Boats and boat building have been around since the dawn of time. In the early days of man we used boats and canoes to fish, hunt and to travel and don’t underestimate the canoe’s contribution to building our society. Back then people not only depended on canoes they had to build them themselves. Today you don’t need a canoe to survive and building canoes is considered a pleasant pastime. If you are interested in building your own canoe then read on and let us show you how simple it can be.
The Components of a Canoe
A canoe is just another boat and there are some commonalities of boats of this size and there are parts that distinguish the boat as a canoe rather than just a regular row boat.
- Bow: All boats have a bow it is the front part of the canoe and it is what cuts through the water
- Stern: The stern is the back part of the boat and in a canoe it is pointed just like the front, in a regular boat it would likely be flat
- Hull: The hull is the main body of the boat and that is where you store you and all your gear
- Seat: If you have a two seater canoe then this is where your passenger sits
- Thwart: The thwart is a horizontal bar that is located near the top of the hull and it helps to hold everything together
For hundreds of years canoes were made of wood, it was largely the only material boat builders had to work with. They hollowed out the trunk of a large tree and they were ready to start paddling. Today that is a little impractical, while canoes can still be made of wood it is much lighter and a little easier to work with. Cedar is usually the wood of choice as it is easy to work with and holds up well. Most canoes are made from lightweight materials like aluminum or fiberglass.
Designing Your Canoe
The design of a typical canoe features a pointed front and back and that is what distinguishes a canoe from other smaller boats. The initial design came from how the trees used to be hollowed out to make a canoe. As we got more experienced in boat building then designs started to change. If you are more comfortable building boats from plans rather than hollowing out a tree the old fashioned way then you can find tons of canoe plans online. They will offer step by step instruction and include the list of materials that you need. It is a great experience building your own boat and you can take pride in it when you hit the water.