Otter Creek

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

Otter Creek Smallcraft Logo

A personal introduction to the designer/builder

For reasons which I cannot fully explain, I have a love of boat shapes, gazing at elegant curves where others see merely a "boat". Maybe my penchant stems from spending many years in kayaks, competing in both slalom and marathon racing, as well as extensive canoe touring. Whatever, I have spent considerable time and effort propelling hulls through water. That experience now informs the designs of my own hulls.

It all started with an unlikely project: a total rebuild of someone else's wrecked cedar-strip canoe. The transformation illustrated in these pictures (above: rescued quite literally from a neighbour's woodpile; below: the result of many hours) provided a canoe which has carried us on many camping trips into the Adirondack wilderness, a canoe which tracks beautifully, cruises easily ... and, before re-trimming, weighed too much to portage with any degree of comfort! Nevertheless, she turns many a head.

It was the discomfort of those portages that persuaded me to entertain the idea of starting from scratch, building light from the ground up, and rendering in three dimensions the various shapes that had been flitting around my brain for many years. All that was required was to emigrate from the UK to the USA, build a workshop, acquire some tools, and get to work.

My first canoe, a Lutra, 44 lbs and 15 feet, was completed in 2007, has seen much hard use, including unintended encounters with rocks in white-water, and is still going strong.

Before re-build
After re-build
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