There are a number of free canoe plans available to use for either building a boat to those designs, or to use as study notes and see how other people have built canoes in the past.
When I first started out researching how to build a cedar strip canoe, I read through as many publications and articles that I could find. It was an interesting process and gave me a lot of those early ideas for how I could build my own boat.
One of those early resources was an article titled “Redwood Canoe… a beauty you can build” by Floyd McGuckin and Jack Payne which was first published in Popular Science’s March 1967 edition.
The article starts off with “You can build this 74-pound, 16-foot canoe for $84. For a new canoe, that’s a real bargain.”
A new canoe for $84! Yes, that is a real bargain. Of course things have changed since 1967. Building materials and building techniques have improved so that the independent cedar strip canoe builder now has the ability to create a boat that is equal in quality to many production built boats (and in some ways superior).
Included within the article is a set of free canoe plans and instructions are provided to build the redwood canoe of the article.
As a resource to the new canoe builder, here you can find a copy of the original article and free canoe plans.
I’ve never built this specific canoe, so can’t attest for its design or how it paddles. If it is anything like the original photo shows, it appears to be be a nice boat that I would love to take out on the water. If you’re looking for free canoe plans, then these may be what you need.
Of special interest to me was the unique clamping idea illustrated in the article for holding the cedar strips in place near the stems where the compound curves tend to create twist and a bit of difficulty in a build.
I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did, and please let me know if you use the free canoe plans. I’d love to see one of these as a finished boat.