Location: Vermont Square-back Canoe Plans I am looking for plans to build a small square-back canoe. Location: Lakeland Fl USA You have a set of wants and circumstances unique to your own situation.
Location: La Florida In the early 1970's I built a small 2 hull boat which I used to tie onto the roof of my car. But widen the square-sterned canoe until it's the width of a dinghy and it's closer to a dinghy than a canoe. Okay, you could keep it narrow, say 28", and limit the occupancy to one (maybe a small dog too), and cut 2 ft of the stern of a ten footer and yes, you have a very small square-sterned canoe.
Location: La Florida pistnbroke-You reminded me of what my friend did back in 1971.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. For the last 10 years I have been offering custom design for stitch and glue canoes and kayaks.
As a hobby, I don't make vast sums of money at this, efforts to run it as a business were less than optimal. The Mekong River in Laos is navigable from the Cambodian border at least as far as Houayxay, a distance of over 920 miles.
For the most part, you can think of the variety of Laotian boats as simply different sizes of otherwise very similar boats: flat bottomed, with shovel ends, flaring sides, and quite long for their width. The fishermen working in the river at Vientiane use long-tail outboards and have developed a very pretty technique for setting their long gill nets in the river. The Ou River is a charming mountain stream, flowing through remote mountainous parts of Laos and navigable (particularly during the wet season) for at least a hundred miles, from Muang Khoa to its mouth. The Ou River freight and passenger boats suffer an unfair loss of their beauty in order to carry around the cabins they need for their customers. For repair work the boats are simply pulled up out of the water sideways a few feet, and for things that can be handled afloat, the carpenter will cheerfully sit in the river to make his repairs.


The ultimate expression of the Lao river boat is, without doubt, the modern Slow Boat, used to haul freight and passengers (including tourists, for a premium) on the upper Mekong between Luang Prabang and the Thai border at Houayxay, two days further north. The Slow Boats still in service today are all welded steel hulls with quite light wooden superstructure. Some more or less current guidebooks advise that the Slow Boats run a regular service from the capital at Vientiane, upriver to Luang Prabang and two days beyond to Houayxay on the Thai border, but the route between Vientiane and Luang Prabang has been surrendered to busses and trucks now and only the last two days of the old route remain in the hands of the boats.
Since the river rises and falls so much in the course of a year there is no such thing as a town dock. The link says it is a company that builds and sells them, starting at 105k for the screened version and most of what you see in these pics are options (ranging in price from $2000-$6000 or so…) Nice designs.
Tens of thousands of hobbyists and professionals have turned out rugged, beautiful wooden kayaks with Nick Schade’s classic guide, The Strip-Built Sea Kayak. With 280 pages, hundreds of photos and illustrations and years of Nick's experience written down, boat builders of all levels of experience will benefit from the information in this book.
This week’s show is 3 interviews I did while at the 1st Annual Port Townsend Pocket Yacht Palooza in May. Click on the green player button above to listen to the interviews and hear some fun stories and interesting people.
Click HERE to subscribe to my email news list for the latest and greatest fun stuff and click on one of the buttons below to subscribe to my show. Later, someone built one almost identical in dimensions which they submitted to popular mechanics magazine and received a golden hammer award. In the northern part of the country, the River is still the only route through the mountains to the rest of the world.
The falls of the Mekong River just north of the border present an absolute (and absolutely magnificent) separation between the navigation of the upper river and the river below, which is navigable all the way to the South China Sea.
With most swoons you will see a link below the photos to the builder’s website where more information can be accessed. Now Nick shows you how to strip-build dinghies, canoes, and other small boats as well as kayaks.


He took 2 pieces of corrugated metal roofing, doubled them over and screwed a short piece of 2x4 into each end. The many small boats on this part of the Mekong are long, narrow, flat-bottomed and made with just a few thin planks.
I want to build a community of people from all over the world who want to connect, learn, share stories and photos, and have fun with wooden boats.
The Slow Boats that take freight and passengers (including tourists) on the Mekong River between Luang Prabang and Houayxay are built much the same, except for a slight V bottom. We will glue up the wood, cut the blade pieces, glue them to the shaft and shape the blades.
These days, the hulls of the Slow Boats are all made of welded steel but the old ones were wood construction and at least two of the old hulls still survive.
It fell apart when our friend stepped on the cross beam, breaking it which caused the boat to fold upon itself like an open faced sandwich. Besides the Mekong, the Ou River in Northern Laos has its own variety of passenger and freight boats and extends the navigation at least another hundred miles into the mountains north and east of the Mekong, but even that doesn’t define the full extent of the navigation in Laotian waterways.
In smaller tributaries the boats will work under motor when they can but the crews are quick to shut off the motor and jump overboard in shallow water to ease the boat across and back into deeper water beyond.
He had a good time upon the river after he corrected that design flaw and I built mine the following weekend. The engine is happy in its box about two thirds of the length of the boat aft, and any bulky freight can be loaded into the open hull from the engine to the stern, where the propeller turns in very thin water, its blades throwing a long white rooster tail as it accelerates from the bank. It was late in the evening and we had to leave again early the next morning and, sadly, no one was on hand to let me on board to survey the structure of the old wooden hulls.



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