I started building the strongback and the forms for my first cedar strip canoe
about the end of January, 2000. I used a set of plans obtained from Bear Mountain
Boat Company in Peterborough. The model I chose was a fifteen foot Ranger,
a variant of the famous Chestnut Prospector.
I was in no great rush to see the project through, but I did work at it quite regularly during the next few months. It was a joy to see the strips of cedar take shape into what would become, in my eyes, a beautiful craft.
As spring turned into early July, I started feeling a bit more urgency to see the project completed, so I increased my working time from a few hours a week to a few hours several days a week. About mid-July, I gathered a couple of helpers around me, and we applied the fibreglass and clear epoxy to the exterior. After some holidays, to give the epoxy cure-time, my wife and I applied fibreglass and epoxy to the interior.
|Here I have installed the inwales and the decks. The width of the canoe is being set by a temporary spacer-thwart. The centre yoke-thwart will eventually be placed near this location. The seats have ash frames and nylon boot lacing. The decks are ash, with a walnut central accent stripe. Both inwale (see the scuppers) and outwale (not yet installed) are also from locally grown ash trees.|
|A week or so later, with the woodworking completed, and a coat of varnish applied, my wife and I carried the canoe out of the workshop to take this photo. It was a proud moment.|
This photo was taken along the shore of Restoule Lake, on August 11, 2000,
in one of Ontario's Provincial Parks. A couple of 200 pound chaps (that's me standing)
are getting set to push off for a test run.
The hull proved to be very stable, even with a few power boats buzzing around creating waves, it tracked well (having no keel) and there was plenty of freeboard even considering the load it was carrying.
|Floating nicely just off shore as we prepare to depart.|
|My wife, Heather, seated at the stern, and a friend returning from a late afternoon jaunt. Both ladies were quite impressed with the stability of the hull.|
This is a second canoe that I built, mainly for the enjoyment of doing so. ( I'm kind of a woodworking guy! ).
This canoe also has the " prospector" style hull. The length is over 15-1/2 feet with a beam of 31 inches.
It is a very stable canoe ( rated at about 105 = more stable than most )
I used only carefully selected western red cedar boards to make the strips,
and some eastern white cedar for accents. The decks are from locally grown white ash
with a 'purple heart' accent strip in the middle of each. The seats are framed with ash
and finished with a tough nylon shoelace material. The "portaging yoke " is hand-carved
from a solid piece of white ash. Gunwales are also white ash, with scuppers built into the inwales.
If you would be interested in owning this beautiful canoe, please get in touch with me.