Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Second Mad River Courier

August 23, 2014

I had known about this Courier for a couple of years and sat back and did nothing.  With the demise of Royalex I decided it was time to take the plunge and buy it even though I have one already.  It is such a nice whitewater boat I couldn't pass it up.

Being an eighty-four it has its share of ding's and scars and especially being a Demo you can imagine the nicks and dings.  Nothing as bad as the Colander!  With aluminum gunwales I don't have to do much work except turn it into a solo by moving the seat, taking out the extra seat and refurbishing the carry thwart if I care to even keep it which I probably won't.

The next step is to pull out the Colander and compare it to this hull, two different years so who knows what changes went on.  All the dimensions call it a Courier!

August 27, 2014

So today I decided it was time to clean up the hull.  It had laid on a makeshift platform in the open for a long while and again another hull with enough grit and dirt to grow a few seeds on.  Once again I decided to use a vinegar and water mix. Damn, how that just cuts through all the crap with one cleaning!

Fresh off the Rack in VT
Paddling up the Pond
It really cleaned up to a pretty good shine for a boat of this age and I was pretty happy, sweet!

Dirty enough to grow something on!
Half way cleaned.  Now the dings are showing.
I still have to clean the interior but that can wait.  I decided to take out a seat just for shits and grins.  Holy Crap!  Some freaking idiot decided to wrap each bolt with surgical tape to protect it from the elements I guess!  I just don't freaking get it, why would one do such a stupid thing?  I tried to cut the tape off but the residue from the tape left a black mess that gummed up the threads of the nut I was trying to get off.  Oh man, what a struggle.  Also, I guess it was the theme at that age in time but carriage bolts for seat hangers?  I had to use needle nose vice grips and two wrenches to get the thing off.

There's something real smart, tape on a threaded bolt!
What a freaking gummed up mess!
I got one seat off and called it quits.  There is still some work to do on the gunwales as well.  Don't know exactly what I'm going to do with those.

More To Come.

August 28, 2014

I wanted to take the second seat out so I could see if I could reuse it in a new position on the hull turning it into a solo.  Stupid tape on threads!  Took me about forty-five minutes cause the tape was thick on these!  I do believe that I can salvage this seat and if I am correct about my measurements it should fit to where I want it at about 68" from the stern of the boat.

Of course I'm going to have to strip them down, re-varnish, and then put webbing in.  As usual I will lay a thin layer of resin on the ends to prevent rot.

I was interested to see how this hull compared to the Colander so I pulled it out and put them side by side.  To my bespectacled eyes there was something a little off on the way the ends of the hull lined up.  The Second Courier looks like the bow has a longer sweep to it.  I spent time doing measurements.

Since the rebuild of my house prevents me from laying the on the flat surface of the driveway I had to rely on the lawn so I know some measurements are a tad off.  In the end the Colander is 14' 6" x 32" wide x 14. 5" deep.  The Second Courier is 14' 7" x 32.5 x 15.5" deep.  The new is an 1985 and the old is an 86.  Not sure how the dimensions are so off but I am thinking that the New has been modified in the past.

So seat work, some rivet work and then milling out some thwarts.

More to Come!

August 31, 2014

Today I thought I'd pull the crappy seating off the seat and start sanding it down.  I am pretty convinced I can reuse it.  Now I have seen a lot of canoe seats in my time but never with this kind of material.

What is real funky is the way it was also sewn in.  Very interesting but I'll bet sags like a bugger!

Spent a while pulling staples and they were in there good.  Took a lot of effort to get them all out!

Once I had the material off I put the seat in my vice and got out my sander.  Holy Crap!  The seat started dancing like an erotic dancer as all of the joints were loose as hell!  I was really good!  I didn't swear or throw anything or scream like the devil.  I calmly took it out of the vice and stored it away with all of the other junk seats I have knowing I'll use it for a picture frame down the road.  Hell, I didn't even take any pictures it was so discouraging!  So, now I have to go buy a new seat for thirty-three dollars from the canoe shop I can't stand to use but is local.  That freaking guy still owes me a paddle but that is a whole different story!

