This is a boat that the Finnish Language campus of Concordia College commissioned to be built. It is a copy of a traditional fishing boat from the Savo province of Finland.
The boat has the classic Scandinavian stem profile and a superb slack-bilge arched hull. This hull shape will seem “lively” to the uninitiated, though the final stability of this boat is extraordinary, as it needed to be for fishermen to pull in their nets over the sides of the boat. The keel line is very nearly straight, helping the boat to maintain its course, though the significant deadrise in the sides, especially at the stern, make this a very maneuverable boat and really quite quick for a boat of this length and width.
I build this boat with White Cedar lapstrake planking on White Oak steam-bent frames. Planking is riveted at the laps and to the frames with copper nails and roves. All other fastenings are silicon bronze. Gunwales are White Oak, though inwales are Douglas Fir or Sitka Spruce. Seats are usually spruce or cedar. The exterior of the hull is painted, leaving the gunwale and transom finished bright. The interior is treated with the traditional mixture of pine tar, boiled linseed oil, and turpentine. This finish will help preserve the wood and allow it to “breathe” so that moisture is not trapped beneath the finish. The mixture should be applied once a year to keep your boat preserved. This is a working boat finish and the wood may blacken with age. A varnish finish could be applied if the boat is allowed to dry out and is kept out of the weather when not in use.
|Width at gunwale||4’3″|
|Height at bow||28 1/2″|
|Recommended oar size||8 1/2′|
|Depth at midships||18″|
|Height at Transom||21 1/2″|
Starting at $7495
The Solitude is shorter than the Unity yet is fuller in the ends and deeper, giving it plenty of volume for day use and extended trips as well.
This is a fun canoe to paddle whether you are out on a lake, a little pond or headed down river. It is very maneuverable and just seems to wait for your every command. It has plenty of tumblehome for ease of paddling and the bottom is a comfortable shallow arch. Ample rocker in the bow allows it to turn well, yet with slightly less rocker in the stern and also the way the arched hull turns to a “V” at the stems make this little boat track well.
The seat may be set up with a tilt for kneeling or flat for sitting. Either way, you will find you can lean the boat slightly to where it firms-up, shortening your reach and allowing it to be paddled almost effortlessly. If you are wanting to use it mostly for fishing there is a flatter spot in the center where it will sit if we drop the seat for additional stability.
Tumblehome, rocker: 1 3/4″ bow 1 1/2″ stern, shallow arched hull.
|Width at gunwale||27 1/2″|
|Width at beam||30″|
|Width at 4″ WL||28 1/4″|
|Depth at midships||12 1/2″|
|Height at ends||19″|
Starting at $4095
This is a replica of the Chestnut Pal, the famed 16′ wood and canvas pleasure craft. I raised the sheer at the bow and stern to make it a bit “dryer” boat. The beauty of this boat is that it fits the sportsman’s need for a stable canoe, yet has good paddling characteristics. It’s perfect for a family canoe trip or an evening paddle.
To round out the many fine qualities of this craft, it can be handled alone, either kneeling just aft of center, or by sitting “backward” in the bow seat, with some gear to trim.
The Chestnut Pal is the canoe used most often in Bill Mason’s videos, such as Water Walker. Bill was quick to paint the Prospector’s praise, but for quiet water, he certainly seemed to prefer the Pal. If I could only have one canoe to paddle alone or with a friend in a lake or gentle stream, I would choose this Stewart River version of the Chestnut Pal.
Moderate tumblehome, 1-1/2″ of rocker with a shallow arch hull.
|Width at gunwale:||34 1/2″|
|Width at beam:||35″|
|Width at 4″ WL||33 3/4″|
|Depth at midships:||13″|
|Height at ends:||22″|
Starting at $4595
This is a shorter version of the Solitude, though it has some differences. There is a more defined bottom to bilge transition making it stiffen up a bit sooner when leaned. It will roll up on it’s side though is very comfortable resting flat. This makes the Damselfly feel very stable for such a small canoe.
