Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Downtime deviants
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floriano
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by floriano » Thu May 23, 2013 4:24 pm

As suggested in this post http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 64#p693361 I have decided I want to shorten my bigfoot (i have already taken out as much as possible at the seam). As I don't have that much experience in composite craft I have a bunch of questions lest I don't ruin my boat:

1) First of all, I am unsure what shape I should cut the ends off. Should I rather go for a triangular shape (pointy) or for a roundish shape? Visually I'd prefer a roundish shape, as done here http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h126/ ... GP6332.jpg. Also, what kind of saw would work best to do this? I reckon it will be difficult to start the cut using a jig saw as I would need to begin the cut at the outside of the seam and there is no plane surface to guide the saw properly...

2) How much of the length should I remove? My ultimate aim is to throw the ends around easily on flat water. Currently my boat is 270cm in length. Would you reckon 20cm on each side is too radical? I guess a new length of 230cm would be great for throwing my ends easily :)

3) I have seen various approaches for making a boat waterproof again after chopping the ends off. Which one is my best choice?
(i) One option would be to make a tapered cut along the seams and then just squeeze the deck and hull together. I have seen someone using rivets to hold deck and hull together and then applying glass band on the seam using epoxy.
(ii) Another option would be to reshape the nose and tail using foam and then apply glass and epoxy (which has apparently been done in the image above).
(iii) Any other ideas?

Any help, hints, comments or suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Jones Chris
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Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by Jones Chris » Thu May 23, 2013 8:08 pm

There may be a few people that can help you on here but to get it from the horses mouth try posting here:

http://angstkayak.com/messageboard/

Jim Snyder is a regular poster, and seeing as how its him that designed your boat he will be able to tell you exactly how to get the best out of it. There are also several of the proffessional boat builders as well as loads of enthusiastic amateurs who also have loads of knowledge. If you explain that your having trouble flat watering your boat and that you feel you need to re-chop it you may even end up with a better suggestion than my Shred cut.

Chris

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Pete C.
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Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by Pete C. » Wed May 29, 2013 3:46 pm

I suspect your cartwheeling issues will be down to technique - a shred cut won't magically make your Bigfoot a different flatwater machine. I can (on a good day) cartwheel, clean cartwheel, bow screw, washout/clean screw and screw around in my Bigfoot.

I've owned a trad bigfoot and also a shredded bigfoot and the difference isn't massive: most of it comes from getting the shredcut float-cut while the Bigfoot was cut for someone else. That said, I think a shred's noticeably better for rotational moves like bow screws, stern screws and washouts. Still, from what you've said on the Angst board it sounds like your boat's already Shredded.

Also, a shredcut is different to simply cutting the ends off your boat. My Shredcut Bigfoot is still 3m (so that's 15cm shorter on each end than a full Bigfoot, which is 3.3m). It's the boat I paddle the most. I wouldn't want to go any shorter than that or I'd lose loads of stability in mysteries or on end. For my money, cutting a Bigfoot down to 2.3m would ruin it. That said, the cut and shut hellbender you linked to also looks like a dog to me.

Here are a couple of pics of my shredcut Bigfoot - you'll notice the narrowing at the bow and stern to pointier tips to keep some of the tool area.
ImageImage
Image

In terms of how to do it, forget the rivet idea. If I were shredding it, I'd probably use an angle grinder to take off the external seams first - then at least you know what you're dealing with and whether you'd prefer to grind the deck and hull back or have a go with a saw.

floriano
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by floriano » Thu May 30, 2013 12:15 pm

I have posted on the Angstkayak forums and people over there suggest that cutting the ends off won't be of much use and that the problem is rather due to the width and the cross-sectional shape of the bigfoot.

Thanks a lot for the pictures of your bigfoot, Pete. Have you float-cut it on your own? I notice that your seams look very nice, I had a lot of problems fixing the nose and the tail with the seam tape, as it didn't stick to the hull perfectly due to V-like shape along the seam line and thus I had quite some crumples in it (as I fixed the seam tape with plastic wrap after applying resin). What is the width of the seam-tape you have used?

Pete, you mention that the float-cut will affect the vertical performance much more than a shred-cut. How would a bigfoot that is ideal for cartwheels float? Currently my footbumps and my knees are just above the water surface while the rest of the boat is in the water. It is already very tight (as in feet cramps) for my feet and my knees so if I'd need to chop it down further I could only imagine to remove volume from the tail and possibly in the shin area (if that's possible without sacrificing further knee and foot room). Also, I might be able to move a few centimeters to the front and then remove volume from the tail only.

I'm currently after a new boat (second hand asylum, funk, or similar, or if I have the chance to demo some modern boats I might even order a brand new one from Murky) in order to resolve these issues, however, getting one in Germany is quite a challenge and thus I will bridge the time with the bigfoot until I find one.

Cheers for your replies!

