Western Caribou Canoes, 'Death & Glory'

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Project by Tombombadill posted 09-19-2011 09:02 PM 2299 views 9 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


1402 posts in 1683 days

#1 posted 09-19-2011 09:25 PM

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


6266 posts in 1884 days

#2 posted 09-19-2011 09:51 PM

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 longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2394 days

#3 posted 09-19-2011 10:51 PM

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…

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 3110 days

#4 posted 09-19-2011 11:22 PM

Very impressive work!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View grosa's profile


972 posts in 1915 days

#5 posted 09-20-2011 12:12 AM

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

-- Have a great day.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2201 days

#6 posted 09-20-2011 12:43 AM

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


View Uriel7's profile


21 posts in 1600 days

#7 posted 09-20-2011 02:36 AM

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


621 posts in 1880 days

#8 posted 09-20-2011 04:32 AM

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


2692 posts in 2163 days

#9 posted 09-20-2011 02:09 PM

Yea, this is just way to cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bluepine38's profile


3217 posts in 2171 days

#10 posted 09-20-2011 03:18 PM

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 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mtenterprises's profile


879 posts in 1779 days

#11 posted 09-20-2011 03:48 PM

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 1883 days

#12 posted 09-20-2011 04:21 PM

Sweet! Looks much lighter than my cedar strip types.

-- Dave

View Tombombadill's profile


36 posts in 1759 days

#13 posted 09-24-2011 07:32 PM

Thank you everyone!

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