Guest Design: Canal Sampan

Guest Post fromTimRumbinas:
I’ve been inspired to a degree by “Diane’s Rose,” probably because her creator and I are both cabinetmakers, and I think we tend to look at materials and their function the same way. While carpenters tend to nail and screw heavy material together, cabinetmakers use form and joinery to get strength with much lighter weight.

I’ve been designing for this to be assembled in the “tack and tape” style popularized by the late Phil Bolger and Dynamite Payson.

Canal Sampan Right Perspective

Canal Sampan Left Rear Perspective
The design brief for this was to construct a boat with low power requirements, reasonable comfort for two and occasional guests, and as many similar assemblies as possible. This means that many of the components are identical. Instead of making 20 different parts, one needs to make many of one! This is good, as one need only make one very accurate pattern and copy it as needed.

The vessel — I have not yet named the design beyond “canal sampan” — is 24′ x 8′, and displaces just a fraction under two tons in fresh water at a 9″ draft. It has a sleeping compartment with up to a queen bed forward, and a stand-up head and galley/livingroom aft. I was divided about adding the head — it eats up over 10% of the total interior room, but the ladies don’t like peeing in a bucket that’s stashed under a bunk!

I kept the sleeping and living areas separate, as sleeping in the kitchen often leads to long start-ups in the morning and a cluttered boat. Control is from amidships, with a canvas wheelhouse cover. I’ve drawn a custom canvas cover — I have a good friend who is a master of marine canvas. I suspect an off-the-shelf Bimini would serve also. With the wheelhouse cover stowed, “air draft” is under seven feet, and that’s only over 1/3 of the vessel.

I expect the craft would go along nicely at 6 knots — right about hull speed — on an economical 15 – 20 hp outboard. I can’t see the need for much more, and I suspect that a 9.8 hp high thrust would suffice if things weren’t too windy.

Originally posted 2015-05-17 06:41:21.

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  1. Hi Tim, thank for the mention of our Rose as being partly an inspiration. You are not alone and I’m glad to see more of “us” out there doing this kind of thing! Just wondering if you will be able to get to a build. I’d love to see the result. Best/Roy from Dianne’s Rose

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