Das Canoe

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Project by SPalm posted 10-17-2007 04:03 PM 4575 views 12 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are pics a canoe that I built a couple of years ago. It was from a design purchased from CLCboats. It was built using Stitched Lap Strake construction. Stitched because of the twist ties used to temporarily hold it together. Lap because of the overlapping half lap rabbets. And strake because that is what ship guys call the long strips. The plywood is Okoume which can handle the water problems. The gunwales are mahogany, and the seats are ash.

The 8 foot strakes were joined using 6 inch scarf joints to make them around 16 feet. I drilled holes in the strakes and used copper wire to slowly pull it all into shape. No forms were used. Then added the gunwale strips on the top, and the stretcher bar in the middle. I bought a gallon of epoxy and a half gallon of hardener in pump top containers. Two squirts of epoxy and one squirt of hardener into a plastic cup and then applied it with disposable foam brushes. Both the inside and outside were coated with multiple coats of epoxy, sanded between coats. Silica powder was added as a thickener to the fill the gaps of the lap joints on the outside of the boat forming nice fillets. Wood flour (sawdust) was added as a thickener creating a paste when needed on the inside when the end pieces were attached. The twist ties were removed and the outside was finished with marine paint.

The triangles at the end of the boat are dual purpose. They add strength and are also air tight. This makes two flotation devices used to keep the boat from sinking if it is capsized.

It now hangs in my garage and makes me smile every time I drive in there.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

13 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#1 posted 10-17-2007 04:55 PM

Beautiful piece of craftsmanship, Steve!

Down here on the bayou, though, we leave a flat spot on one end for the outboard motor. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Branden's profile


321 posts in 4158 days

#2 posted 10-17-2007 05:18 PM

What a fun project! I make a lot of things, but I would love to have a project like this that you work on over a long period of time. Nice work!

-- Branden - Sacramento, California -

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4013 days

#3 posted 10-17-2007 07:32 PM

Excellent project! I’ve decided recently to purchase a rowboat kit and have settled on CLC’s Annapolis Wherry. Did you have any problems with their product or company? Do you think the strakes, etc. can be duplicated to make more than one boat?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#4 posted 10-17-2007 08:27 PM

Hey guys, thanks.

The older I get, the more that motor sounds inviting.

It was a fairly long project. The wife unit helped out a lot and she has fond memories of it. She had never really built anything before. It is the only project that I have done in the garage (shop is in the basement) and neighbors kept stopping by. That was kind of different.

CLC is a class act. They are only 20 minutes away from me and I toured their shop, great group of people. You can call them up while you are building and they will answer questions on the spot. They build some there and will let you take them out on the water for a spin. That was the first time I saw a CNC router in action. I guess that changed my life. As far as copying the strakes, other than the legal stuff, sure you could. They do sell the plans, so I don’t see why not. I guess a jigsaw, a router, and some kind of jig to make the scarf joint would be all that you need. They sell the ply, epoxy, seats, and other stuff to make your life easier.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3897 days

#5 posted 10-18-2007 05:41 PM

Beautiful canoe, Steve! There’s just something about wooden boats. I have plans for a kayak around here somewhere …

-- -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4337 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 04:49 AM

I sure hope it gets out of the garage every once in a while! Nice.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#7 posted 10-19-2007 01:02 PM

well done

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3916 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 01:54 PM

She’s beautiful.


Are the strakes glued to each other at the lap joints?.........if so, what kind of glue?

Did you epoxy over the copper ties on the inside of the canoe?

Not using a form, does it ride through the water true, or does it have “drift”?

How heavy is it?

Lovely canoe!!!!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4100 days

#9 posted 10-19-2007 02:36 PM

Outstanding work. A lot of work!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#10 posted 10-19-2007 02:46 PM


She doesn’t get out as much I want, but she does. Just not enough time. She weighs about 65 pounds, which is heavy enough where my wife has a hard time lifting her end, and is difficult for me alone. I need to make a little trailer for carrying it from the car to the water. Or just go out with the boys. She runs straight and true, but maybe a little tippy when not carrying a full load.

As far as construction, with the boat upside down and the twist ties still in place, I filled in the lap joints with a paste made of epoxy and silica powder using popsicle sticks to smooth it. This made nice little fillets, and glued the whole thing together. I then removed the twist ties and covered the whole thing with straight epoxy using a brush. A strip of fiberglass cloth was epoxied on the inside floor for more strength. It became virtually invisible. It is amazing how strong plywood will become when soaked with epoxy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4132 days

#11 posted 10-20-2007 12:24 AM

Very nice. I now who to call when I finally get to the point of making a boat.

-- Chelle

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3739 days

#12 posted 07-26-2008 04:48 PM

What a fun project. Nice work!

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3745 days

#13 posted 11-10-2008 03:53 AM

Beautiful canoe! That would be so much fun to take that out on a lake, especially now in the autumn with the leaves changing. I saw a handmade wooden kayak this past summer and the fellow used a kit to make his. The kits uses similar construction and the end result is amazingly beautiful and lightweight. The kayak finishes at about 40 lbs. I just wish I had enough work space to build one, then maybe I’d learn to use one?? Wood is so beautiful, there’s no end to it’s use either. Again, Great job!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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