How we build them...

To build a wood and canvas canoe is to be educated in attention to detail, perseverance and fine craftsmanship.  Its a wonderful process!  Below are galleries explaining the process...

The Form

To build a wood and canvas canoe, you normally build a full size form of the finished hull first.  It's quite an undertaking and investment of time but makes the subsequent building much easier.  Having to build the form is probably the main reason why amateur wood and canvas builders are rarer than folks who have a go at building cedar strip canoes, plywood, or other wooden canoes.  Forms are heavy, bulky and you need a bit of space to house and maneuver them.  They are rather a beautiful thing in their own right however (we think!).  Below is a summary of the process. 

The form begins with a well selected 'strongback' - a straight length that the rest of the form is built on.

The Canoe

Once the form is complete, the process of building the canoe finally becomes reality!  It takes place in two broad stages.  Stage one is building the wooden hull, canvassing and applying the filler.  The canoe must now cure for however long the filler needs to harden up.  This can be weeks or months depending on temperate and humidity.  Once the filler is ready, the fine finishing can be done.  Below is how it is done...

I spend a long time selecting and sorting the cedar to ensure quality and grain alignment.  Here the rib stock is cut to length and stacked ready for milling

We hope that gives you an idea of the love that goes into the building of these wonderful craft!

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