Western Caribou Canoes, 'Death & Glory'

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Project by Tombombadill posted 1073 days ago 2005 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Over this past summer some friends and I decided to build a pair of ‘Skin on Frame’ canoes. We built the boats using an old Huron canoe as a mold to get the right lines and to steam bend frames over. The structure is entirely Douglas Fir glued and lashed together with nylon sinew, maple pegs, and copper rivets along the gunwale. We also used epoxy to screw/glue in the breast hooks. The skin is ballistic Nylon finished with 5 coats of marine varnish, the fir is oil finished. Upon completion we drove the canoes north, to embark on an 8 day tour of the Bowron lake circuit in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. The Canoes performed admirably, and exceeded our expectations!

13 comments so far

View amagineer's profile


1383 posts in 1228 days

#1 posted 1073 days ago

very impressive! There is nothing like getting back to nature then design, build, and use a a canoe. The Ballistic nylon skin looks very unique, and tougher then birch bark.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View shipwright's profile (online now)


4918 posts in 1429 days

#2 posted 1073 days ago

Nice work, and so close to home too.
I checked out your website. We should go sailing together sometime, I’m just up the street.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5010 posts in 1940 days

#3 posted 1073 days ago

Great job. Some projects are just more fun than others and this looks like it might be one of those…I loke the translucent look of the skin when the light shines thru and exposes the frame…

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 1073 days ago

Very impressive work!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View grosa's profile


895 posts in 1460 days

#5 posted 1073 days ago

WOW. Nice job It looks great. That does look like fun.

-- Have a great day.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1747 days

#6 posted 1073 days ago

great work :-)
congrat´s with the new toy´s
enjoy , enjoy , enjoy :-)


View Uriel7's profile


21 posts in 1145 days

#7 posted 1072 days ago

Very nice. Beautiful boat.

Have you built many other boats before? Was this a challenging build? How about the total weight?

View dubsaloon's profile


619 posts in 1425 days

#8 posted 1072 days ago

I think they are wonderful. I’d like to build some for our Boy Scout Troop. Are there plans? I have some lofting frames for an ultralight canoe but with the boys being who they are they would make a mess of one in short order. Titanium frames and stainless skin, That might last a year.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Maveric777's profile


2690 posts in 1708 days

#9 posted 1072 days ago

Yea, this is just way to cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bluepine38's profile


2876 posts in 1717 days

#10 posted 1072 days ago

Those look light and beautiful, a wonderful project followed by what must a have been a very memorable
christening and use that hopefully if the first of many such voyages. I have a few hours in canoes, including
teaching/sharing boy scout usage and they are among my happier memories. Thank you for sharing this

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mtenterprises's profile


818 posts in 1324 days

#11 posted 1072 days ago

EXCELANT! It is so satifying to build and use your own watercraft.
About 10 years ago I built skin on frame kayaks with my Boy Scouts. It only cost us slightly over $100 each in materials including wood, canvass, glue and paint. It was a fun project but with the boys goofing off it took way too much time. Stop by my Flickr picture site on yahoo and see what we built (and some of my other stuff too).


-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View CaptainAhab's profile


214 posts in 1429 days

#12 posted 1072 days ago

Sweet! Looks much lighter than my cedar strip types.

-- Dave

View Tombombadill's profile


36 posts in 1305 days

#13 posted 1068 days ago

Thank you everyone!

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