If you want to build a lightweight, rugged, and beautiful small boat, combining thin strips of wood with epoxy and fiberglass will make a cartoppable, low-maintenance, and gorgeous vessel. In this six-day course, students will explore this method of construction while building two very different boat designs created by Nick. Students will gain experience in a wide variety of techniques involved in this modern boatbuilding process. Day One will have students fairing up the forms, shaping the inner stems, fabricating the kayak coaming and canoe backrest, and getting a start on the planking.
Throughout this course, Nick will take time to discuss the many variations on the strip-building process that students can use on their own boatbuilding projects.
I participated in Nick Schade’s FINE WOODSTRIP CANOE CONSTRUCTION course and, not knowing what to expect, I can say now, and with certainty, that it was exactly what I had hoped for and, perhaps, one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. Wood duck has been out on Windermere several times and is brilliant – tracks beautifully, forgivingly stable, and covers the miles fairly effortlessly given its novice paddler owner. The Wood Ducks are amongst the easiest to build kits: the joints are pre-cut and the holes are pre-drilled.
Unlike our other boats, the Wood Duck has no forward bulkhead, therefore use of buoyancy bags is strongly recommended.
A cedar-strip decked Wood Duck kayak is also available, combining the simple hull construction of stitch-and-glue with the beauty of cedar-strip.
A couple of build logs on our forum show a Wood Duck 12 being built and even a pair of Wood Ducks built simultaneously. The Wood Duck 10 will carry paddlers who weigh up to 200 pounds and still have a good turn of speed. If, later, you decide to purchase the kit the cost of this will be deducted from the kit price.
The manual does not contain the cutting instructions so it is not possible to build the boat from scratch using only this.
These plans and manual contain sufficient information on the cutting of the panels to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit.
After credit card authorisation the plans will be sent to the email address put on the order form. When you have studied the plans, your next step might be to order the printed instruction manual, which will walk you through the project step-by-step.
This option contains the solid wood and plywood components pre-cut to the correct size with pre-cut joints, plus the construction manual.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a planing or displacement type hull. Depends on the size and structure of the lakes you fish in and how you'll haul the boat around. For large lakes and small bays I think the carvel Poulsbo Boat is the best design ever made. Both the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle and the and the NW Maritime Heritage Center in Port Townsend have plans.
Or for simple and inexpensive you can build a simple flatiron or sharpie skiff like the one on the right my family used to build 6 at a time for fishing camps.


In the June course students will build the Mystic River tandem canoe and the microBootlegger recreational kayak. Strip-planking small boats uses thin cedar strips reinforced inside and out with fiberglass and epoxy.
Tuesday will have us continuing with planking, installing stems, and working on hatches and gunwales. After a week of fine craftsmanship and fun, we’ll step back to admire two stunning boats that will raffled off to two lucky students. In a tenth of the time it takes to launch a heavy boat on a trailer or drag the big canoe down the beach, you can slide one of these little kayaks into the water and be on your way.
Sheathed inside and out in glass fabric, the Wood Duck will withstand real-world abuse on gravel or shell beaches, and will bounce over submerged stumps without harm. There is also a child's version of the Wood Duck, called the Wood Duckling and a tandem kayak called the Wood Duck Double. This is the comprehensive manual that accompanies the kit; reading it will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat.
It does not contain the plans (these are not required because the wood is pre-cut), any of the epoxy to glue and coat the boat, the fabric or tape nor any of the hardware or rigging. If that is the sort of boat you are looking to build, I call your attention to the Lowell Dory Skiff. If you only want to go 3-5 mph, then a displacement hull, such as the one in your last post, will be easier to build and row, and will be more stable for the overall size.
If you want a boat that is reasonably fast under power ( say 9.9 hp or more) then a planing hull is the way to go.
I have some Western Red Cedar left over from my last strip canoe and an old 5 hp Evenrude laying around.
Navy specializing in low-frequency electro-magnetics, he realized he wanted to get back on the water himself. He has written two of the standard texts on the subject, Building Strip-Planked Boats and The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, and his efforts have guided thousands of people through building their own boats using the popular strip-planked method.
In the September course students will build the Nymph pack canoe and the Night Heron sea kayak. Before you know it, we will start sanding the hull and deck and applying fiberglass on Wednesday. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction. In that case, a 3 hp motor will propel the boat at virtually the same speed as a 10 hp, for reasons that are a little complicated to go into here.
The fiberglass fabric is absolutely transparent and allows the beauty of the wood to shine through.
Speed is excellent: you can cover the miles in a day, while tracking is solid in stiff crosswinds. The boats can carry a heavy payload in the fore and aft compartments, enough for picnicking, camping or a whole lot of fishing gear. While this type of construction was popular with canoes, it was not commonly adapted for kayaks.


Night Heron is an elegant, high performance sea kayak design that has found a place in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
After fairing the insides of the hulls, carbon-Kevlar hybrid fabric will be laid-up on the interiors. Fine entry and almost flat at the stern and short of the Great Lakes during the gales of November , fairly seaworthy. Nick worked together with his brother to develop the process, and over the years has branched out and developed innovative kayak designs using the plywood stitch-and-glue method.
The Mystic River 17′ tandem canoe is a wonderful example of a classic woodstrip canoe with graceful lines and a beautiful recurved stem.
Come Friday, students will start finishing up the canoe while the hull and deck of the kayak are joined together.
A lot of the other boat plan companies sell designs that are obsolete by today's standards. I should also mention that building your own boat allows you the opprotunity to do some pretty neat things with the interior such as building in a live well, adding amenities like specialized lockers for fishing gear, customised seating ,Etc. As his skill as a kayak paddler and boatbuilder evolved, Nick’s designs evolved to match his changing aims.
The microBootlegger is an open-cockpit tandem kayak with lines reminiscent of a 1920s mahogany runabout. On the kayaks we will make the deck and hull, join the two together, and make the cockpit, coaming, and hatches. The class wraps up midday on Saturday with final fiberglass work and completion of details on both boats.
There are hundreds of plans available for the home builder, its just a matter of finding one that suites your budget and building skills. The driving goal has been to maximize on-the-water performance while respecting the natural materials used to create the boat. Out of these efforts, Nick has created Guillemot Kayaks, centered on designing high-performance sea kayaks for other craftsmen interested in building their own boats.
He wrote The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, an instruction book describing the strip-built method, which has helped foster a revival in the construction of wooden kayaks. Nick’s shop is currently located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he builds prototypes of new designs and makes a select number of custom-built kayaks. He has taught kayak construction at Mystic Seaport and the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking.
His work has been exhibited at the American Craft Museum, and one of his boats is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.



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