Handbuilding Canoes with Rollin
- Lunch, Snacks, Coffee, & Tea
- One Guest
- USD $4470
- Additional guest(s) (max 3)
- USD $325
Meet the Artist
This realization led Rollin down the path to becoming one of the foremost experts in the wooden canoe world. With little recorded wooden canoe history or guidance on building techniques at the time, he researched and co-authored The Wood and Canvas Canoe – the first book to go into painstaking detail on the matter. Incredibly well received, the book included Rollin’s original research and some of his own designs. Since then, he has lovingly restored historic canoes and, through his own original designs, continued Maine’s heritage of boat craft and production with an eye for quality, performance, and detail.
- A brief history of canoe-building, with a focus on wood-and-canvas canoes.
- An overview of the boat-building process and tools to be used.
- Learning to shape stems and rails and fit them to the canoe mold.
- Steam-bending the ribs onto the mold.
- Fitting the thin planking across the ribs to create the hull and removing the hull from the mold.
- Stretching a single piece of canvas around the hull.
- Tacking the canvas at the rail and the stems.
- Treating the canvas with filler to make it waterproof.
- Shaping and fitting the thwarts to the canoe using hand tools.
- Using screws, tacks, stembands and other fastenings made of marine grade brass or bronze to avoid corrosion and rust.
- Treating the hull with linseed oil and covering with #10-weight canvas before filling with the shop’s canvas filler.
- Applying durable spar varnish to the well-sanded interior.
- All materials, hardware, and tools, including the highest quality wood: local northern white cedar for ribs and planking, local spruce for rails, and ash for decks, thwarts and seats; mahogany or cherry trim options are available with advance notice.
- Guidance on applying final coats of paint and varnish once the filler cures (about eight weeks after application); arrangements can be made for the shop to complete the finishing if desired.
- Instruction on finishing, as well as basic repairs and canoe maintenance.
- Original Old Town paint schemes for reference.
- Your own hand built canoe to take home.
Explore Atkinson, Maine
Dating back to the late 19th century, wood-and-canvas construction is modeled after the birchbark canoe-building perfected by the native tribes of the local Penobscot indigenous people. This was largely due to the incredible quality of the cedar, birch, and ash wood unique to this part of the U.S. The wood-and-canvas canoe was developed from these native crafts.
Not suitable for young children.
The price reflects building a Cheemaun style boat, but it is possible to make other models for an additional fee: Atkinson Traveler, Medford Explorer, E.M. White or American Beauty.
Kristin T., United States
Building a wooden and canvas canoe with Rollin in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine was a remarkable opportunity. Although I had almost no prior experience with drills, saws and wood working tools, Rollin had me notching and planing spruce, and planking white cedar like an old pro within hours of entering his shop. Not only is he a master craftsman, he is also a skilled and generous teacher with Read more