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Jim Kirk - Freedom 17

Posted on March 23 2012

Joan and Ted, I finished this boat last December. Attached are a couple of photos. I bought the planking and rail stock from Ian Magrath. He worked with me on wood color. I wanted the hull color to complement the dignity of the design, not too gaudy. The construction is per your book, including rail sizes and taper. On a modern design such as this, I prefer no scuppers in the rails. With two thwarts, seats and 4 coats of varnish, the boat weighs 55 pounds. I made sure that the shearline did not go completely flat near the bow, as I believe that this can cause the shearline to look negative or mooseshouldered. I bonded and screwed the rails. I plugged the screw holes with ash, I used a Lee Valley plug cutter. We have been paddling it with both homemade ottertail paddles and graphite bentshafts from ZRE. I bought the book "The Canoe" at the local Barnes and Noble book store. Ted, your chapter is outstanding, I have read it several times. I can offer one clarification to the book, the Canot du nord on page 242 was actually hanging in the boat house of the Buffalo Canoe Club not the Buffalo Yacht Club. I used to sail out of the Buffalo Canoe Club and remember seeing the big bark canoe hanging from the boat house. Some time after I moved to California the boathouse out on the pier burnt down. The Buffalo Canoe is in Ridgeway Ontario and was formed by group of Buffalo canoe enthusiasts as a camping spot in the late 1800's, I believe. I will order your new book on plywood construction from your website. Plywood construction will greatly benefit from Ted's craftsmanship, quality and eye for detail. If you, Joan, Ted and your daughter, the photographer? would sign the book for me I would treasure it. Ellen and I hope to fly into Toronto in September to take a canoe trip in Algonquin. Wishing you all the best that life offers, Jim Kirk Long Beach, California [Jim, Joan from Bear Mountain forwarded your photos and commentary of your completed Freedom 17 to me and all I have to say is "wow". You have captured not only the shape of the boat but executed the trim, stem and detailing in a very tasteful manner. I particularly like the end deck detail. The stem in profile, which was designed with quite a tight curve at the forefoot, has been nicely executed. My congratulations and best wishes on paddling her with pride. Regards, Steve Killing]

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