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Skin on frame design

Greenland kayak

Aleutian kayak (baidarka)


Skin on frame canoe

Paddle making

A Skin-on-Frame Ojibway Canoe

The skin on frame canoe is loosely based on traditional Ojibway (Chippewa) Bark canoes. Total length is 16'. Beam is 36". Finished weight is 50-60 pounds and can carry two adults and two weeks worth of camping gear. The boat can also be built in a shorter and lighter 14 foot solo version.

The boat can be carried by one person and can be balanced with just one hand, leaving the other hand free to carry a paddle or perhaps a cup of coffee.

The picture above shows the more or less flat gunwales and the additional rise in the ends added by lashing some battens to the top of the gunwales.

The building process
The building process follows standard skin on frame procedure. The deck is built first, followed by ribs, followed by hull stringers, floor boards and seats.
The sixteen foot canoe can be paddled by two people, one in the bow and one in the stern with gear in the middle compartments. It can also be paddled by a single person kneeling in back of the center thwart. The fourteen foot canoe is paddled by one person kneeling in back of the center thwart. Beam is less than the double canoe to allow the solo paddler to more easily reach the water from the center of the boat.

Who would think that shoveling water could be so much fun?

All content copyright © 2005 Wolfgang Brinck.