Recommended readings for canoe making?

I’m wanting to start learning about this. I started with learning about paddle making (I’m 1/3 done with my first beavertail!), and I’ve become curious on how to make wooden canoes. Recommendations?

Also, what would the the base recommended power tools and woodworking machines for this type of endeavor?



Illustrated Guide to Wood Canoe
If you’re interested in building a wood strip canoe the best I’ve seen is the Illustrated Guide to Wood Strip Canoe Building by Susan Van Luken.

It is available at This is the most expensive ($35) of the several other strip building books, but the professional color photographs and the sequenced slide shows for many of the techniques is very helpful. Her writing style is friendly and encouraging. She only uses one method for her boats but briefly discusses some alternatives and leaves it up to you to decide which you prefer. The other books I’m familiar with are not nearly as helpful or as well illustrated, some are pretty useless.

Another excellent resource is

They have a video on wood strip building and another on fiberglassing the wood strip canoe. Very clear and understandable step by step class, given in a friendly manner.

If you’re curious about wood and canvas canoe building has a set of videos, one for building an “open form” and the other for building the canoe.

An excellent on-line source of wood strip information is Their web site has a ton of useful information.

good luck and happy building


minnesota Canoe Association has long had classes and techiques disseminated about canoe building. The most useable I have read is from the Northwest canoe shop.

that was the one I used as my bible. Not fancy cabanetry level carpentry, just good basic advice and techniques the MCA has used over the years.



The Bible
Canoecraft by Ted Moores is the recognized bible of woodstrip canoe building.

Link to

woodstrip? Stitch and Glue?
I’m guessing you mean woodstrip building.

But if you mean Stitch and Glue, I have a set of free plans that have assembly instructions that you might find to be a benefit.

I agree

The MCA Builders’ Book is the one I like and recommend.

Woodstrip and everything else
I’m specifically interested in woodstrip, but I’d like to learn about other aspects as well. I’d love the plans!

With this in mind, is there a book that would discuss the history of canoe making? And talk about the different ways of building canoes?



2 With History
"The Wood and Canvas Canoe" by Jerry Stemlock and Rollin Thurlow. " The History of The Old Town Canoe Company" by Sue Audette. These relate to W/C canoes and their history.

other constructions
Stitch & glue:


and for something way out of the mainstream, “The survival of the bark canoe” by John McPhee is a good read.

Ted Moore’s Canoecraft is THE book on cedar strip construction, which is arguably the easiest method of construction. He has a website with a great builder’s forum at:

For power tools, if you’re going to rip your own strips all you need is: circular saw with a fence, random orbital sander (although if you like sanding, you can do it by hand), and a jigsaw. Having a tablesaw can be nice.