Strip Canoe Launchings

Ed Bancroft built this Voyager canoe, an outstanding job! It hangs in the entry to the Bainbridge Performing Arts Theater, Bainbridge Island, Washington. For a better look at the details, click on any picture to enlarge.


We, actually Joan in the main, have finished our Kipawa. Construction took us about 15 months (Feb 03 – May 04) with an approximately five month hiatus last summer when we were too busy with other things to make much progress.

We are wonderfully pleased with the final product and with the materials and support we received from Newfound Woodworks. Although we have only had the boat out three or four times thus far, we have already experienced what I have come to call the “cedar delay”… the extra fifteen or twenty minutes needed at launching to answer questions and accept accolades! I offer the attached photo of our craft “parked” outside our camp in southern New Hampshire for your launchings web page. I also offer a link ( to the web site where we chronicled the construction process in some detail for our far flung families. You may link to this page if you desire. Regards,--- Frank

I would be honored if you would place the pictures of my Redbird on your Launchings page. Your input and the input from the forum had a lot to do with my success.

Am looking forward to starting another one soon. This time I may do a kayak. Thanks again. I am going to launch her in the next day or two. Will send you pictures with her in the water.

Take care.

Bill Toups

I was looking through your "launchings" & thought I'd add this photo of the Abenaki I built & paddled through Isle Royal last September. I also carried it solo a total of about 9 miles through the bush. I can't believe I used to bust my butt carrying an aluminum canoe. Cliff Bloom

Chris Drew built the new Chestnut Kruger and sent us these pictures of the Launching.

Hamp Stevens of Savannah, GA sent these pictures of his Redbird canoe before he launched it.

Jon Hockersmith built this Hiawatha. Jon is the official Newfound Rendezvous photographer. You can check out his pictures on our Rendezvous page.


Erik Sobel built this Bob's Special, named it "Quinobequin Wequashim" and wrote about it in the August 2001 issue of Wooden Canoe.



John and Mary Goddard built two Wee Lassies.


Harold DeYoung built this Hiawatha and is currently building a Resolute Kayak.


An Osprey solo canoe, designed by John Winters and built by Dan Heyduk.




Randall Cates built this Redbird canoe, a Bear Mountain Boat Shop design.


Steve Warren built this pair of solo canoes: a Wee Lassie and a Wee Lassie II. From Steve Warren:

As I was constructing the canoes and prior to sealing with epoxy I began to have second thoughts on the wood selection. All the strips looked yellow to white and appeared rather flat. I had not used an accent strip and was worried about how distinctive the canoes would be when finished. Needless to say, when the sealer coat of epoxy was applied ALL of those concerns left me and I knew that Poplar was right. I had tried to bookmatch strip for strip during construction and ended up with nice accents port to starboard. Tulip Poplar, when finished, has variations in color ranging from pale yellow to an olive drab tone to white and can have mineral deposits which are purplish to black. The pictures that I sent you don't really demonstrate this effect but what you see on one side of the canoe is almost the same on the other side board for board. Of course there is a lot of work involved sorting through 100 to 150 strips to find a "match" but it's well worth it. I would suggest however that a building the size of a two car garage be used. I built my canoes in a single car garage which also housed lawn equipment, snow blower, bikes, many boxes, storage shelves........... Lets say that I tested the flexibility of many of the strips when swapping them end for end in that small space! :-) For detail wood I used cherry for the inner and outer railing(I found this to be brittle under hard use). Sassafras for the seat frame and a variation of tulip poplar and red cedar for the decks. That variety really looks well together in the finished product. You might be able to tell in the photos that rather than make an oval end design on the decks I made a Vee design. I can't say enough to thank you for the assistance you gave over the phone during the epoxy and fiberglassing process. Between the video, our conversations and my experience with wood this was a great project and one that I plan on doing again. It's really nice to deal with people who take a personal interest in their customers and show that by sharing their knowledge.


Chuck Carpenter's Rob Roy.




Last spring I purchased from you the kit to build the Bob's Special canoe. Well, after several months work, I completed it last week and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the process of building it as well as the pleasure when my daughter and I successfully launched it. Now that winter is upon us here in Montana, it is safely stored in the garage. But I wanted you folks to see how it came out, hence the enclosed picture.Now I'm looking forward to using it on our Montana lakes and rivers next summer.

Thanks again.

Sincerely yours,

Don Mathre


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