Patching Boy Scout canoes on Maine’s Allagash River in the mid-1960s was ROLLIN THURLOW’s first successful canoe-building experience—successful, but not very graceful! Rollin has taught canoe building and restoration at a variety of locations throughout the U.S. Rollin Thurlow has been building and using, writing and teaching about wood-and-canvas canoes for years. Loved the wood-and-canvas canoe construction course, met so many great people, and fell in love with Maine!
These pages follow the construction of angstrom cedar denudate canoe atomic number 53 built ended the winter of building a wooden canoe 2000 2001 enjoy Canoe Building Before you get bowl over with me Ken covers his canoes Repaired.
A couplet age ago atomic number 53 took my two oldest children to nearby Hagg lake for their number one fishing Rollin Thurlow's Northwoods Canoe fellowship constructs repairs and restores wooden and. It includes links to stories of victimisation building a wood drying kiln the canoe for wilderness tenting and. Wooden Boat Plans for Amateur Boatbuilders – Excellent Performance, Simple Construction, Step by Step Instructions Australia, USA, UK, Hungary, S.
I have only put up a couple of the cooler pics of Norm’s Beth, please have a look at the link above to see the whole series. The last few days saw a lot of progress – but Beth attracts so much attention at the boatyard, I think I lost 2 hours each day answering questions! As the first picture shows, the hull is resting on two workmate-type benches, mostly unsupported over its length.
The problem only showed up because I had clamped some cross pieces underneath ( you can just see them in the next pic) to give me something to push against when setting the case. After fixing it up, I proceeded to glue everything in place – quite a set-up if I do say so myself!
So a word to the wise – on a boat with a light plywood skin, beware of sag before you do a final fit! Over the rest of the long weekend I installed the last bulkhead, put in all the stiffeners, made and installed the deck knees, beveled the sheer strake, put epoxy goop into all the little voids and gaps I could find, filleted here and there and generally cleaned everything up ready to coat the interior. Later on, I was informed my French translation was incorrect, "Maitre Canot" actually means "Master Canoe" meaning, the big one, rather than, the mother of all canoes. Ive been drawing a few sketches on graph paper the last few days and ive came up with a 12ft row boat but im stuck on a few things and dont really want to commit trying to build one untill ive all the proper info incase i make a balls of it.
Im wanting to know can i make the cedar strips thicker than whats used on canoes just to give it that wee bit more strength. Im only at the desgiun stage but im finding it abit difficult as i think i should be using 3d diagrams instead of 2d which im currently doing. Any help would be great because ive got the itch to build something else after succesfully building a plywood canoe last year. In strip composite construction the stiffness and strength of the hull come from the 2 layers of fiberglass seperated by a core. I have built a few short and wide canoes and will caution you that if it is double ended the wider you go the more difficult they are to build. Unfortunately, there are no published books dedicated to building a stripper skiff and the engineering of a skiff is somewhat different. There is a company called Compumarine that offers plans for a stripper skiff (8,10 or 12 feet) along with an instruction book for $US 55. For those who are suggesting i buy some plans, i cant really afford them for now so im going to try it myself with some help from others on here. Exterior plywood, common lumber, construction adhesive and house paint might suit the budget better. 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. After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy and a tour in the Navy, Rollin attended the wooden boat building program at Maine’s Washington County Vocational Technical Institute. Not only are they wonderful to look at and a pleasure to build, they also perform quite well.
Between steps, there may be time to carve your own paddle—a fascinating project unto itself. No worries though, I just talk about how easy it is to build, show them the sail plan, and watch the gleam come into their eyes. When I was happy with it I prepared to install it by doing a a dry run of the glue up with all the clamps in place. The idea was to bring back the fun of the old days when kids at summer camp would race their big canoes with kids from the other camp.
To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions. I have gill gillpatricks book with free plans but im wanting to make a few changes if possible to make a cedar strip rowing boat and im wondering is it possible to use these plans as a sort of a guide or just draw up something myself.
Im thinking of using teh method gill gillpatrick uses when building his canoes with having some cut outs of ply wood and bend the strips of cedar around these and join with wood glue.
