Since the last weekend, my mind is filled with the idea getting my own canoe.
Every time thing like “I want it” comes strong in to my mind, the first step is to seek possibility of making one myself.
This is one of my good (perhaps bad??) habits that before considering buying the ready made one, I start looking for a way to make. Then if that seems to be way too difficult, then start considering of purchasing.
So that what I have started now, browsing through the internet, hours and hours, collecting information on how to build canoe all by myself.
As the research goes, there are several ways to make canoe based on the material used.
1: using plastic or glass fiver to mold the canoe.
>This is what most of nowadays canoes are made. But, it is not realistic method for self-builder. It involves too much initial investment, finding materials in small lot.
2: Wood or Wood & Canvas canoe.
> Very common for high-end / premier canoes and are beautiful. Also this is realistic method for self-builder. But still I am not sure, how much the materials would cost and not sure if I can locate them within or available to Finish market. Also skill required might be too high for me.
3: Birch bark canoe.
> This is most “Bushcraft” like way of making canoe and requires only crooked knife and awl. Material cost is low as well and the skill required seems to be within the reach of mine. But the issue here is the birch bark. It is impossible for me to fined the birch bark, which is suited for canoe making. At least for now, and in near future.
4: Plywood canoe.
> This probably the easiest way to self-build a canoe. It basically cut out the plywood based on template and glue them all together. End result seems to be quite nice, but the issue is,,, I DO NOT LIKE IT!!! I want something more traditional!
5: Skin on frame boat canoe.
> This is very simple, make frame and put the ballistic canvas on top to make the hull. Cheap and easer to make. It also look quite traditional, but I am not quite convinced with it.
Based on this, I decided to look for the ready made ones… but… that is totally out of reach. Even the used ones are starting from 500e and those are kind of crappy looking. I rather then pay for new inflatable canoe with that money…
Then suddenly came to my mind, What if I replace the birch bark to canvas??? Can it be done??
The beauty of birch bark canoe is that the constriction starts from outer hull, when other canoes are made other way around. This makes the low initial cost and tools required possible. You do not even need to make the mold nor strong-back (the total canoe shaped template).
So went back to look for if someone has done it…
Yes, I found it and it was done by Innu people and is beautiful. They have replaced the birch bark to PVC treated canvas. Also, instead of using cedar, they are using spruce and fir. Those are quite easy to find in here in Finland, and I even might have posibility of getting the logs.
Mmmm… I can start to see the near future projec…
If you are interested in, click the link below to check out the page. It is very interesting and lots of information about Innu people.