There is no shortage of guidelines and tips and hints and clues and allusions to canoes out there in internet-world. What I had trouble with was finding step-by-step instructions. Every time I got close, the search results would morph into kayaks. There are several well-written guides right here on Instructables, and out in the Wild Unknown Internet you can find a lot of generalities or opportunities to buy plans, but none of them gave me the info or product I wanted at a price I would pay ($0, for the record).
So anyway, I decided that I would study the guidelines and tips and hints and clues and allusions to canoes and build one. Options are several: Skin-on-frame, plywood stitch and glue, strip planking. Right off, strip planking is out. Complex, demands skills I don't have, and would likely cost much more than the $400 of a new fiberglass unit unless I used plywood strips. Plywood stitch and glue gives you a durable, serviceable unit, but requires epoxy and fiberglass and the results are ugly as hell. A skin-on-frame is comparatively simple, very cheap and can give you a gorgeous boat. Besides, if it was good enough for the warplanes of WWI, it's good enough to float around the local flood control lakes.
Sites that inspired or informed me on this project:
http://www.bushcraft.ridgeonnet.com/canoe2.htm (This one in particular - the finished product is GORGEOUS !)
Read on if you would like to hear the tale of my trials and tribulations as I strive to build my own canoe for less than the cost of a new unit!