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"Peterborough 16" 1:1 Scale Cedar Strip Canoe by Ian_Grant

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After seeing C Coyle's build log for his 12 footer, I am inspired to post some pictures of my 16 ft Peterborough cedar strip; didn't know we were "allowed" to post non-model builds. I made it from the book "Canoecraft" by Ted Moores, which contains lines for several different canoe designs. I picked the Peterborough as a good type for casual paddling at the cottage, since we already had a 16 ft kevlar Prospector for trips in the back country and his 17 ft "Redbird" design is too long to hang on our garage ceiling without interfering with the opening of the door!


Shout out here for the Canadian Canoe Museum which is located in Peterborough. Haven't been there in a while but they have a great collection.


This canoe was made in the days before digital cameras, but I just this minute took some photos of the old photo album and they seem to have turned out ok. I remember the first day I had my tablesaw out in the driveway, busily ripping six gorgeous 17 ft knot-free western red cedar 1 x 6 planks into 3/4" x 1/4" strips and in doing so creating  a monstrous pile of sawdust under the saw as my blade kerf was 1/8" so one third of each plank became sawdust. My neighbour, after watching for a while, came over to ask just what it was I thought I was doing and was amazed to hear I proposed to make a canoe. I then used my router table to cut beads and coves into the strips' edges. When assembling, the strips are tacked to the forms cove side up, making it simple to run glue along inside the cove before pressing in the bead edge of the next strip above.


I thought it would be a great woodworking challenge but making the hull was basically tedium. If you enjoy gluing endless strips, or sanding cedar with its attendant dust, or better yet sanding epoxy resin with even more horrible dust, canoe building is for you! I did enjoy adding the ash trim and making the seats once the hull was completed.


The Peterborough is a good canoe for light paddling. Doesn't have the volume or the high stems for a long canoe trip, and the first time I sat it on my neck with the deep-carved yoke a friend donated the top of my head was pressed against its bottom! Very uncomfortable and not to be portaged...later changed the yoke to a shallower design but never carry it far. It weighs in the 68lb range I would guess, much heavier than our kevlar canoe which is another reason not to trip with it.


Anyway here are a few random shots of various stages. My talented wife painted the West Coast Native loons each side of the bow, taken from an art book we had. God we were young then 🙂




Dust everywhere! Adding the gunwales with fiberglass on exterior sanded, but it looks dull until you wet or varnish it.....



Making the seats which were later laced with leather "bootlace".



The Admiral working on the art, with the hull cleaned but not yet varnished.





Completion shot beside the old townhouse.



First launch; Meech Lake QC.


Edited by Ian_Grant
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Dear "rookie":


Thanks bro. For those unaware, "Rideau Lakes" is an annual double-century Ottawa-Kingston-Ottawa cycle ride with overnight in Queen's University residences on Saturday night organized by the Ottawa Bike Club. I rode it quite a few consecutive years between the mid 80's and mid 90's with bro joining me a couple of times.

Edited by Ian_Grant
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On 2/16/2021 at 3:52 PM, rookie said:

Yes a couple of times was plenty 

the 5 hours in pouring rain just slightly above freezing was the last time...

HAHAHAHA!!!!  I think I remember the year you mean, which was before they changed from Victoria weekend to a weekend in mid-late June. My last time was the weekend with 43C humidex on Saturday. It was so bad OBC had to charter a bus to take exhausted people back on Sunday.


Sometimes it was delightful cycling, sometimes not.  🙂


Edited by Ian_Grant
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