TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

Finally joined today after reading tons of posts! I have been working on a pirogue after seeing the ones that Herb has built just to try my hand at it. I have come out a bit heavier than his 17 lbs this time. Next time I plan on using a lighter gauge trim coil! I am going to attempt to attach a couple of pictures from the process. I would like to think I would have it finished in the next couple of weeks.
This picture attempts to show the half lap joint I used to tie the "rungs" to the stringers.
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these are a few pictures I took after I had the side frames glued together. This was the point that you could really start to tell what the finished product was going to look like!
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I was amazed at how much you can affect the amount of "rocker"? in the bottom just by flaring the top out a little more.
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Last edited by olshovel on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Here are a few with skin on!
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Here are a few from the beginning. It started out as cedar fence pickets that I sanded to uniform thickness and then straight edged and joined together to make 18 foot long boards. I used a type of tenon joint to join the boards together. I will probably do something different on the next one. One of the pictures shows the jig I made up that allowed me to make the half lap joint in both the stringers and the rungs or ribs.
Here is the stage I am currently at. I am getting pretty close to seeing if its gonna float! I have not worked out yet exactly what I want to do about attaching the seat. I am not really sure where it should go so I think I will probably take it out a couple of times without a seat and see if I can work out the best location. Any advice on the best position in the boat? The little triangles are for attaching the "spreaders"? to the hull, I imagine I over complicated that whole process but I am pleased with the way it has turned out. Other than the seat I just need to glass the little deck sections and work out what type of handles or grabs I want to install there. As i mentioned earlier I have exceeded the 17 pound mark, (I am hitting 28 lbs at this point) but have already located some thinner gauge trim coil for the next one. Yes I think there will be a next one, I have to see if I really learned anything from building this one!
what they look like installed
Thwart supports? I'm not sure I know what a thwart is!
a view from the stern
Very cool! Does Herb know you're doing this? I just saw him on the bayou yesterday, I'll send him a link to this thread if you aren't already in contact with him.

Thwarts are spreaders that stiffen open hull boats. Without thwarts, canoes and/or pirogues would be floppy, but with 'em, they're rigid. Decks take the place of thwarts on kayaks and other boats with decks.

Anything under 30 lbs is going to be pure joy. 8)
@ Pogo
we exchanged a couple of emails at the beginning of the project. Herb graciously answered a couple of questions about dimensions and methods. I tried to send him a couple of pictures of the initial stages but didn't hear from him so I am not sure he was getting them. I would appreciate it if you sent him the link, I would enjoy hearing what he might have to say about it. Maybe when I get it squared away I'll have to come down and paddle it around in yall's water!
Herb is never overly eager to jump on email, but will do it. Getting on a forum like this? Wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it. Ironically, he says he likes talking to others about these things. I'll send him the link to this and poke at him a little while I'm at it just for fun, and in the meantime I hope you'll send a picture or two whenever you feel like it, and just sluff it off if he doesn't respond. He's retired, but stays very busy doing whatever he's doing.

I need to do another article on his homemade crank bait lures one of these days......
Last edited by Pogo on Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Herb wrote, said: "I tried to register here but couldn't answer the question: "Light house lake is named after what light house?" What gives with this?"

WTF?! I told him it beats the he!! out of me, said I believe it's called the Lydia Ann lighthouse. So then he writes back and says: "The article said it was the Aransas Pass light house. I typed that in and it still wouldn't accept it. I give up."

If anyone thinks they know how to get Herb registered I'm all ears.
Olshovel nice job!

Herb's pirogue has fascinated me for some time but I just haven't been able to convince myself it would end up as anything but firewood (due to my skills or lack thereof). I tried to contact Herb previously as well but did not get a response. What are the final demensions? I had some questions about the width as in the article it talked about attaching the ladders to a "form" but gave no demensions. Also in my mind for some reason I pictured attaching the trim coil first then joining the ladders around the forms, pros/cons of each? Also what gauge trim coil are you recommending for a lighter build?

