Strip Canoe Building Questions

I was wondering if anyone has tried to build a wooden strip canoe using a foam core instead of the wood strips.

Would it retain enough strength?

Would the epoxy properly adhere to the foam?

And any other questions I should be asking.


The majority
of composite boats are built using a variation of stripping with foam. The wenonahs have foam core with foam side ribs as does Bell, Savage river ,Grasse river etc. Notable exception is Hemlock that just lays-up composites. Not familiar with Colden so no comment there. The use of stripes makes a “monoque”(?) three layer sandwich which is stiffer then any individual component. using foam instead of wood should not radically change the end result. The wieght might be higher though if you used foam totally the way we use wood. Also keep in mindthe foam the canoe builders use is not styrofoam.

Southern Padler
Try posting over here:

While a lot of these guys are pirogue builders they are always playing around with ideas.


Thank you for the feed back.
The type of foam I am looking at using is the Polyisocyanurate Rigid Foam used in construction as an insulation. And you think the foam may actually weigh more than wood?

Thank you for the input.
I did post this question on this forum.

Thank you for the information.

I would be
heasitant about using that foam Polywhateverstyreneretel . the foam the manufacturers use is probobly stronger The foam insulation boards I am familiar with would not hold up. Then you would need to layer on the composites for stregnth since the “Monoque” construction would be suspect. I have seen that foam use to make a plug for an all composite canoe though.

Take a look
at this link. I put this site in my favorites sometime back thinking I would do just what you’re asking about. I’d be interested in what you come up with.

OOPS I forgot the link