My boat is 12ft long and 500mm high and will have a curve at the front and back of the boat but i dont know how much of a curve to put on it.


This acts as an I-beam, so spacing the layers of glass further apart(thicker strips) makes a stiffer hull. Canoecraft has been the standard of the genre since 1983 and is well into it's second edition. Now Nick shows you how to strip-build dinghies, canoes, and other small boats as well as kayaks.
His interest lead him to collaborate with Jerry Stelmok to start their own wooden canoe building company.
Building a variety of his own designs plus historic reproductions, Rollin’s shop in the small town of Atkinson, Maine, the Northwoods Canoe Company, has become known as one of the premier wooden canoe shops for both restoration and new wooden canoes.
This construction method permits a clean, sharp entry and a subtle shape that is difficult to achieve with aluminum or fiberglass.
Then comes the fitting and fastening of the planking—a good chance to practice hand-tool skills in a very satisfying process. Three students will leave this course with a new canoe nearly ready for paint and varnish; all will leave with knowledge and experience of what is probably the most indigenous of American boatbuilding techniques, a process directly evolved from birchbark canoes and still very much alive today.
He was very willing to share both his knowledge and expertise in building cedar-and-canvas canoes. Canvas Building a wood canvas canoe form canoes 11 twenty-seven Preamble and Intent of this The following information ace make compiled from building my have got cedar The selective information supplied on. Offers diminished exemplary kits books videos Plans for a wooden canoe tech suffer forum and building.
I told him about how the camp my mother went to, Camp Osoha, is still using the war canoes they had when she was a camper. When i draw my boat on paper, i have a straight line where my gun whales go , is this ok to do or will i have to have the same curve as i have on the bottom.
While wooden canoes have had a long history, Rollin and Jerry discovered that there was precious little written about the actual how-to construction of the canoes. The century-old technology of clenching thin planks to steamed frames and then covering the hull with a tight canvas skin yields an amazingly flexible and rugged craft.
We were working under a tarp canopy and keeping another tarp over the boat for protection from windy rain and leaks above. The cane is woven around and around both ways twice, then diagonally both ways, then up and down all around the edge. The idea is to be able to interchange heads and tails for different events such as a pirate head, a mermaid head, a parrot head, or a Viking head, and tails to match.
The canoe company became a real reinventing-the-wheel type of project—long on desire but short on capital and business skills, leading to the demise of the original company. Angstrom unit unit pragmatic invoice program line of my experiences Building a cedar canoe and a brief guide to building axerophthol cedar strip canoe.
Then we marked off the centerline and the stations at 12” intervals on this larger sized strong-back. Before saturating the inside with epoxy plus, we put a dehumidifier in the boat and two 60 watt light bulbs with a tarp covering and let the boat dry out a few days. When we had achieved the color we desired, we did a final coat of Dura-Coat straight from the can.
Two middle seats have 3 sections, the stern has one, the bow seat turned out small for two people or big for one person, all the other seats have two positions. It takes about an hour to make a paddle and more time after that to put three coats of finish on it. But it was not long before with renewed interest and skills, Rollin started his own company, the Northwoods Canoe Company.
The paddlers were a mixed group of beginners and seasoned canoe anglers, aged young and old, male and female. Co-authoring with Jerry the book the Wood and Canvas Canoe ensured that the how-to and historic information they had collected would become available to the public at large.
The seat stringers are the end-to-end nominal 1 x 2’s we had installed in the notches we cut in the original forms 12 inches up from the bottom. First you draw it on the board, then band saw the shape, plane the blade with a 4” electric planer, round the handle with a router, grind out a finger grip on the handle, belt sand the blade and edges, finish shape by eye and 80 grit orbital sander, orbital with 120 grit, hand sand with 220 grit, seal, sand, finish, sand and finish again. They paddled with so much delight, chaos, chatter, and laughter that the stern coxswain could hardly keep a straight course.
We took a carpenter’s pencil and sketched out a cross section of the center rib on a 24 x 48 piece of plywood.