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Pete C.
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Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by Pete C. » Thu May 30, 2013 2:46 pm

I know what you mean - getting hold of boats is almost as much of a nightmare here in the UK at the moment, except we've got a few more second-hand options.

In terms of the seams, Downtime Dave did this one (though I've had it reseamed by Nomad Llangollen over the winter as I'd worn through on both ends). But I've reseamed a few boats myself. Most of your strength should come from your internal seams, and you'll use the external seams more as sacrificial bumpers. The last one I did, I'm sure I used two layers - a narrower tape on the first layer and a slightly wider tape on the second layer, then gel-coat. I added another layer or two on the bow and stern tips. The tape I used was the stuff which stretches if you pull it sideways - 50 and 75mm widths, glassfibre only on the outside. The key to the finish is using 'peelply' - a woven nylon - instead of the plastic wrap you've been using. If you tape it to the hull around your new seam it'll absorb the excess resin and also apply some pressure to your seam. Also - maybe obviously - make sure you're prepared the bits you're seaming by keying up the surfaces you're laminating onto so you're through to the fibre.

In terms of the float, this is about as big as I'd want to go:

Image

It's not super-low (I think I had it rechopped after this), but the most important thing is that it's perfectly balanced fore-and-aft. I can lean forward to initiate the bow or go straight into a washout, or I can lean backward onto the stern. Far better to be fighting a bit of extra volume and have things balanced than to go too low and lose your trim. For example, this gentleman is sat too far back and needs to build up his backrest to move his weight forward.

As I say, it's quite a different style to the more modern, shorter boats. If I remember I'll try to get some video of me doing a bit of flatwater next time I'm out (I'm rusty, though) to give you a bit of an idea - there's almost nothing online of the traditional, longer boats. Presuming you've got a copy of 'Squirt boating and beyond', I'd say it's well worth picking up a DVD of Great White Charc to walk you through the basics...

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Pete C.
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Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by Pete C. » Thu May 30, 2013 2:46 pm

Also, please excuse the face. My feet were hurting. That tends to happen a lot.

floriano
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by floriano » Thu May 30, 2013 4:39 pm

Thanks Pete for the extraordinarily good answers!

I have just had my first flat water session in my squirt for this year. After sealing the cockpit rim with sikaflex it leaks a bit less than before and I only had to get rid of the water after 10 minutes, which was fine as I couldn't stand sitting in the boat any longer anyways. My impression is that in my bigfoot it is very hard to do vertical cartwheels, what I could do with more or less ease were very slow cartwheels at a very slow angle (the only limiting factor of linking them endlessly were cramps in my feet..). With that said, should I expect to be able to do stuff like zero to hero or over-vertical cartwheels in my boat?

I can recognize myself in the video you have posted, so apparently I need to thicken my backrest (which I even figured out on my own today).

It would be amazing if you could post some flat water video in your bigfoot, I was desperately looking for some flat water squirt videos but the only stuff I could find were in modern shorter boats. I do have a copy of the Snyder book, which is a pretty good read. Are you sure there is a DVD (rather than VHS) of Great White Charc? I hesitated buying the video as I don't have a VHS player anymore...

I've just checked, the seam tapes I have used are 3cm and 5cm, however, they are both stiff and do not stretch at all. For my next reseaming job I'll try to get hold of the stretchable tape. What do you exactly mean with tape that has "glassfibre only on the outside"? If possible, could you get me a link or the name of that stuff? So far I've used just some woven glassfibre tape soaked with epoxy resin.

Just out of curiosity, what brand of spraydeck do you use? I need to get a new one and as the squirt decks are generally more expensive than standard decks I wouldn't want to buy one that doesn't work as it should...

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Pete C.
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Re: Shred-cut for my bigfoot

Post by Pete C. » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:30 am

The Bigfoot's definitely harder to do vertical cartwheels in, but you can work your way up through the angles gradually. I spent ages working on 'the test', which is this sequence:
  • two ends at 45 degrees
  • two ends at 60 degrees
  • two vertical ends
  • two past vertical ends
  • two vertical ends
  • two ends at 60 degrees
  • two ends at 45 degrees
In the end, I could get it consistent on my better side. But what I'm getting at is that you can start with the lower angles and gradually work up the verticality - no-one gets in one of these boats and starts busting out vertical moves straight away. I'd say the zero to hero/party trick moves are around the limit of what you could expect to do in this sort of boat, and I've never been able to do them. Chris - what do you think?

I've got a DVD of Great White Charc and it really helped me. That said, some people don't get on with it at all (it feels quite retro). You can choose the DVD option on this page. The website looks a bit sketchy, but I've bought loads of stuff from them over the years.

In terms of decks, I use a PeakUK cagdeck. It's quite old now, though, and not as waterproof as it once was. A new deck seals really well, and can absolutely transform your squirt experience. I'd say Peak UK or Phoenix of Nottingham are both good options, and make sure you've got a drylip and latex under the cockpit rim.

Hope that helps...

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