I can read a book and think I understand a topic, Watching a video I pick up some more information and am certain I have mastered it. Once I have actually done it do I find how little I know.

The natives of the Pacific Northwest used a river canoe that was unique. The shovel nosed canoe mystery haunted me for years. I felt I needed to build one to understand why they used them.

I did not find any plans but had a few pictures and descriptions. All descriptions had a common theme. A round bow, flared hull with low sides. None of the descriptions answered the why. I wanted to know the benefits of the design.

A thank you to: Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's "The North American Indian," 2003. for haunting me with this image.

Step 1: Germ of an Idea

It all started with a plank found floating in the bay. If you are my wife. “you are thinking why not leave that nasty plank in the bay.” It followed me home,( as I towed it with my canoe).

Using a string and square I placed a center line with stations perpendicular every 2 feet.

I began using scrap wood to build a form.

I am Joe and I admit I have an addiction to not throwing out any scrap of wood. The wife calls me a wood hoarder.

My idea was to have a frame that would hold the plywood in shape while the epoxy was applied to the seams. Using a frame made it not necessary to draw plans or to loft designs on to the plywood.

The plan began with some boards laid on the plank. I sketched a shape of the center section on a scrap of wood (old packing crate) as the only plan. The rest was more of a sculpting than a drafting and designing. Come to think of it these amazing dugouts were made without drafting tables or CAD software.

Your opening comment reminds me of a saying the Kurds have, <br>&quot;If you could learn by watching, every dog would be a butcher&quot;<br>Nothing like doing!
<p>Very clever. Thanks for sharing.</p>
Thanks for sharing, you should also enter the before and after contest.
<p>Well documented. Being someone who has built boats before, I feel confident that I could do a similar build. I would need to to a bit of research so I can get an idea for the hull form though.</p><p>What's the depth amidships? How skinny of water can you comfortably paddle (pole) this in?</p><p>Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>The depth at midship is 14&quot;. It floats in 3&quot;-4&quot; with me and gear. I did not crash test it to see how it performs broaching on a rock. </p>
<p>Excellent a really good project. Thank you for sharing.</p>

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Bio: We celebrate creativity on the southern Oregon coast at our store, the Electric Hospital, and outdoors where we enjoy the wonders. We might be sewing ... More »
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