Tag Archives: canoe

Dugout canoe building in Finland, 1936

This is quite something: the log is dug out and the exterior shape cut, then the log is opened out and framed, and then a sheer strake is added.

This is ancient history in action – and arguably marks the change in direction in boat evolution that eventually led to the very earliest beginnings of clinker construction.

A Cinderella in Colombia

An example of my small open canoe design intended for quick building, the Cinderella, has been made in Colombia. See the free boat plans page.

Hearing from people all around the world is one of the great pleasures of having designed some small boats, and this one has certainly been built with loving care.

Here’s what the latest Cinderella’s builder, Franklin Peñaranda has to say:

‘Mr . Atkin,

‘It is a pleasure to finally e-mail you. I live in Barranquilla, Colombia and I have built the Cinderella canoe that you designed and wrote about in your book Ultrasimple Boatbuilding.

‘The book was given to me by a good neighbor as a gift about 6 years ago, and I have been dreaming of one day building that canoe.

‘My interest in boats and boatbuilding dates to the teenage years (I will be 48 in March).

‘I am sending you a few pictures of my interpretation of your wonderfully designed Cinderella. It took me more than 11 months to construct it, mostly due to difficulties in finding fiberglass and paint help, and I made a few errors that had to be rectified, but it has been a wonderful learning experience.

‘I do not have any training or experience in boatbuilding, and nor any family, friends or neighbors. My background and profession is in truck driving.

‘The Cinderella has had such a great response from people that I am going to build small boats for a living. Imagine that!

‘Thank you for writing and publishing your work, and for inspiring and us novices.

‘Sincerely, Franklin Peñaranda’

BBA student builts Ted Moores’ Prospector Ranger stripper canoe

Keith Bowers launched his 15ft Prospector Ranger into the water at the Boat Building Academy’s latest launch day in Dedcember.

He used plans published in Moores’ book ‘Canoecraft’, but added a breasthook of his own design and a yoke. He also created two kneeling seats which can be placed anywhere within the canoe to suit the paddler.

Originally from Wales, Keith named the canoe is named Y Ddraig, the Welsh for dragon.

Keith worked in a variety of roles before joining the BBA, including working as a labourer, a bar supervisor and most recently a support officer for Worcestershire County Council – he has a BSc in computer studies.

Now, however, he is to take his new skills to the Underfall Boatyard in Bristol, which is named after a set of underfall sluices created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to control water levels in Bristol Harbour in 1832.

The yard is a scheduled monument and includes several listed buildings.

In his spare time Keith will work on projects at his home workshop – initially building a traditional clinker dinghy and taking Y Ddraig on the river Avon and Chew Valley lake, which is a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a national centre for bird watching, and is near where he lives.