A few decades before the start of the twentieth
century, woodsmen in the heart of the Maine forest region began developing and
building a new type of canoe with a hull made of cedar and a waterproof
sheathing of canvas. The cedar-canvas
canoe is the direct descendant of the native birch bark canoe, with several
improvements that made it easier to build and more durable.
wood-canvas canoe consists of a frame of light, flexible cedar ribs running
across the shape of the canoe to which thin cedar planking is attached, running
along the length of the canoe. A
covering of canvas cloth is stretched around the wooden hull and fastened along
the sheer line. The canvas is filled
with a thick, paint-like compound, which makes the boat waterproof and abrasion
resistant. The result is a strong,
flexible, very functional design that is also exceedingly beautiful to look at
and a pleasure to use.
The interior of the canoe is covered in several
coats of clear varnish, which accentuate the natural wood grain and protect the
weather-resistant cedar. The outside of
the canoe is coated with a tough, wear-resistant paint available in many
different colors and designs. Because
every canoe is made individually by hand, a high level of personal
customization is possible. From extra
seats or special trim pieces to custom paint jobs, a customer purchasing a
hand-built wooden boat has a wider array of options than the buyer of a
commercially produced synthetic canoe.
though this style of design is over a century old, the cedar-canvas canoe still
performs as well as it did years ago, and its rich tradition of grace and
beauty will continue to grow in the future.
Besides the obvious aesthetic
advantages of a wood-canvas canoe are the often overlooked functional
advantages. A cedar canoe is much
quieter and smoother in the water than a synthetic canoe and the strong canvas
covering and flexible wooden hull are more damage resistant than most people
believe, bouncing back into shape after sustaining a hit from a rock or other
obstruction, rather than becoming dented or bent out of shape. A wooden canoe is perfectly suited to its
environment, and is the perfect companion for exploring a remote waterway or
for a quiet evening of fishing on a favorite pond.
The Housatonic Canoe Price:$4000.00
A large, high-capacity canoe, reminiscent of the traditional guide canoes of the Maine forest regions. This Canoe has a flat bottom and straight sides, with a low profile sheerline to minimize the affect of the wind on handling characteristics. It is capable of holding one to three or even four paddlers, remaining stable even with a large load. The Housatonic model will serve the paddler well on daylong fishing outings to extended flatwater cruising trips.
Weight: approximately 75 pounds
Depth: 12 inches
Length: 19 feet
Width: 36 inches
The Shepaug Canoe Price:$3400.00
A smaller canoe suitable for carrying one or two paddlers on a small lake, river, or pond for an afternoon of paddling. It is similar in shape to the Housatonic model, with straight sides, flat bottom, and a moderately upswept sheerline. It is small and light and can be easily handled by a smaller paddler, but can also bear two comfortably.
Weight: approximately 45 pounds
Depth: 12 inches
Length: 12 feet
Width: 32 inches
15 Foot Pleasure Canoe Price:$3600.00
A mid-size canoe intended for day use or possible overnight canoe camping. It will hold up to two paddlers and their equipment, or three paddler for day use. Currently, this model is only a blueprint, waiting for someone to take interest to turn the plans into a reality. This canoe has tumblehome sides, flat bottom, and a moderately upswept sheerline. This model should be versatile, easy to use and transport, and visually appealing.
Weight: approximately 65 pounds
Depth: 12 inches
Length: 15 feet
Width: 34 inches
Every canoe is handbuilt individually for the owner. Because of this, there are endless options for personal customization. The Housatonic Canoe Shop wants to help every paddler create his ideal canoe, and no design variation will be turned down without consideration. Some options include; custom paint designs, placement of seats, extra seats, special trim woodworking, half-ribs for extra support, addition of a keel, oarlocks, sailing rigs, and much more. The customer should not hesitate to ask about special customization if he desires his canoe to be truly unique and well suited to his needs.