Customized Solo Portage

The canoe was completed in 2013. The overall dimensions are of the Solo Portage scale with the modifications made by adding both an inner and outer stem in the bow and stern.

The boat is designed as a single blade paddle canoe. The length is 14′6″. The hull is made from Eastern White Cedar in continuous strips (not scarf jointed from smaller pieces). The detail strip, along both sides of the hull was made from Peruvian Walnut and Cedar. The outer gunwale is made from American White Ash and ‘caps’ the hull. It is dyed to match the inner gunwale made from Kentucky Black Walnut.

The Scuppers are attached inside the gunwale rail, running up into the ends on both sides. They are designed with curved ends for aesthetics and are flush to the hull allowing complete drainage of water.

The decks, both stern and bow, are made from Black Walnut crotch veneer. The decks have been cut to match the curve of the carry handles made from Kentucky Black Walnut. As this is primarily a fly fishing solo canoe, it is vital that there be smooth decks so not to catch the tippet lines when retrieving a fish.

The internal stems are made from Eastern White Ash and the external stems are made from Kentucky Black Walnut. These were cut into very thin strips and laminated to form the curve of the bow and stern.

The forward thwart is made from Peruvian Walnut with an inlayed Irish penny.

The contoured seat is made from Black Walnut (Vermont) and can be lowered by adding spacers below gunwales.

The entire boat was made without the use of staples. This process is time consuming, as each strip needs to be clamped and allowed to dry, thus only 2 strips/hour on alternate sides are allowed. This process is accomplished by using wedges and specially designed clamps, which hold each successive strip both inwardly to each form as well as ‘downwardly’ strip to strip. The hull, both inside and out, is then faired by a hand block plane to form the correct ‘lines’. Any imperfections in joints are then filled with a mixture of cedar wood dust and epoxy. Once re-faired, the hull is lightly sanded. The hull is seal-coated with epoxy. Once dried, the inside of the hull is “glassed”, fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

The inside of the hull is given only two light coats. It is very durable but the weave of the cloth should not be filled so that there is a textured feel, less slip more traction for paddler.

The exterior of the hull has multiple coats until weave is full. It is then sanded and prepared for the marine varnishing, matte finish for the interior and gloss for the exterior. The brass stem skip strip is attached with brass screws along with the through bolted rope ‘painter’ ring at the bow.

Weight 36 pounds.

Design Specs

Builder Name: 
Robert Lord
Home Port: 
Launching Date: 
June 15, 2013