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Cedar-strip Canoe Building: Lofting Canoe Forms

Lofting canoe forms is one of the first steps in building a cedar-strip or skin-on-frame boat. Of course there are a lot of very good full sized plans that you can purchase from a number of reputable canoe building businesses. For some people, the cost of purchasing full-sized plans puts the prospect of building their own boat a little out of reach and others want to try tackling the entire build project on their own and include the process of lofting canoe forms.

The following videos are what we consider “Archive Footage” around here. Back in 2010, I made a few Youtube videos about canoe building. After a few years I realized that I was receiving around 10,000 views per day and decided to try and do a bit of a better job with my videos. This is one of the first “newer” videos that I produced.

A lot has changed since then even then. Nowadays I have a new camera, audio equipment, lighting… The remarkable thing about these early videos is that as embarrassing as they are to watch, they are what got me started producing film.

If you’re looking for some information on building a cedar-strip canoe, I think these videos are still worth watching. I hope you enjoy them.

Lofting Canoe Forms

This is a short demonstration of how to loft a canoe station form for wood-strip boat building. Lofting is one of the first steps in building a boat, it is the process of taking measurements from a set of plans  or a “table of offsets” and drawing them to create the building form.

There are several resources out there that provide the table of offsets for different boats that you can build yourself. Of course you want to choose a boat that has a design that will fit your needs and that’s really the first step in building.

Every boat has a different table of offsets. To keep things simple, in the video I focus on giving a demonstration of lofting canoe forms without referencing any specific boat.