Canoes I've Built


Introduction: Canoes I've Built

These were built of cypress with walnut, ash maple and poplar accents. No staples were used in their construction. just glued and clamped. The only metal is the stainless steel screws holding the seats in and brass stem bands on the Prospector Ranger.



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    24 Discussions

    I've added a few pictures of construction of the Prospector Ranger.

    The Prospector Ranger was built using the offsets in the book Canoecraft
    I built the Wee Lassie using the patterns in the book, Featherweight Boatbuilding, A WoodenBoat Book By Henry A. "Mac" McCarthy.
    I actually input the offsets from the Ranger and the Wee Lassie (taken from the not full size patterns) into a cad program (TurboCad) and from there to Acrobat for a pdf file that I took to a local printer for full size patterns.

    2 replies

    Is there any way to get a copy of those PDF files? I'm on disability, I broke my back when I was 22 y.o. and about 1 1/2 year ago I had to admit I just can't work eight hours a day. I'm not reliable, and the pain has gotten to be more than I can stand for those kind of work days. I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and the Prospector's layout looks great. I'm 53 y.o. now, in case you were wondering.

    I wish I could. About 2 years ago I had the HD fail that had ALL of my doc and pdf files on it. If I didn't still have my form's for both canoes I'd have to redo the pdf's from the offsets in the books again when I'm ready to build another one

    These are beautiful I cant wait too make one sometime not for a long time though!!

    I just realized that most ceder strip canoes do not have all the ribs covered, this one appears to have the inwale, covered as well.

    2 replies

    I'm not sure what your referring to as the ribs and inwall covered. There are no ribs. Just the 1/4" thick hull with a outwall and an inwall to add protection and stiffness to the hull.

    I could have worded that better, but I thought you had ribs that were in the hull covered by another layer of strips for the inside of the hull, making the ribs in between the hull, and the deck (if that is better worded). So that is interesting, you build them with no ribs. Also, how do you bend each strip to the correct position, how long does it take for each strip?

    That is just a beauty! Man that is just one good looking canoe. Amazing crafting obliviously went into that. Do you take that out much, if so where, in what kind of waters? Also, just wondering, but are you retired? Only because looking at all the fun projects retired people do, I'd loved to be in the "Retired stage".

    3 replies

    Thank you. I never used the Prospector much, sold her to a guy in Ft. Smith AR. He said he was going to hang it in his living room except when he used it. But I fished out of the Wee Lassie for a couple of years in a local lake filled with cypress logs and stumps, most of them just below the surface where you couldn't see them. I gave her a light buffing before I sold her to a woman in Little rock . She said it was going in her sons room.
    And yes, I'm retired, and work harder and longer than I ever did when 'working'.
    I'm trying to work up the nerve to start another Wee Lassie for my grandson (turns 4 in Aug) but I don't know if I want to spend about 7 or 8 weeks of anywhere from 7 to 12 hours a days, 7 days a week again (I'm the kind of person that when I start a progect I don't stop until I'm done).

    Hey that sounds like a really fun hobby, that is really interesting. If you ever build a cedar canvas canoe, definitely put it on Instructables. Do you build these from scratch or from a kit? Oh, and where do you sell them, on E-bay, privately, or something else?

    I would love to immitate your work... lots of rivers and lakes in my area. How did you determine the profile? Do you have more info that you could share?

    Id feel bad taking something that nice out on the river,Id hang it from my living room ceiling as a work of art,in my opinion thats what it is.Very nice job.

    1 reply

    I fished out of the Wee Lassie for most of a year in a lake filed with stumps and logs and run over a bunch of them. A light buffing before I sold it and it looked like new.

    I believe their both hanging from ceilings now.

    I'm building a new shop at this time and hope to start another canoe this winter.


    I must agree with the first comment. You have created a work that is both beautiful and functional. From my travels, I have noticed that furniture making, boat building, aircraft building....all, more or less, share the same qualities and methods in creating(if one cares)a work of beauty that is also functional.The Bugatti father and brothers...woodwork, sculptor, auto design....when one looks at their work, one can see the elements of each in what the others have done

    My mother was taught to paddle a canoe by native peoples up in northern Canada. Were she alive today, she would have me trying to build what you have presented here. Kudos...Dowtong

    Dude! That is no canoe! On the contrary, THAT is work of U&^%^$ ART!!!!
    That is probably the most beautiful piece of passion masquarading as woodwork, let alone a canoe. I have no words that can convey my appreciation for your work and what you have accomplished. Just beautiful, really.

    1 reply

    Amazing work! Questions: are all the strips bent, or are they cut to shape? If they're bent, how do you do it: do you heat/steam bend to shape, then glue up, or are the bends gentle enough that you just bend as you glue up? Isn't the very bottom section kinda weak with all the small pieces?

    1 reply

    The strips are 3/4"x1/4" with a cove on one edge and a bead on the other and just put in place with a bead of glue (Titebond) between them and held by various clamps for 1/2 hour or so. I will usually do 2 or 3 strips at a time on each side until I get to the bottom curve of the bilge. At that point twisting the ends is harder and I do only one strip at a time per side.

    The only parts that I have to steam bend are the stems (inner and outer) at each end of the canoes

    Actually, all the small pieces in the bottom don't matter at all. The canoes strength comes from its sandwich , or I beam construction. Fiberglass-filler-Fiberglass. Instead of the cypress I used, end grain balsa blocks of the same thickness would be just about as strong. And even better, a medium to high density foam since it would be lighter. It just wouldn't look as good.


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    Beautiful work. Paddles and strip canoes are on my wish list of things to make. Thanks for taking the time to post and keeping me inspired.