The Canoe Project

In 2009 I designed and built a Canadian canoe.  My thinking was to build a lightweight canoe, as most of the plastic ones you can buy off the shelf are well over 25kg in weight.  Therefore it was built out of 4mm ply... it ended up at 12.5kg - ultra light but as fragile as an egg!  Having said that, I have doubled up the bottom panel and stiffened a few choice areas and it has been relatively trouble free.  It sat over the winter in the garden with minimal water damage, which is a testament to the ability of epoxy and varnish to stabilise plywood in the outdoors.  Recently I took the boat out of its corner of the garden and patched a few holes that had formed when the boat blew over during the stronger winds of the winter.  Patching was easy, and once it had a fresh coat of paint, it was good enough to unleash in a public environment!  I enjoy the comments the boat gets as it does look the part on the water.  If only they knew just how badly I got the stability calculatons!  It takes a concerted effort to keep this thing upright!  Anyway, enjoy the pictures...


Fresh Varnish Canoe & Snowball Canoe on the water



30th March 2012

So with a whole summer ahead, I have decided to give the canoe one last rebuild before retirement.  The uncovered storage in the garden is not doing it any favours, and with all the panel repairs the boat is starting to look like "frankencanoe".  The plan is to do the Great Glen, from Fort William to Inverness - approx. 60 miles over a week or so!  To this end I have started some modifications to the vessel...

As built, the canoe was extremely light weight.  I feel the need or a little more structure, so I am adding stiffening ribs into the bottom and sides.  Also, an Ama is being built to add a little stability, important as I will be carrying a week of camping kit and don't want any unnecessary dunkings!  A mini mast and sail is also being developed!  I have sent away to get the draings for this lot plotted... arriving soon.

Here is a link to the challenge:  The Caledonian Canal Guide

Job list

Boat Structural Mods

  • Bow end pour for fore stay fitting and carry handleDone!
  • Fit bow handle
  • Drill hole for mast support
  • Fit mast foot
  • Fit additional panel stiffening to side panels
  • Fit additional panel stiffening to angle panels
  • Fix existing areas of dry rot - Underway
  • Laminate up the mast
  • Source rope for rigging - Ordered!
  • Source various minor fittings and blocks for rig
  • Source material for the sail - Ordered!
  • Fit additional structure IWO ama attachments
  • Aquire Material to build Ama
  • Build the Ama
  • Build the Ama attachment arms
  • Source tie downs for Ama arms
  • Re paint hull green
  • Re varnish hull interior and additional components
  • re paint non skid floor
  • Manufacture sail
  • Paint the Ama

Additional Procurement

  • Consider cheap new single man tent (existing 2 man a bit big...)
  • Consider new sleeping bag
  • Get some large dry bags from LOMO
  • Large British flag obviously!

Last Updated (Friday, 30 March 2012 10:24)