TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By gerald
There was a request that I detail how to do a simple external stem for a strip boat. This is ONE method of many. It's not the best, worst nor exactly what I'd prefer to do, but it will work. It IS relatively easy though.
This is basically what the rough ends look like.

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I sand the bow and stern flat with a belt sander.

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By gerald
Then I use a 3/4" chisel to shape out the rest of the strip channel.
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Ordinarily I'd use 3, 4 or more strips but because of the way the form is shaped I'm only able to use two strips on this boat. That will be fine. All strength will come from the fillets and added fiberglass strips at another stage.
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By gerald
I rough shape with a belt sander then with an ROS. The final shape is by hand.
Finished bow stem_640x480.jpg
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By Birke
Here's another way......

Step 1) Make both the inner and outer stem (yes, I used an inner stem on this boat. The extra 8 ounces of weight and strength it adds allows me to use my boat as a ram to be used on tubers and inner stemless canoes. Hear that POGO??? :lol: ) In this case I have 10 pieces of 1/8 inch thick ash glued together with wood glue. Piece number 5, in the middle has no glue on one side. I put duct tape on it instead so it doesn't stick to its neighbor. Once everything dries I just give the bundle a good whack and it separates, leaving two pieces, an inner and outer stem.


Step 2) Shape inner stem with whatever tools you please. I like a beltsander. Then start a strippin'


Step 3) Use tool of choice to shape the mating surface. Like Gerald, I use a chisel on the very top, or the very botton, depending on how you look at things. I like a nice low angle block plane for the rest.


Step 4) Screw on outer stem to hold it while it dries. I used silica thickened epoxy because of the desirable gap filling characteristics.


Step 5) Remove screws, fill in holes with thickened epoxy, then once the epoxy dries, shape to taste! I used anything and everything short of a chainsaw to hog off all the extra wood.


All in all, I like Gerald's method better. I used that technique on my first boat.


But some may find this alternate method to their liking. So now, everyone knows two ways to skin a cat......
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By gerald
I was running one of the little rapids on the San Marcos when I made a mistake and ran dead into one of the huge cypress trees at about 10 mph (really!). The boat stopped--I didn't. Absolutely no damage to the boat.
There's probably 50 different ways to do a stem. Most of them are ok. You might also develop your own way or a combination of methods. Nothing wrong with that. I never quit trying new things.
User avatar
By Pogo
DarrellS wrote:....lots of rocks. :D The heavier the better.

You and Ron, I swear. :P

In all seriousness, I still wonder about strategy. Is it better to throw a bunch of reinforced weight at a rock, or allow a light weight job to absorb impact/bounce off? As an old designer of structural steel and concrete, I know there comes a time when excess structure begins to exist only to support itself. You want the lightest built thing you can get away with to save costs, etc. (talking about professional engineering here), but you also don't want to get caught with TOO light a structure or there's liable to be an embarrassing failure.

Now in small boat construction, I'm admittedly on the ultalightweight end of the argument (and happen to own a 33-lb strip canoe that's survived a few rocky rivers exceedingly well so far). But to say 'the heavier the better'...... Really?

PS: The CR-100 is a GREAT race! Woo hoo!! Having a blast.... 8)
User avatar
By DarrellS
As you know Ron is gone hunting for two weeks. He asked me to take care of you while he was gone. About 10 more days and I'll go back to my corner. :D

I agree with you. There comes a point where heavier is not better. My Stems are not really that heavy. 5 layers of 1/8" aspen, most of which was sanded away during shaping, but we do scrap bottom and hit alot of gravel,rocks, and stumps. In open water I would be all means build light, but not where I paddle. It would work but I believe there would be lots of maintenance needed to be done to the boat.
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By Pogo
DarrellS wrote:Pogo, As you know Ron is gone hunting for two weeks. He asked me to take care of you while he was gone.

Oh right, like that's any sort of excuse. I'm in Fayetteville right now, a town that hasn't seen any new action since 1873 and I'm still in there defending my BS. Ron's a wussy.

Whoops (speaking of wussies), they're rolling up the sidewalks here. Over and out..... :clap:
User avatar
By bowgarguide
Boy there goes Pogo again, I leave for a few days and he is back on the horse.
Next time I catch him doing a roll I am going to stop that Yak half way threw it and sit on the bottom until he does a underwater exit. :D :D

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