For all those who would like hands-on experience in the
construction of their canoe, but who lack the confidence,
expertise, work-space or tools, here is your chance.
Order a canoe, and then join designer-builder Peter Macfarlane
for as much of the build of your canoe as fits your schedule or
inclination. Whether it's a weekend now and then or an extended
period of time, you decide which parts of the process you would
like to see up close and to do in person, all under Peter's guidance
Close communication throughout will let you know when each phase of
the build is due to start, allowing you to plan ahead, and there is
always some flexibility in scheduling. The entire build takes around
200 hours, maybe more with instruction time, and may be spread over
up to 3 months.
Paddling a canoe that you've built is a very special experience,
personal on a whole new level. Furthermore, this experience will
probably furnish you with the skills and confidence to repair or
re-finish your canoe if or when this becomes necessary.
- Basic personal protective equipment will be provided (dust mask,
ear defenders, safety goggles), but you are welcome to bring your
own preferences (e.g. chemical respirator for epoxy and varnish).
Latex or nitrile gloves will be provided for epoxy and varnish work.
- You will be asked to sign an indemnity agreement, acknowledging that
working in a wood-shop has inherent risks and that you undertake this
work at your own risk. Good practices are in place and will be taught,
encouraged and expected in order to minimize the risk of injury, but
the risk can never be reduced to zero.
- . Refreshments are provided, but accommodation and meals are your
- The price of the canoe is unaltered by your participation.
Photos from my first guided build are shown below.