Otter Creek

~ elegant lightweight cedar strip canoes
hand-crafted to order in Vermont

Otter Creek Smallcraft Logo

Guided build

Introducing a new service from Otter Creek Smallcraft: help to build your own canoe.

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 and supervision.

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.

Trust me, 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.

Small print:
1. 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.
2. 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 minimise the risk of injury, but the risk can never be reduced to zero.
3. Refreshments are provided, but accommodation and meals are your responsibility.
4. The price of the canoe is unaltered by your participation.

The first guided build

View a condensed
YouTube Video
of this build.

Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Ripping strips↑ ↓Stripping
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Planing clean↑ ↓Adding epoxy
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Sanding↑ ↓Seat caning
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
Otter Creek Smallcraft Guided Build
It was all worth it!↑

Otter Creek Smallcraft Lutra

Otter Creek Smallcraft Canoe and Kayak ®
Sole Proprietor: Peter Macfarlane
1379 Mountain Road, Vergennes, VT 05491, USA
Website design & Logo design © Peter Macfarlane