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BACKPACK BOAT


$42

This 25 pound 5 foot long boat can be backpacked, trailered or pulled over backcountry trails to access those deep holes in remote lakes where larger boats never go. Removable straps can be rigged to a packboard or backpack and dual skegs provide an axle location to mount wheels for pulling on rough trails or trailering behind a quad. The optional wheels can be left in place to facilitate launch and retrieval, or removed.

Construction is a variation of traditional stitch and glue techniques or the boat can be built using traditional wood boatbuilding methods--or a combination. The bottom is sheathed with a combination of fiberglass cloth and graphite and seams are covered with glass tape. The boat hull can be left open for added space or optional side compartments can be added to provide hull support, accessible dry storage and the safety factor of emergency flotation.

Only simple woodworking tools are required including jig saw, drill, block plane and a few clamps. Rectangular scrapers are used instead of sandpaper when finishing epoxied surfaces and aside from hardware attachments no metal fastenings are required in the boat and no critical wood working skills are required.

Seating is adjustable fore and aft with a plank seat atop the compartments or in a more relaxed position on the bottom in an adjustable canoe chair. The wide beamed boat will support an average size adult on flat water and can be paddled facing forward, or rowed facing aft with 3 foot long oars, or the smallest of trolling motors will push the lightweight hull. Makes an easy car-topper or can be hauled in the smallest of trucks, and size can be increased a small amount by scaling up patterns.

Building plans include 22 pages of photos, sketches, discussion of options, material sources and step-by-step, all written for amateur and first-time builders


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Below, alternate interior: