Category Archives: Canoe & Kayak Construction

Make Your Own Soft Eye Pads

By Tom Pawlak

If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small pad eyes in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes these lightweight carbon or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line pad eyes for his sailing canoes.

He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The pad eyes are easy to make and are amazingly strong. Continue reading

Marquetry Made Easy

By Al Witham

There is a simple way for those of us who may be “artistically challenged” to produce inlaid furniture, jewelry boxes, canoe decks, trays, etc. with a modest investment in equipment and materials, in a reasonable period of time, and with eye-pleasing results. I have no formal training in making inlays, but have found a method which works for me. I showed this method to a friend who is a shop teacher; he now has students as young as ten incorporating it into their school projects with excellent results. My method is adaptable, user-friendly within limits and forgiving of minor cutting errors. Even novices can produce great looking marquetry. Continue reading

Small Craft Builders Rendezvous

By Tom Pawlak

In July 2008 I attended the Small Craft Builders’ Rendezvous in Peterborough, Ontario at the invitation of Ted Moores and Joan Barrett. Their company, Bear Mountain Boats, was one of the sponsors of the gathering which included modern wood and epoxy constructed boats as well as traditionally built wooden canoes. Those attending ranged from professional builders to serious amateurs. Continue reading

Building a Pair of Chesapeake 16 Kayaks

by Chris Jacobson

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Cover Photo: Paddling the south shore of Ontario’s Lake of Two Rivers and into Pog Lake.

It all began when we went camping in Algonquin Park in 2005. We rented a couple of plastic kayaks and the kids loved it. We came home with the intention of buying a    couple of kayaks but while on the internet we saw these stitch and glue make’m yourself boats. I purchased the books “The New Kayak Shop” and “Kayaks You Can   Build. ”Both are available at Chapters or Amazon.com. We decided this was something we could do. We also discovered www.clcboats.com which would prove to be a   tremendous source of encouragement during the project. We made a day trip to Toronto to purchase plans for a Continue reading

Gougeon 12.3 canoes

The Gougeon 12.3 Canoe

by Tom Pawlak

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Cover Photo: A small sampling of the Gougeon 12.3 canoe family. Robert Monroe’s cold-molded canoe (foreground) came from a half-mold that eventually resulted in the a 12.3 mold (object directly behind first canoe) which has been used since 1989 to produce dozens of offspring that reflect a wide raged of tastes and technology.

The Gougeon 12.3 canoe represents several decades of experimentation by employees of Gougeon Brothers. Dozens have been built but no two are exactly alike. The evolution of the Gougeon 12.3 parallels our love of boating, passion for innovation and desire to build better boats—all of which contribute to the products we produce today.

It started 35 years ago with a personal project of Jim Gardiner, who was an employee of Gougeon Brothers at the time. He wanted to build the lightest solo canoe possible  Continue reading

Turning a Gougeon 12.3 into a Kayak

BY TOM PAWLAK

I recently modified the deck of my wife Mary’s fiberglass canoe (one of dozens built from the Gougeon 12.3 mold) to make it more seaworthy and to facilitate a spray skirt. More like a kayak. Previously, the decks covered only the ends of the boat leaving the middle 40% wide open. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out. Continue reading

Kayak Lessons Learned

By Captain James R. Watson

Kayaks are versatile craft. I’m a lucky guy who has had decades of pleasure cruising, exploring, fishing and simply relaxing on many different streams and lakes throughout Michigan and Canada in my stripper. Comparing the investment dollar per pleasure derived, my kayak wins hands down over all the other water craft I’ve owned. In her wake I’ve been taught many lessons, albeit some the hard way. Here are a few I thought worth sharing. Continue reading