I have a million other questions but let's start with those. Thanks for the inspiration although the wife is not happy about the wild look in my eyes...
@ Hojo
The dimensions I got from Herb were; 10" tall sides, the boat itself is approximately 14 feet long, the width at the bottom center of the boat is 21" and the width at the top is 31". I think you could probably play around with those dimensions to "tune" the way that the boat performs but I stayed as close to the dimensions that I got from Herb as I could. I did attach the coil to the sides before putting it onto the forms, I also believe this is the way Herb did it based on a couple of emails we exchanged and the article on this site. I don't believe it would be very easy to attach the coil after the sides were on the forms. After you get the coil on and start bending the sides around the forms everything really gets pulled tight! Concerning the trim coil I can't help out too much concerning gauge. I know that the trim coil I got from the gutter guy is measured in inches? I am not sure what it is, I will try to remember to measure it with micrometer and post that dimension on here. I have located a roll of what is labelled as flashing at Lowes that is cut to 10" tall and is much thinner than the coil I used on this boat. If I get by there today I will see if they list the gauge. Tell your wife I apologize for the lost space in the garage! The article that got posted on here was the "straw"that finally broke the camel's back for me! I hope to get mine wet this weekend and post a couple of pics of it actually floating!
Get your trim coil at Home Depot. It's in the roofing dept. and comes in a box, it's 24" x 50 ft. for about $80. The stuff at Lowe's is not what you want. You also might get some at a roofing supply if they sell to the public.

I've started my own Herb Cottle Special, but I've only scarfed the wood. I found some 3/4" x 4" x 10 ft. clear cedar trim boards at Lowe's, then cut them 1 3/8" wide for the bottom rail, and 1" wide for the top rail. I'm going to build it on a platform from JEM watercraft, a Laker 14. This will give it the proper flair and rocker, it'll also have a slight V bottom for better tracking. I'll start posting the pictures soon of my progress.

Fortunately for me, Herb is a catfish eating friend of mine who is going to come over and walk me through the process, so I'll do my best to explain in detail how he does it. His discription of how to do it through an e-mail can get confusing at times, I agree.

After the break in with the JEM Laker, I'm going to do a 15 ft. JEM touring pirogue the Herb Cottle way. That should be one heck of a fishing boat.

Thanks for posting up about your boat. You did a great job and I'm sure you'll enjoy it..............Phishtech

Oh yeah, another great platform to build one on would be Gerald's line of River Rangers. If you wanted the flat bottom, that would be the way to go.
I finally got it wet today! I didn't have any idea what to expect as the only other thing I have ever rowed was a 16' old town canoe. It is definitely a little "tippier" than the canoe and a whole lot faster! I was amazed at how fast it would move even into the wind. I could turn it all the way around with about two strokes of the paddle. I think i will be setting the seat up at around the true middle which will leave a little room behind the seat for storage. I think with a cooler behind the rear thwart it should ride about even in the water. I was looking back through the pictures, (taken by my seven year old) and saw that the bow was only in the water when i was scooted up to the point that my feet were touching the front thwart. The only water on the inside of the boat was what dripped off of the paddle as I switched from side to side. It seems like it felt a little more stable when I was taking the boys for a little ride. I guess the additional weight pushed it a little farther down to the point that the flared sides started to have an effect on the stability? It was definitely fun. I am looking forward to getting the seat squared away and spending some more time getting used to it.
shoving off for the first time
I like it :!: When you set you seat position try and allow some fore/aft adjustment to compensate for loading, on the slight "V" bottom it will/should make a difference on the tracking but at the expence of that tippy feeling which will ( in my experience) gets better with more time in the boat. my 1st slight "V" was my laker 12' which gave me some concern initially but now I enjoy, and is amazingly fast for such a short boat.

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thank you that is super helpful.