I've just started building my first canoe this morning. It is a prototype expedition canoe with an unconventional hull design. Over the last few weeks I've worked closely with a local boat builder, Martin at Kisseynew Canoe Company, to come up with a very exciting design. It is loosely based on a Freedom 17 and a C1 racing shell. The gunwale starts from the bow with a bit of flare to help ride over the waves then as it moves to the centre the gunwale is pulled in to just 23". Just think of a conventional tripping boat but with an extreme amount of tumblehome. This design will allow me to paddle comfortably close to the boat without having to reach out over the gunwales. The design should be fast on flat water and fairly maneuverable in moving water. The hull will be made of expedition kevlar with a layer of S-glass on the outside. The boat will be outfitted with wood gunwales, a sliding webbed seat, removable carrying yoke, Northwater spray deck and kneeling pads.
After the stations were bolted to the strongback they were leveled, aligned and trued. Only after this painstaking task was complete could we start laying up the cedar strips. A bead of glue is applied to the previous strip then the next strip is set in place and stapled to the station to hold it. As you work your way up the side of the canoe, alternating sides to keep the tension on the whole thing equal, care must be taken to ensure that a smooth and natural flow is a achieved.