I am an avid ammateur canoe and kayak builder (S&G)
and looking for something a little more challenging
for my next project. possibly a rowing skiff of some
sort, around 14 - 17 foot long'
I am downunder, - Hervey Bay in Queensland. There
is a re-surgence of interest in wooden boats here
at the moment, in particular, those with classic lines.
is the most stable boat I have ever paddled.
My kids, grand kids, nephies, nieces love it
The beauty of building your own boat is doing it
your way. if you want to change something - so what.
- good on you. The purists and class measuring officials
might disagree but at the end of the day, it is your
boat. you will be the one using it. If you couldn't
do it your way, you might as well go to a store somewhere
any buy one of those horrible plastic things that
pupport to be boats.
I love the double ended boats. The swampgirl is the
most stable boat I have ever paddled. My kids, grand
kids, nephies, nieces love it too. I have had several
very good offers to buy her from others who have seen
it but that would break the families heart. (and mine)
|I believe high sides
on a canoe can lead a paddler into a false sense
I like the sides low to reduce wind signature because
I fish from my boats and often need to paddle into
strong headwinds.I believe high sides on a canoe can
lead a paddler into a false sense of security and
encourage them to venture into waters not suited to
what is a skinny water boat.
is indeed a superb paddlingcraft with the reduced
rocker and narrow beam.
The pirogue is only a prototype at the moment, also
designed by Matt of Jemwatercraft. With the interest
she has generated, I am confident she will soon be
added to Matts stable of fine boats. She is indeed
a superb paddlingcraft with the reduced rocker and
narrow beam. Which is the better "all round"
boat? That is a very big call. I think the answer
would have to be Swampgirl, simply because of its
superior stability and the fact that I am more confident
turning my little tribe loose in her. As their paddle
skills improve however, I would also be confident
in the pirogue.
|Matt's plans and
build instructions are clear and concise and easy
The plans are a result of the genius of Matt. They
are not my creation. I only threw the sticks together.
Send Matt a email, or better still log on to his forum
and say G'day. You will be very welcome.
The reverse curves are very easy to mark out and
cut. and the boat just sort of falls together after
that. Matt's plans and build instructions are clear
and concise and easy to follow. The build methodology
is a little different to a U.J. pirogue however (but
just as easy).
is also more difficult in that there are 6 panels
in all to fillet and fibreglass as opposed to
3 in the pirogue.
Build comparison :-
My Swampgirl was my first S&G build so she was
a huge learning curve for me. I made many mistakes
and spent a lot of time fixing them. My pirogue was
my third build so my skills and knowledge had improved
significantly and that made the whole process a lot
The Swampgirl is also more difficult in that there
are 6 panels in all to fillet and fibreglass as opposed
to 3 in the pirogue. Also, swampgirl has a tortured
ply bow and stern as opposed to simply bending the
stems in on the pirogue.
| The pirogue is
a little faster and easier to paddle into a headwind.
Hull performance :-
Both boats have a flat bottom with the swampgirl
being a little longer and wider than the pirogue.
Speed is similar with the pirogue a little faster
and easier to paddle into a headwind.
Swampgirl is superior., but the pirogue is also very
Swampgirl is far more stable than the pirogue but
I like my boats to be a little 'spirited" :)
large fish using heavier gear, the swampgirl
is superior simply because of its better stability
I built both of these boats to fish from. For chasing
large fish using heavier gear, the swampgirl is superior
simply because of its better stability and manouverability.
most of my skinny water fishing however is done using
ultralight gear (1 to 2 KG) and chasing reasonably
smallish fish (up to around 4 or 5 kgs in weight.
To do this, I need to cover a lot of miles in a day
as easily as I can so I will prefer the pirogue for
this. Both are superb boats for my purposes and i
now can't imagine my boat shed without them in it.
Matt is a good bloke, a straight shooter and a gentleman
to do business with. He wont steer you wrong mate.
My build adventures and mis-adventures with the swampgirl
build can be viewed here.
A summary of my build with my pirogue can be viewed
If you haven't guessed by now, I am obsessed with
wood boat building and it is great to find some places
full of like minded souls. Many of the US designs
are unheard of out here even though we have year round
paddling and a booming paddlesport industry.
Some of the designs I have found on Duckworks really
suit our (my) needs and I hope to get started on one
of them fairly soon. At the moment though, Matt is
keeping me pretty busy. LOL