Fit and finish play the largest role in building a cypress pirogue that doesn't leak. It only makes since that an ill fitting seam will most likely fail. We ensure that all of our seams will make 100% contact when fixed together and no fillers are used in the glue to make up for poor craftsmanship. The glue we use requires almost impossibly tight tolerances to enable a secure bond. As such, it produces a 100% water proof glue line that is stronger than the wood itself. See the images to the right for examples.
When applicable, we use scarf joints to join two pieces of wood together. We do this because it allows for the greatest amount of gluing surface making the joint stronger than the wood. It requires a certain amount of skill and task specific jigs and tools to make this joint. This makes it much more difficult to manufacture than the traditional butt joint. Butt joints and are weaker and require more effort to waterproof than the scarf joint.
Our ribs are also made out of cypress and lap jointed together. Not only does this make for a cleaner look, but it eliminates the need for a gusset which cuts down on weight.
The gunwale is lined with an additional piece of half inch cypress. This is a sacrificial piece as there will inevitably be some damage to the sides from striking it with the paddle. I've personally changed out the gunwale and bottom of one of our personal pirogues in 2014. It was the first time any repairs had to be done and the pirogue was originally built by someone else in 1976. I replaced the gunwale, bow, and stern sacrificial blocks for cosmetic purposes but in reality is it probably would have lasted another 38 years
Notice how fine the glue lines are.
Scarf joint in marine grade plywood.
Lap Joint on the rib.
Sacraficial Bow and gunwhale.
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