Project Log | Materials | Construction

A canoe is not like building a box or a house. It's a round organic shape that requires different construction techniques. Many people think of canoe building as getting a log and digging it out, but that is not how our three-man canoe will be built. We are using a process called strip planking where long strips of wood are glued side by side to create a structure. The stripes will be bent along a framework and then fiber glassed over for strength. This canoe design was originally 27', but is being squished to 18'. The templates were created by college students on Oahu and donated to us.

The construction of this 18 ft. surf canoe will involve the following steps:

• Building a strong back
This is a ladder type framework that lays on the tables or ground. It will hold the upside down frames of the canoe that the strips will be laid upon.

• Tracing and cutting out the stations (frames)
This involves the tracing of the original templates for the canoe onto pressboard. Each traced frame on the pressboard gets cut out and sanded accurately.

• Securing the frames to the strong back
Each frame is screwed onto the strong back, but first they have to be aligned correctly.

• Planning the 2"he framework. After the glue dries, staples will be removed.

• Sanding and fairing
The whole canoe will need to be sanded smooth after all the strips have been applied.

• Glassing
The outside of the hull will be covered with 6 oz fiber glass.

• Removing from strong back
The canoe will be flipped off the strong back and the frames will be removed.

• Seats and decks
The inside will be glassed and seats and decks will be installed.

• Ama and iako's
An ama will be constructed out of foam and iako's will be made out of wood.

• Final touches and finish
A final coat of epoxy and polyurethane will be applied and then it will be done.