Help finding an old book

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chambcra

Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

I built this boat 40 years ago from plans in a library book. I'd like to see that book again but can't remember the title or author. My only hope is if an enthusiast on this forum might be familiar with the design and knows of the book. I'm guessing the title must have had the word Canoes in it because it was written by a British guy who called this boat a canoe. He said what Americans call a canoe is what the British call a Canadian canoe. I seem to recall the book had plans for this canoe and one other that was a two-seater. I tried the Indianapolis library, where I got the book, and didn't see anything that looked right. I'm guessing the book was published 40-60 years ago.

I've given the boat away three times but it's always found it's way back to me which is fortunate because now I'm retired and restoring it is a perfect project for me. It's been from Indiana to Montanna and now is back with me in Colorado.

Thanks, Craig

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maryinoxford
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Re: Help finding an old book

Post by maryinoxford »

The author may have been Percy W. Blandford, who wrote more than one book on the subject. A quick look on British Amazon lists several titles, not now available:
Canoes and Canoeing
Canoe Building: Softskin and Moulded Veneer
Canoeing Today

"Canoe" was (and still is, to some extent) used as a generic term for paddlecraft. "Kayak" did get used, because in the Sixties I saw (and occasionally paddled) some skin-on-frame boats of his design, usually called PBK for Percy Blandford Kayak. I remember doubles, rather beamy and slow, popular with, for example, Boy Scout groups, who would build them as projects.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

Hey, thanks a lot. "Canoes and Canoeing" really rings a bell. I was actually thinking that might be the title but I didn't want to throw anyone off if I was wrong. I don't remember anything about the "Canoeing" part of the book. The "no longer available" fits the description too. I bet that's it. I'll be doing some searching for it.

Thanks a lot Mary,
Craig

mje
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Re: Help finding an old book

Post by mje »

I'm pretty sure Clark Craft still carries the Blanford kayak plans in their catalog.
Michael Edelman
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chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

Thanks, I'll check that out. I have an inter-library loan request pending but full size plans would be a good compliment. During my search I found out this guy has written about a 100 books on how to build everything under the sun.

Craig

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

I got the book from an inter-library loan. There are only 6 copies left in the entire U.S. It's a very good read. There is a lot of good discussion about general workmanship and it guides a novice through the entire process. The model I built is the Griffin which is described as "a sporty single-seater capable of holding it's own in most branches of the activity."

Thanks again Mary. Re-reading this great book really took me back a long way.

Craig

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

I can't believe it's finally finished. The trailer works perfect too. I have sixty miles on it with no sign of a problem.
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idc
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Re: Help finding an old book

Post by idc »

Percy Blandford died this year, I believe, at something close to a 100 years of age. I think one of his granddaughters may be trying to arrange for some of his work to be republished. I believe there is a facebook page devoted to him, but being a facebook refusenik I can't check that. But someone on the forum who facebooks might be able to report.
Was the cycle trailer one of his designs too? That's a great looking kayak.
And isn't it astonishing that there can be as few as 6 copies of such a popular book left in the US!
Thanks for posting the photos. Great to see your kayak still going strong.
Ian

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

Thanks for the reply Ian. That's very interesting. I'd really like to see the facebook page but I'm also a facebook refusenik. There's no way I will buy into their attempt to own and control everyone. The fact that you have to join facebook to view someone's facebook page is way over the top for me.

I designed the trailer and built it from wood which is why I'm so happy that it works so well. I sort of designed it as I built it and had to change my original concept a couple of times. I really wasn't sure if it would work well enough to be usable. I also wasn't sure if a 63 year old should be trying to tow a boat with a bike but it turns out it's no problem. I'll post a couple better pics of the trailer.
You can see it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRGAyIAXn6g

I'm surprised Percy Blandford just recently died. When I was reading his book he seemed so knowledgeable about boat building that I assumed that that was his niche but when I was searching for "Canoes and Canoeing" I found out he had written books on how to build almost everything under the sun. I was totally amazed how much work he had accomplished. It may be there are only six copies available because it is such a good book and being out of print, well . . .

Thanks again, Craig

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

I remember now there was a plan for a trailer in "Canoes and Canoeing". It was a light weight unit meant to be pulled by hand. It used pram wheels and could be folded up and fit inside the canoe to be used for portaging. I wanted something a little heavier duty. I've had it up to 18 MPH on a downslope. The hitch fits into the bike rack and the tension of the rack clamp is all that's needed to secure it. With a door hinge and one L-bracket you get freedom of movement in all three axis. The wheels are from a wheel chair I got for $30 at the Goodwill.
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idc
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Re: Help finding an old book

Post by idc »

I like that. It looks very elegant. Would that I had your skills in woodworking. Maybe I'll give it a go one day when I've more time available. I could certainly use a means of getting my boats around by bike. It always seems my wife needs the car on the days I've got spare time to paddle.

All the best,
Ian

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

You can buy a trailer here: http://www.tonystrailers.com/kayak/

Cheers,
Craig

chambcra

Re: Help finding an old book

Post by chambcra »

I made this video of the trailer in action to show my remote family what I've been doing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRGAyIAXn6g
Last edited by chambcra on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

idc
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Re: Help finding an old book

Post by idc »

Great to see a video of the trailer in action. Since we last posted on this subject I bought Percy's autobiography, a life full of hobbies, which his granddaughter arranged to be published posthumously. You can read a review I found online here. It gives his granddaughter's email address if you want to buy a copy. I thought it was a great read about an interesting man who lived through a fascinating period. It might interest others here.

I also asked her if she would consider trying to get Canoes and Canoeing reprinted, as it is remarkably hard to find and clearly in demand as second hand copies go for quite a lot of money. She sounded as though she might try, but that was a year or more ago. I ought to write again and ask her how those plans are going.

All the best,
Ian

chambcra

Engineering Update

Post by chambcra »

After about 300 miles I noticed the L-bracket in the middle of the hitch was slightly bent and had a slight crack. I'm sure this was caused from the shock loading when the hard wheelchair wheels hit a sharp bump at speed. I replaced it with a piece of metal cut from a bracket like you would use a pair of in conjunction with a two-by-four to close a barn door. Just eye-balling it I would say it's a good ten times stronger. I should be good for another 3000 miles. Sorry if I caused anyone any problems.

Thanks for the info about Percy's autobiography. I'll check into that.

It turns out both L-brackets needed more beef. Here's the new design.
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