Colne Canoe

Length 16ft 6 ins; Beam 31 ins; weight range 65lb - 90lb depending on detail

Design No 13 (1992) construction plywood - "stitch 'n glue", 5 plank hull

Plan price £25.00 including UK postage. the plan is in imperial units
The plan consists of an A1 sheet with an accompanying textual guide, including a way to make a simple sailing rig. The method is stich 'n' glue and the builder is expected to refer to more detailed published texts about this if necessary.

This boat was designed as a two seater for estuary use, with seaworthiness and stability the prime considerations; it was built for a friend who liked my “green canoe” but wanted a bit more carrying capacity in exchange for some “slipperiness”. Although the freeboard is high the boat is narrow enough for double paddles. There are buoyancy tanks fore and aft and more flotation could be added under the side decks eg as polystyrene blocks. The cockpit is 9 ft long with space for two crew and stowage. In competent hands the canoe is meant to be safe enough to use without being in company with other boats.

The design is a double-ender, symmetrical fore-and-aft, with the stern truncated (the usual option) to give a transom and rudder - a rudder is helpful in cross winds and rough water. There are other choices – rubbing strips and skegs to protect the bottom, and/or sheathing; a “cuddy”; and finally the design is worked out to produce canoes up to 20 ft in length to the same pattern by extending the plywood panels.

The construction technique is “stitch and glue”. The plans give offsets for shaping the planking panels which are stitched together by the builder to produce the hull, the shape controlled by the transom, the two bulkheads, and extra moulds for which full-size patterns are given. Instructions are enclosed with the plan sheet to give a full guide to building procedure and the various options – however the plans do not go into every last technical detail of the materials used and the inexperienced builder is expected to use one of the many books available dealing with this method of building for a fuller understanding.

The canoe could carry a sail also and details of a possible rig come with the plans, along with designs for seats, back rests, and how to make the steering pedals for the rudder. A specific paddle design is not supplied.

I would expect building time to be 40 to 80 hours depending on degree of finish and the various details of fittings and equipment. It does not take long to make the hull itself but the deck and coaming and equipment add quite a lot to the total labour. The budget is pretty variable depending upon plywood type and painting choices among others - “think £400”........