Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Homemade Pirogue: It's on the Water!

© 2009-2011 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Building a Homemade Pirogue
It's on the Water!

When I set out to build a pirogue from scratch, I had never built any type of water craft. With only a vague idea of what was involved, and no plans, this homemade pirogue has been an interesting and worthwhile project.

Blake and I off load it from the top of the car.

Umm, Dad... is that a leak?

Blake gives it a quick, shore bound once over.

Mom double checks Blake's inspection.

Dad checks if he's far enough that he can't be stopped.

Cutting across Lake Uihlein !

I'm close to the other side!
Smooth sailing!

I've had a ball putting this little pirogue project together. And we really had a lot of fun paddling it around the lake. So much so, that we want to build another one so that we have two. That way we can head out to the inter-coastals and paddle around together. We could also do a little fishing, island hopping chasing the jacks, and prowl around the oyster bars looking for redfish.

When I get to the second pirogue we will add all the lessons learned and any new modifications that occur to me while using this one.

If you have the wherewithal to get at least the plywood, I highly recommend that you give this pirogue project a try. It's not difficult, and even if you make a variety of mistakes, you will still have a very serviceable watercraft. The lessons you learn on the first one will make the second that much better.

Image Credit: Jamie Anderson
The next project...

Follow the rest of the Pirogue building series!

Building a Pirogue Part I: Getting Started
Building a Pirogue Part II: Butt the Plywood
Building a Pirogue Part III: Measuring Up
Building a Pirogue Part IV: Cutting and Building the Ribs
Building a Pirogue Part V: Attaching the Ribs
Building a Pirogue Part VI: Attaching the Internal Chines
Building a Pirogue Part VII: Attaching the Bottom and Finishing Up

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Shindand Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Deer Killer said...

Looks like fun I might hav't to make one. But first I have to finish the cedar strip canoe I am building. I already have over 200 hours in it.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Great blog series, Albert! Well done.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Way to go Albert, you're afloat!


Anonymous said...

Not trying to tell you your business, but some stiffening structure around the gunwales might be a good idea. They (gunnels) take a lot more abuse than one might imagine and provide stiffness to the hull.

Very nice job, congratulations.

native said...

The Viking Dragon Head guiding your craft through troubled waters!

Great finish to a very nice project Albert!

Albert A Rasch said...

Thanks fellows!

I really had a lot of fun putting it together.

AKA, absolutely correct, I noticed when paddling that one tends to drag the paddle against the gunwales. Part of that is that I made the pirogue about four inches too wide. Optionally I could have moved the widest part of the curve further forward, then the middle would be a little narrower. It has been quite the learning experience.

I'll be adding the gunwales when I scrounge up some more wood. There's a construction site nearby, and I have to get with the site manager and get permission to pull a 2X4 from the dumpster. I'm really getting into the hand tool thing and I found that with care and patience, I could rip a pretty long piece of wood. One of my future projects is a frame saw for just that sort of activity. I also need a workbench, stand for my post vise, a leg vise, saw horses, chisel cabinet, plane cabinet, saw vise; I need to rip that cherry wood for spoke shaves, and a scraper, and that small concave plane that I've been meaning to put together; I should probably make a tool box with liftout trays to sort out all the fasteners,...

Well the list goes on!

But what I really hope is that some of you give it a try also. I did use quite a bit of scrounged up materials. I think I spent less than forty dollars to build it all told. In fact, the only thing I bought specifically for the project was the plywood. The paint I had bought some time ago for my beehives, and that was top of the line exterior paint that was a miss-mix at the big box store. Five bucks vrs $47.00!

Thanks again to everyone for the kind words!

Your friend and shipwright,

Deer Killer said...

4o dollars sounds much better than the 800 dollars I am going to spend on my cedar strip canoe I am building.

Bob said...

Congratulations, Albert. Handsome little boat.

wandering owl said...

That's awesome - I'll use your plans!

Hubert Hubert said...

Son of a gun! I hope you have big fun, on the Bayou...

All the best,