Builders' Forum Archives
Re: Paper boat constructi
Posted by Laszlo on Feb 6, 2006
That paper pirogue was originally designed as a lightweight monocoque wooden design with minimal framing. The plans are a popular free downlaod from another boat designer. I built that exact same pirogue as specified from 1/4 inch okoume. Its weight ended up exactly the same as the paper one's - 35 lbs.
Not only is there no weight advantage in using bizarre construction techniques, but I also loaded that boat almost 100 lbs over its max designed payload, took it down the Potomac and ran it over a rock at 6 mph (not deliberately) getting only a gouge into the bottom glass. On the same trip I also bashed it sideways into a large rock with just a slight scuffmark. I'm not sure that the paper one would have survived the first encounter at all, and it probably would have been quite damaged by the second.
The paper technique has the same problem as blue foam for structural use - paper does not have the stiffness or shear strength per unit weight that plywood does, so you have to use more of it and/or add more epoxy/glass to the boat to make up for it.
If a 10-ft okoume marsh boat is too heavy, the problem is either in the design (too much wood) or the construction (too much epoxy). For boats that size in that environment, plywood is the ideal material for overall strength, stiffness and durability. Other materials are either weaker, heavier or both.
In Response to: Re: Paper boat constructi by Jim S on Feb 5, 2006