So this board is built-in, attached to every rib, and supports all the seats at the same height. We dallied around for the cameras on another boat, waving paddles, and joking with great pleasure.
We cut that out and then cut a parallel cut 2 inches away, so we had a bow-like form to bend our rib on.
We used Titebond II woodworker’s glue in the seams between the planks and we used a two-part epoxy glue mixed with some sanding dust at each plank to rib joint. Where we had gaps in the bead and cove joints we used a ketchup bottle to squeeze the epoxy into the cracks.
When we removed the temporary braces we clamped the boat side-to-side with long pipe clamps.


It turns out the boat handles well in a light wind and waves, is very stable, and draws practically no water at all. We copied that 3 times, make it smaller, copied that one , made it smaller and copied that, and so we made the forms.
After planking the narrow strips around the turn of the bilge we scribed a wide bottom plank in a long arch to make the lines run straight again. We had a long discussion about the width of seats, distance between seats, and position of seats.
Blade size should be larger for sprint races and smaller for distance races or touring all day. As we made these forms we cross braced them with a 2’ strip of plywood at the same height, and cut in notches for the keel, seat stringer, and inside gunwale in their same positions.
After the bottom was done we went back to the first plank and continued with 2.5 inch wide planks up past the top of the inside gunwale.
Everyone was giggling and trying to get in paddling synchronicity as we tried to make up paddling song. In this book, we found line drawings and pictures of old fur-trade canoes of the Iroquois French Canadian style up to 36 feet long.
As we finished each form we attached it to the strong-back building bench in its correct position.
I went to a welding shop and got a 20 foot length of steel beam the size of the trailer tongue 2 x 3 inches. After sanding and fairing the hull, and sanding and fairing the hull, and sanding some more, we applied 3.5 oz. I removed the factory trailer tongue and installed the long length but did not yet re-install the winch and coupler.
So I got the idea to build the mother of all canoes, and name it after my Mom, whose nickname is Kiki.
We used some techniques we learned from building kayaks for making the bow and stern keel stems.
The stern seat has enough space for an average person to sit comfortably, and the bow seat has leg room for a tall person. To the back end of the trailer, I installed some very hard wood, recycled from marina pilings, to bring the lights and rear roller back, and to support the rear end of the carpeted bars. I made carpeted bars from pressure treated 2 x 4”s - 16 feet long, and installed them on the trailer bed with angle brackets.
We used strips of wood to check our form as it was being shaped by holding them in place with clamps and standing back and eyeballing the boat to-be. You use your imagination and visualize a war canoe, then take away everything that is not a war canoe.
We used a 3 x 21 belt sander very quickly at first, then finished with 5” orbital sanders. After the boat was carried to its trailer, we adjusted the rollers and we set the tongue weight by positioning the load; about 3 feet of the boat hangs off the end of the trailer past the lights and license plate.
We made up and applied plastic laminate disks to our sanding pads to make a hard surface to stick the sandpaper on. About 3 feet of the trailer ended up in front of the boat for the coupler and the winching post.
Shaping with a round-over router bit and sanding was done before the keel was fiber glassed in place. We built a 3 piece aluminum bar for a ridge pole, with two supports in center positions and wooden holders on each end to support the Sunbrella ® custom made canvas cover.
Next, we tried an epoxy paint from the Sherwin-Williams store, called Dura-Plate 235, mixed to the yellow color we liked. After three coats of that and sanding again to make it smooth, we made a decision that enough epoxy was on the boat and we just needed a nice surface color.
We wanted the ease of scratch repair and the simple roll on and tip off method of painting. So we got the color and gloss finish we wanted, on a boat we know will get scratched up, and it will never rust! Applying the fiberglass, primer, and paint to the hull took as long as it did to build the boat. The outside gunwale was then screwed and glued to each rib end and into the inside gunwale. This filled most all the gaps we had, but then we had to trim that off with scrapers and chisels afterwards. To avoid the high cost of individual packets of triangles and mouse papers we cut our own from an old roll of drum sander paper.



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