More to Come.

September 12, 2014

I needed a new seat and ended up buying a contour seat made by Ed's and then decided to mill out my own thwart.  I am laying out this Courier just the same as the Colander as I know all will work just fine.  I planned down a thick piece of ash that was about four feet in length so I can make some new parts down the road.

Rough Cut

Down to 3/4 inch and smooth as hell!
I needed a thwart that was about thirty inches long but needed to shape it.  I took a piece of cardboard and traced the thwart on the Colander, cut it out and traced it onto my new board.  From there it was an easy task of cutting out the thwart from the raw wood. 
It took a bit of sanding but I got the edges knocked down and rounded over.  I was pleased with it all enough to say it was time to start the poly process.  After making some measurements and making the end cuts I started with a thin layer of Spar Varnish.

Cutting to fit the hull

Hanging on the Rack!
Three more coats of varnish should see done.  Next is drilling holes and mounting it on the hull.

More To Come.

September 14-19, 2014

I ended up buying an Ed's Contour seat as a replacement.  I've never tried one of these but thought what the hell!  Now, I've mounted quite a few seats but I have never had as many problems as I did with this hull.  For some reason I thought the gunwales had aluminum inserts but noooo, just vinyl and to top it off the space on the bottom of the gunwales was less then an inch wide so there was almost no room for mistakes. I think you can read between the lines!

Now here is one of my pet peeves!  Why in the hell are carriage bolts allowed to be used in boat building?  They are large, leave big holes and nine times out of ten are rusted on!  I had a heck of a time getting the nuts off and on one I ended up having to get my hack saw blade out and forty minutes later and a can of liquid courage found it in the garbage can!

Vice Grips and a wrench didn't work!

Tried and tested method.  Had to cut through the bolt!

All that work for this!

This one broke right off!

Rusted and rotten!  I hate carriage bolts!
Next I placed the seat where I wanted it as I was soloizing this hull like my other Courier.  My new method is to place it on top of the gunwales and then drill the holes.  Now as I mentioned there was not a lot of wiggle room on the gunwales and of course on the first drilling I messed up!  I creased the side of the gunwale leaving a nice gap as my hole was off just enough!  Lots of swearing ensued!

Damn It!

I ended up filling the hole in the seat with G-Flex and walked away in disgust!  The next day I re-drilled the hole to the correct space and then started on drilling and cutting new hangers.  That of course went badly, I guess it was one of those weeks!

G-Flex filled hole

Drilling out the new hole.  G-Flex curls!
I tried out a set of hangers from the Adventure Canoe but they were way too low to use so I ended up cutting down the old ones which were in fair shape and used those.  I'm not happy with those though!

Hangers from the Adventure Canoe

Way to low to use.
Old hangers cutting to size

I love my pullsaw!
Finally I got the seat in but was truly unhappy with how much flex the hull had!  I know I can stiffen it up by adding a couple more thwarts but that is something I don't want in this boat!  I threw in the towel and decided to rack the boat for the winter and re-gunwale it in the spring with wood gunwales!

More To Come.

September 20, 2014

Sometimes walking away brings some results.  I decided that I still do need wood gunwales but it will have to wait.  I needed to stiffen up those lousy vinyl gunwales so I milled out another thwart despite the fact that I don't really want it but will need it to get this hull on water!  It took about an hour to cut it out, round over the edges and sand it before coating it with the first layer of spar varnish.  It should help out quite a bit and I plan on put a small one behind the seat as well. 

More To Come.

1 comment:

  1. I bought a Courier too last winter ( Though I gave it a whitewater-outfitting ( I use it mostly for poling since I have a couple of "real" whitewater-boats for more lively water. As a matter of fact I avoid carrying the Courier as it is a very heavy boat. I should probably build a carrying joke like you did on your other Courier.