A great day boat, it could also be used as a tripping boat for the average-sized person with a light camping kit. It has a bit of tumblehome for ease of paddling and the bottom is a comfortable shallow arch. There is ample rocker for turns, yet even empty it tracks just fine.
The seat may be set up with a tilt for kneeling or flat for sitting. Either way, you will find the canoe is happy to sit flat and is narrow enough that you can paddle it that way or, with very little effort, it can be leaned, narrowing the canoe so that you can paddle on one side or the other.
Symmetrical hull with Tumblehome, 1 1/2″ of rocker measured 12″ back of leading edge, shallow arched hull with a defined bottom.
This is the wood and canvas canoe that author/filmmaker Bill Mason dubbed the almost perfect canoe. It is a deep, beamy canoe intended for hauling heavy loads with reserve capacity for maneuvering in heavy water.
Mason chose this canoe for whitewater and for paddling the big seas of Lake Superior. He used it tandem and solo. It is probably the best known and most revered canoe in Canada’s long canoeing history. Originally developed by Chestnut Canoe Company of Fredericton, New Brunswick, the Prospector has long been the preferred canoe for wilderness travel.Many canoe companies offer a Prospector model and several claim theirs to be “original” designs. I imagine that is confusing to the prospective buyer. So many of the canoes I have seen dubed as Prospectors appear to bear no resemblance to the original. I make no claim that the model I offer is “original”, though it definitely is based on the Chestnut Prospector. I had built a 16′ version of the Prospector for over 20 years which was based on the original Chestnut design for their 16′ Prospector. I found, though, that it did not meet most people’s needs in a wood and canvas canoe. I am now offering a a design based on the Chestnut 17′ version of the Propsector. I offer this design in both 16′ and 17′ lengths. I have taken lines off of Chestnut Prospectors for several years and relied on these as well as lines taken by Roger MacGregor (author of “When the Chestnut was in Bloom”) of a 17′ version that he was kind enough to offer me. All of these boats had differences. Some had obviously lost their shape due to use or from repairs. The final design favored the version with the most tumblehome and the least arch to the hull, since I felt this the closest to the original. We ended with a design that I feel more closely resembles the notoriety of the Chestnut Prospector (than the version I had originally offered)- it has ample rocker (though not too much), it has a shallow arched hull (though not too arched). It has the classic fullness through the center of the canoe and the fine entry which is unique to this class of boat called the Prospector.The maiden voyage of these boats showed spectacular results in every way, including a feeling of stability in choppy conditions even when paddled empty.The fullness of this canoe in the “quarters”, as well as it’s depth, make it unique ly qualified to carry heavy loads without an extraordinary width to slow it down. To top it off, the slack bilge enables this design to be paddled solo as well as tandem, especially in the 16′ length..
|Length:||16′ or 17′|
|Width at gunwale:||34″|
|Width at beam:||35 3/4″|
|Width at 4″ WL||33″|
|Depth at midships:||14 1/2″|
|Height at ends:||25″|
Starting at $4695
Ami is a 15-foot version of the Mon amie. Its name is French for “friend” or “pal” as both of these models are inspired by the Chestnut Pal.
I was looking for a canoe I could portage into out-of-the-way lakes for fishing. I wanted something that I could handle myself for solo camping trips yet would also accommodate a partner in day-excursions. It had to have good initial stability to support the occasional cast from a standing position, yet also paddle well and be seaworthy.
Eureka! I have found it – this canoe does all that and more. It is surprisingly nimble and fast for a 15′ canoe with good initial stability. Very responsive paddled solo and tandem. The prototype was set up with a sliding bow seat that slides to the yoke and can be used to trim the canoe paddling solo facing the stern (why didn’t I think of this sooner?).
Moderate tumblehome, 1-1/2″ of rocker with a shallow-arched bottom.
|Width at gunwale||33″|
|Width at beam||34″|
|Width at 4″ WL||33″|
|Depth at midships||12.5″|
|Height at ends||21 1/2″|
Starting at $4395