Thursday, January 22, 2009

Builder's Resources

I am often asked by people where they can find information on the World Wide Web about canoe building. Well, one place is here, but obviously there are many others. Here are some of my favorites:

First is the WCHA forum. The WCHA (Wooden Canoe Heritage Association) would be my first stop. While they cover all styles of canoe (cedar/canvas, cedar strip, lapstrake, etc) Their focus tends to be on cedar/canvas construction. You'll probably get your best information there.

Second would be the WoodenBoat Forum hosted by the publishers of WoodenBoat Magazine. The focus over there is more about traditional large and small craft in sail and motor, but there are still some people who will be available with information about small paddling and rowing craft, including strip construction.

There are some other resources as that are quite good as they are at professional builder's sites.

Newfound Woodworks has an excellent on-line tutorial file here.

There are some other forums hosted by strip builders. Bear Mountain Boats; owned by Ted Moores has a builder's forum that is quite good. Also, Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks has a forum that is intended for kayak and small craft builders mostly working in cedar strip. The Yahoo! Groups site also has a group that is targeted at cedar strip canoe builders.

I would hasten to add that with online forums and groups, you may be writing back and forth with a relative novice with strong (and sometimes incorrect...) opinions or with a professional builder with years of experience. You may have no way of knowing the difference, so be forewarned. Still, it is an excellent way to learn new tricks and to avoid some of the pitfalls posted by other beginning builders. Don't let the resource go to waste!

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