"faux" birch bark canoes

I live in Maine and last year I noticed a couple out of state cars with canoes on top that looked like they were made from birch bark. However, they were modern canoes only covered with what looks like birch bark. I thought they were very attractive and since I’m in the market for a canoe I’ve been searching for this model but with no luck.

Can you direct me to a manufacturer and/or dealer that offers such a distinctive canoe?

Fiberglass canoe
The “Birch Bark” canoes you have been seeing are really fiberglass. I know this because until very recently one sat by one of my ponds. They were sold at Kmart in my area and were:


Flat bottomed

poorly made

hard to paddle

& inexpensive.

I think it was $125 new, in about 1976 or 7 but I’m and old man and my memory is going.

Mine had aluminum gunwales and thwart, and the seats had been replaced from its’ original pine with some Lowe’s Maple strips because the treated plywood that replaced them the first (or second) time did not last as long as the pine.

The boat (and I use the term loosely) is now at my buddys farm pond and his kids are paddling around his pond bothering the bluegills.

My advice (and worth what you paid for it) buy a real canoe.

Budd –

The Real Hoot about these is…
that real birchbark canoes have the inside of the bark facing out, yielding a tan to brown coloration. Therefore canoes that look like birchbark are a prime example of commercialization based solely on a misconception. Only in America.



Or Canada actually…
The Radison (USA) or Sportspal (Can) line is available in genuine birch bark paint. …and I’m sure they paddle every bit as well as they look!

A long time ago Sears sold birch bark
patterned glass canoes. I’m sure they were quite cheap. Thing they were chopper gun, very heavy lay ups.

It seems to me that there was a better line of canoe also made in birch bark patterned glass produced at some point as well. Maybe by one of the companies that makes the Voyager canoes, or maybe it was by or through Chicago Canoeland. Have not seen the ads in a long while.



Faux birch barks…
This store has the real thing and also replicas that are very well done.