[Triumphant horns] The frame of the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe is D-O-N-E!!!

Skin-on-frame outrigger canoe, with floorboards and thwarts in
And then the drill went silent, the sawdust settled, and there, before us, lay a completed frame for the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe.

It’s hard to believe that a) its been about 10 months in the making to complete the main hull frame and b) that I thought I’d be done in June! It has been the floorboards that slowed things down (in addition to the lousy DC summer weather). They proved laborious to fit. The undersides had to be planned in individual ways to match the subtle variations in the ribs beneath them. Those farther outboard overlay the stringer lashing, and so I had to chisel in mortises to ensure there wouldn’t be chafe; in some cases the stringer itself lay right where I wanted to sink a dowel. It was quite picky work. All in place, however, and all oiled, they look quite handsome. I am loving the choice of Spanish cedar. It is working great as an accent to the light spruce that is the main frame material.

Skin-on-frame outrigger canoe, with floorboards and mast step in

I also had to do some figuring to get the bow thwart risers in as the aft end had to land on the forward frame. I now know that the frame construction need to include this feature; creating it after the fact involved a great deal of standing-on-my-head-using-a-chisel-at-awkward-angles work. But wi did it and managed not to butcher too much in the process.

I chose black walnut for the mast step (sailing rig will come later) both for another accent and for a nice, tough block. I think it came out well.

The final step involved some treatments to fill out the stemhead (the “manu”, I believe, in Polynesian terms). My methods were quick and dirty, I admit, but this is just decoration and gets fully covered.

Skin-on-frame outrigger canoe stemhead treatment

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