finish this. We read about CLC in our local paper; reading all of these testimonies from people with no experience building anything even young children with their parent. I thought this would be a great project for my husband and I to do together. We were both excited, He loves boats and the water. 
After 2 years, we are only half done. For almost every step, I scoured the internet and this forum for more clarification. We spent weeks trying to figure out how to get the bow and stern together--- the directions we're about two sentences. The instruction booklet is a complete puzzle to me-- some directions very clear and thorough--- others vague and unclear especially for newbie builders. Very discouraged. I'm thinking that to salvage our  extensive monetary and time investment and actually have a boat, we may need to pay someone to finish it.

We are both reasonably intelligent people and thought we could follow the directions and learn new skills within our abilities. I guess I truly believed that the people who wrote to say they did this with no experience. I thought we could too.Apparently we are either hopelessly horrible builders or you should have a little general knowledge on building.  Trust me what we are not looking for a perfect canoe. What we have is full of visual flaws and far from a beauty--- I abandoned that fantasy a long time ago. Just want a finished canoe we can use with our little granddaughter while we can still paddle. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but Ieanted to a fun experience and feel defeated in a project that was meant to be empowering . Thought we could try something new and do it I also feel very naive in buying into all the testimonies.


RE: any misfits here?


I can send you pics of projects that have been in progress for a quarter of a century.

Ignore the tip of the iceberg, the rest of us are beneath the surface, not posting testimonials.

I have bought two abandoned CLC projects and I am in Colorado.

I have just booted my wife's BMW out of the garage to attempt to make progress this summer.  We are going to Hawaii for our 40th anniversary next month so I have one month before she moves it back in!

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