external bow molds question

Having some trouble getting the v-shaped plywood "bow-mold" to fit over the ends of the Sassafras exactly in front of the 2nd row of stitches as the manual shows. I can, using a helper, squeeze the bow enough to slip it over, but the best I seem to be able to do is get it somewhere near halfway between the 1st and 2nd rows of stitches. Is this good enough? What exactly is the mold piece supposed to be doing?



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RE: external bow molds question

Good enough... good question! Let the build manual be your guide.

If building a kit or from plans, when parts are provided to bring other parts into some preferred alignment, it's best to follow how they're intended to be used.

With the Sassafras canoes I suspect that mold piece is intended to provide a template for the shape desired in the bow. If the mold won't fit there's a goodly chance the hull panels aren't properly positioned for the design's shape at that point.

Whether the shape you have now is "good enough" will affect your build's performance to some degree. Whether you'll notice the effect? Yet another question....

When building my Waterlust kit a couple years ago I had a similar question about the shapes of the stem & stern. I had to connive a means of applying force to bring them into the alignment suggested by the breasthooks provided. I queried the designer, he indicated I should do what the plans indicated, and the result was perfect. I suspect you're in a position similar to mine at that point in my build.

RE: external bow molds question

Guess I will need to figure out how to direct more compression onto the #1 panels (keel) then. I've tried racheting straps but this just bundles all the planks together and doesn't really squeeze where I need it.

I still don't understand the purpose of this though, are you supposed to leave them on while gluing everything up? Otherwise, it seems the shape they are forcing the panels into would be lost. The manual isn't super clear on this.

RE: external bow molds question

Unless other members more intimately familiar with the two variants of Sassafras designs (than I can claim) post their comments here, can you perhaps post a picture of the area involved? Clearly showing how much further you need to bring things into line to get that mold into its recommended position?

Otherwise I'd suggest you call CLC and speak with their support staff. They know their stuff, what other builders have encountered that differs from what the build manual may convey.

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