Lapstrake Canoes are lovely boats with the maneuverability of a kayak and the stability of a double ender. These are the easiest to build of all lapstrake boats.They are fast, dry, light, and able. A traditionally built 15-footer weighs 56 pounds.
Anyone contemplating building a first lapstrake boat is understandably a bit apprehensive. The advantage of building a canoe first is that despite their small scantlings, lapstrake canoes are built just like larger boats. That means that you can become familiar with layout and construction techniques without having to invest is specialized tools. (We could have said that building one is a good way to get your feet wet, but that's not a phrase you're apt to hear from a boatbuilder.)
Building Lapstrake Canoes is required reading for boatbuilding courses from Maine to California, and a considerable number of first-time builders have used this book to guide them through building their very first boat. The information included is applicable to virtually any lapstrake canoe. This book has proved itself invaluable even when lapstrake canoes are built using the glued lapstrake method, because such things as plank layout and fitting, are virtually identical.
This book begins with reading plans and making your own canoe half model. The model making part is optional, but helps you become familiar with the hull before you actually start putting things together. From there, it follows the building sequence on through making the moulds, planking, installing ribs and rails, making the double paddle, and even the finishing process. Building Lapstrake Canoes is 121 pages with 58 illustrations, and is indexed. Plans are available from us on this site, but are not included in or with this book.
When you're done building your canoe, you'll find out for yourself why so many before you have abandoned their canvas-covered models in favor of lapstrakes, and why so many have gone on to build more boats.