How to Build a Canoe in 72 Hours

This project began, as it were, with a “crazy idea” – the possibility of canoe travel without taking a canoe with you. Of building one upon arriving in a new place or country, paddling it, then leaving it there upon departure. 

And…?  It worked.    

Dr. Joe, an avid canoe-ist from Coos Bay, OR, says of his project, 

The idea of building a canoe in a short period of time seemed to open up the possibility of building the boat in a foreign country with local materials and leaving the boat when the vacation was over. I needed advice and went online to find a country, a boat to build and the skills and tools to create this project. I was overwhelmed by the information and support. There were some skeptics, my friend Pete said, “Obtaining materials in a foreign land on a set time..I would suggest not bringing a watch but, instead, a calendar.”

Matt from Jem Watercraft suggested I build a prototype and, “beat the hell out of it,” to see if it would be up to my expectations. Then he offered to draft any designs I wanted for this crazy idea. I accepted his offer and had the plans drafted in both metric and inches. I thought since I might be building this outside of the U.S.A. I might as well use metric. I loved it try dividing 14' 7 19/32″ by 11 in your head. (Stubborn Americans is all I can say.)

The trick here is assembling the boat plywood panels with a butt joint, using drywall tape and epoxy putty, which is, as Joe claims, “stronger than the wood.”

The whole piece is a good read, a meditation on practicality in addition to the tutorials. Dr. Joe is a good writer, and a good canoe maker, and it provides lots to think about. 

Two Canoes and a Crazy Idea []