Dave’s F1 build in Victoria BC

Dave here from Victoria, British Columbia. I’m so glad I finally pulled the trigger on Brian’s course. I suspect this F1 will be one of many Cape Falcon vessels I build.

I consider myself a medium-experienced paddler. Maybe when I’m in my 70’s or 80’s (I’m late 40’s now) I’ll consider myself more advanced, but there is so much to learn and enjoy about this pastime we share. I have a 17′ 10″ fibreglass/kevlar boat now, it’s a Zegul Greenland GT and I like it very much. It’s my goto for rolling and expeditions. Greenland boats don’t typically make great expedition boats but this one is designed with more volume, and the boat has served me extremely well for exploring northern Vancouver Island and the central BC coast over the last 10 years. I want an F1 for lots of reasons, but the main one is to have a boat for local waters that does well in surf and current, so I’ve chosen the F1 Surf version to build. We’re lucky in Victoria. We have close access to a number of spots with strong tidal currents and backing waves, and places like Jordan River and Tofino have amazing surf conditions. So… it’s time to build a play boat!

I appreciate Andreas’ (from the SF Bay area) blog and how he offered up his lessons learned during his F1 build. Thanks Andreas! I found it really helpful and I’ll try to do the same.

One last thing that might be of interest. I have a very small workshop and an interest in hand tools. Nothing against power tools whatsoever, I just can’t really accommodate them with my current set up. Other than using a lunchbox power planer to dimension everything, I’ll do most of this build with hand tools, probably even the long rip cuts, which might be crazy but we’ll see.

Sep 7th, 2019 – Lumber and Tools 

We’re also lucky in this area that we have access to high quality red cedar. I was able to hit one lumber yard in Sooke for everything. Despite it’s availability, I don’t think it’s as less expensive as anywhere else. I paid $6.50 a board foot, which is high but I knew I was going to a speciality supplier and would pay a premium. I stopped at a big box store/lumber yard along the way and sifted through 16′ boards and found absolutely nothing that wasn’t compromised with knots, run out, excessive twist, etc.


lumber strapped on roof rack on car

Besides the lumber I couldn’t resist picking up a new tool from Lee Valley (that place is dangerous). It’s what Brian calls a radius plane. I’ve done some test cuts and I’m super impressed. Very quick, easy to handle and I can play with the depth of cut with a few taps from a small plane hammer.  The picture makes it look big but it’s tiny, about the size of my index finger. Its’ the Mini-edge Rounding Plane at $46.90 if anyone’s interested. The body is ebony and the blade is a high speed steel. Seems pretty bomb proof (and damn cute). I think it’ll last me decades.

Signing off for now. Looking forward to moving on to building the forms, and I’ll need to put together two saw horses.

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