Building the perfect wooden canoe

By Martin Reid

As with any project there will be a cost associated to it, whether you decide to build it from scratch or from one of the many kits now available, there will be a cost. You must think of not only the cost of the materials but the cost of the consumables you will need during the building. Whether the cost is your time or just money there is still a value associated to it. Plan for that cost ahead of time and it won?t be a surprise to you.

Although there is a certain amount of time involved in building your kayak or canoe, there is nothing quite as satisfying as sitting in your own masterpiece in the middle of a lake and enjoying your surroundings. The time spent will seem like nothing at that moment. Making everything you did seem very worthwhile.

Whether you choose to build a strip planked kayak or a stitch and glue kayak, there is an enjoyment from the construction. The strip planked is a far sturdier version of the kayak than the stitch and glue but either will satisfy your desire to create. Nothing beats seeing your creation appearing before you.

Whatever you build is your decision. Just make sure you plan for the materials and tools you need. Plan a time on a regular basis that you can use to build it, whether it is daily or some other time frame. You will find yourself looking forward to that time with just you and your creation.

As part of your expenditures you need to keep in mind your tools. If you do not have good quality tools you will want to invest in some. It is cheaper to buy tools once rather than constantly replace cheap tools. Don?t be afraid to use hand tools or power tools or a mix. This is your creation and if you want to take your time or finish in a hurry the decision is yours to make.

As you build you will learn how to manipulate the wood, finishing only when you put the boat in the water, but only after you learn patience as glue dries and a certain method and repetition to sanding the wood smooth. Once complete with one you will probably want to start on another. Finding you enjoyed the process of building more than using the boat.

The work develops it own soul as you work on it, taking on a life of its own as you finish it, part of the creator being bestowed on the creation in the process of building. A creation you will get to enjoy repeatedly every time you use it.

So choose your plan and make your decisions as to how and with what materials and tools. Take your time and enjoy your creation as it comes out of the wood like a phoenix out of a fire, making a one of a kind masterpiece that you will enjoy using repeatedly.

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