help with strip canoe plans

my wife’s grandfather is a wizard with wood. he’s bent on building a strip tandem with lots of neat trim, etc. he found a boat he likes at newfound. it looks cool with the upswept bow and stern and native american look. but that looks comes at a cost, mostly in the wind. i’d rather have something like a wenonah spirit II. don’t want to hurt the guy’s feelings or anything, but this is a boat that’s going to be paddled. anyone know of a more modern strip design in the 16 to 17 foot range? thanks.


freedom 17
This is one fine touring canoe. Very seaworthy.

Redbird is a very nice paddling 17’6"
design. Can be a bit long for solo paddling unless all is calm. I helped build one. Sure is a beauty!

It too has the beautiful swept back bow and stern. BUT do you realize that just because the plans are drawn with the big bow and stern does not mean it has to be built that way. It can be built as flat as you like. The sides can be dropped as well if there is too much freeboard.



Have you stated the maximum length
you desire and can safely handle where you will be paddling. Telling grandpa that bit of info would be a place to start.



Minnesota canoe Assoc has a bunch of plans, as does the Northwest canoe shop. They mostly come out of the legasy of Gene Jensen’s go fast designs so do not have the high windage of some of the more traditional designs. For soloing I love my Merlin, and she handles well in the wind. My son built an MCA explorer which handles wind nicely( but is meant to be loaded with pcks). If your Grandfather is near Charlotte North Carolina I can help him. (of course by help I mean scratching my butt and drinking beer while pondering over a join or scarf.)


Denver NC

Winters Designs
Green Valley, has plans for several of John Winters designs.

Sounds like fun in store for you Chad!

The Winisk
I have a netbuddy who has built 4 Winisks. You can’t go wrong with a Winters design.

And those Green Valley seats are great!
They are great looking and great sitting. “Grandpa” did a great job making them out of cherry for the RedBird!

Even if you do not have a Green Valley canoe made DO seriously consider their seat design!!! :^)



he wants to do the bob’s special
a 16-footer that’s on the launchings section of the newfound site. he said he wants to shape the upper sections of the bow and stern like the redbird. maybe i should just keep my mouth shut and let him do his thing.

You paying or is he?
If he is paying the bill just say thank you so very much and shut up. If you are expected to pay, well use your judgement.

After grandpa is gone you can recut the lines or move it and get what you wish. Although I think it will grow on you and will always be their if there is room to store it. I have at least one in that category. ;^)

In either case enjoy.

Show him the seats. Just having them pleases the eye and causes a glow inside. :^) :^) :^)


i’m footing the bill
probably will spend less than a grand. i want a modern design, but i don’t know exactly how to say that and not piss the guy off.

piss him off
Better to piss him off now, than to be pissed off later.

Look at the Nomad. Tradition line with the below-waterline shape modernized. This is a very good touring canoe. Get him to leave the stem shape alone. Changing the stem requires changing much more than just the stem mold.

Abenaki ?
A real nice design can be found in David Hazens book on strip building. the Abenaki with objibway a stems looks sweet(this is from memory so I could way wrong ) fast hull etc. Just convince the old Gentlemen not to build up the stems too much and it could be a nice boat.

hmmm …
let me see if I understand this?

  • your father-in-law wants to build you and your wife a canoe;

  • he expects you to pay for the materials;

  • he’s picked the canoe he wants to build;

  • but you don’t think you’ll like it because it’s a classic low-performance, recreational canoe that has stood the test of time.

    I’d call you lucky.

    But you’ll probably call me an old curmudgeon as I’d say your only options are to let him build what he wants or feign financial hardship and tell him no thanks.

    Would you really want a canoe built by him that he didn’t want to build?

Unless he is leaving you a lot you get
what you are paying for. Plain and simple. He should be old enough to understand that. ;^)