cedar strip kit questions

I’m getting the urge to build a cedar strip canoe kit. Never done it before, but I’ve built RC Scale airplanes and I’m pretty handy. My goal is to build a really beautiful boat that my wife and I and sometimes the dog can go day paddling, maybe some light fishing, or possibly a short camping trip in the right area.

Who’s got experience with this? Any advice? I’ve looked at some of the kits on line and many look nice. I’m just wondering what paddles well, who provides a quality kit and stuff like that.

Your experience and opinions are valued!


here’s a Canadian company

Green Valley Boat Works

Kayak forum
There is a very active, and very helpful boat building forum at


While it is named and sponsored as a kayak site, canoe people are welcome.

users group, strip builders. I am a member as are several people on the p-net. I will try to figure out the url for you.

strip canoe info
Thanks bald paddler. Thanks to the rest of you also. I have been to those sites and will go back soon.

Who has paddled some of these after they’ve been built. Opinions?

I want to pick a model that has resonable performance, but it also has to have reasonable initial stability. My wife loves to kick back and let me paddle her butt all over the place, and she shifts, points, prepares food, and takes pictures whenever she feels like it. It’s my job to control and power the boat. Any favorites out there? I saw a model called the Quetico that looked nice. Maybe too big though. I also liked one called the Redbird, but not sure about it’s initial stability.

By the way, I am a canoe novice. I’ve paddled in an OT Tripper, and my Penobscot 17. Just for reference, we find the the Penobscot loose when lightly loaded, but have never felt like it was tippy. I’d like a hair more initial stability, or maybe just a smoother or quicker transition to secondary. I don’t know!

Thanks for the help. Keep it up!

Time and patience …

Start with a good design. The nicest lines I know of are the RedBird. That recurved bow and stern are just too sexy for words! Take your time. Get lots of books and fotos. Go over and over them to find what you like and want. Buy good materials. Get a good variation in the colors of the cedar. Add some complementary woods. Take a lot of time book matching the strips and planning where they will look the best.

The sailing hull Matt designed and JJoven built is a beautiful and well behaved canoe too! It is the one pictured above the word “CANOE” on the home page. Maybe it can be built in a stripper. http://www.jemwatercraft.com/

Do not rush for any reason, take your time, and enjoy the project, Mick

I built a Hiawatha
from the book “Canoe Craft.” By the way, this was my bible for building this canoe…it’s a must have. www.noahsmarine.com I believe sells the book and the kit. This canoe is a bit tippy, but light, fast, and the perfect size for day trips weighing in at around 45 lbs. Perfect for me and my girlfriend, plus big cooler. Also have taken it on week long trips in Quetico.

had no building experience before doing this, which took me roughly 10 months. With your experience and a heated workspace (did mine in an unheated Michigan Garage in winter and fall) you could cut this time in half. Sounds funny, but make sure you build it in a space you can get it out of! Heard many horror stories of people building in basements, then not being able to get it out without punching a big hole in foundation.

For a first time canoe, it came out like a beautiful piece of furniture and is rugged. Do it if you like this type of thing…it changed me forever.

strip canoe
I enjoyed building a strip canoe using the book

“The Strippers Guide to Canoe Building” by David Hazen. The book gives the builder a shove in the right direction. Hazen’s writing is sort of “out-there”, but enjoyable.

I have built
a 15.8 solo striper. It was a Merlin. Very similar to the Bell Merlin, but none of that nasty rocker that makes going straight a chore. I Helped build a 18.6 MCA cruiser(a tandem). Both boats track well and do not feel unstabile. I have not paddled them but I tend to agree with McWood about the redbird designs. My personal favorite is the Norrthwest Canoe shop. Al Gustovson is very helpful. After my experiences with him I would readily buy more stuff from him if the plans fit my needs. I am waiting for him to come out with an 16.6 Solo touring/citizen racing hull…