Posted on

Cedar Canoe: How long does it take to build one

How long does it take to build a cedar canoe?

That’s probably the question I get asked the most when people walk into my shop or see one of my boats. Its funny because as people ask me that I can kind of see their thought process going, wondering if they could build one.


Most people agree that it takes around 120 hours to build a canoe using the woodstrip and epoxy method. That time can vary depending on a large number of factors like your familiarity around a workshop and with tools, your knowledge and experience of canoe building, and if you’re trying to get the boat finished fast or if it’s a side project that you’ll tinker with here and there.

I know there are some canoe shops out there (typically the ones that sell plans and kits) that will encourage you to build your own boat. I’m not going to do that.

Instead, what I’m going to say is do a bit of research and decide if you’re willing to commit to the expenses of time, space and financial costs to build your own canoe. For some people, it may be a better idea to have one built for you.

In this video I answer the question, How long does it take to build a cedar canoe?

The next question that I inevitably get asked is how much space do I need to build a cedar canoe?

This may not seem like the most important question, but in fact, planning on where you will build your cedar canoe is a very important consideration.

I recommend that nobody considers building a canoe in their basement, living room or kitchen. As funny as that sounds, believe me, its been done.

What you need to consider is that you will be creating a very large object, likely 16 feet long and at least 2 feet wide. You will also be creating a lot of wood dust and also be working with hazardous epoxy resins and varnishes, fumes of which you don’t want to be sharing your living space with.