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Building a Strip Canoe, Second Edition, Revised & Expanded


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About the Author

Gil Gilpatrick has been a Master Maine Guide for over 40 years and has taught Outdoor Resources at the Skowhegan Vocational Center in Maine for nearly 30 years. He has written extensively about his experiences in the outdoors and his knowledge of how to build outdoor equipment. His titles include: Building Snowshoes and Snowshoe Furniture, The Outdoor Leader's Handbook, Building Outdorr Gear, Building a Strip Canoe, Allagash, and The Allagash Guide. He is a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association and a columnist for "Northwoods Sporting Journal."


There are two ways in which people are likely 10 start building a canoe. The first is when they are already accomplished woodworkers and they see the building of a canoe as a development of their interests and skills. The second is when they have little knowledge of woodworking but have an interest in and possibly a better than average knowledge of canoes. This book has been written with both types of reader in mind; it contains a single project with a number of variations. After a brief introduction and a discussion about safety issues, Chapter 2 begins with an examination of some of the variations which are possible in canoe design. For example, the bottom of the canoe may be flat or rounded and it may be built with or without a keel. Four profiles are suggested: General Purpose, White Water, Streamlined and Freighter. These variations are condensed into the 8 designs presented; they range in length from 4.9 to 6 metres. Construction of a canoe is undertaken by first making a strongback and mounting it at a convenient height at which to work. The strongback allows erection of the 'stations' along its length. Full-sized patterns of these stations for each of the canoes are contained in a sealed packet on the inside back cover of the book. These are the key to achieving exactly the shapes required. The pre-formed strips of wood that form the hull of the craft are then laid over and secured to the stations. Once the structure of the hull is complete, including the necessary filling and sealing, the stem is reinforced and the fibreglass applied. The inside of the canoe comes next then the decks, thwarts and seats. Each step in the construction process is explained in easy-to-read text supported by clear photographs. A special chapter is devoted to the making of repairs where these may be necessary and the final part of the book covers the construction of the paddle. The author claims to have supervised the building of some 500 canoes over a period of 30 years. His intensely practical book is a revision of an earlier work which was published under the same title.

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