A project log for A Plywood Canoe

I built this canoe 10 years ago. It was fun but various design flaws has limited it use. This project is about a salvaging the canoe.

agp.cooperagp.cooper 05/09/2017 at 07:110 Comments


Painting takes time. Paint one side, wait a day, paint the other side, wait a day, repeat.

Two coats of primer and two to three coats of paint.

I have finally worked out how to use primer! Paint the imperfections with primer and sand flush, repeat until surface is perfectly flat, then paint.

Here is the outside painted:

Just the inside of the canoe and the final coat of the cross-beams to go.

You may note that the colours are not quite the same. The paint I used 10 years ago is no longer available.

You can also see that I added a handle for the pontoon. It makes it easier the lift as cross-beams are too far apart leaving no easy way to lift by myself.

I decided to add a foot rest to the canoe. It should save pressure on my knees from clamping the sides of the canoe. Here I used the heat gun and a scraper to get back to wood:

Next, I fitted the foot rest:

Finally it was epoxied in:

So all it needs is few coats of primer and a few coats of paint.

There are some water splashed in the canoe as a wet finger is used to smooth the final epoxy fillet seam.

The yellow (hull) paint needs a few days to harden so I should be in the water by the weekend.


Well the painting done, here it is assembled (plastic on the bolt joints as the paint has not hardened fully):

Here is the inside:

The main problems are the size and weight. Standing in between the hulls and lifting it feels about 30 kg to 40 kg. A quick calculation suggests:

In general I have built a bit too heavy duty.

So it will not car top (at least on my car) and in any case I probably cannot lift it above my head (without risking an accident with my car or hurting myself). It will need a trailer. I have a small boat trailer but I will have to make up a cradle and fix the lights:

And from the back:

The trailer looks like it would make a good two canoe unit. Here are the dimensions:

After Thoughts

It was a mistake gluing the cross-beams to the pontoon, I should have used bolts when I had access to the inside of the pontoon.

Buoyancy Tanks

I have a thoughts of buoyancy tanks front and rear for the canoe. I would then be practically unsinkable. But I should try it out first.


I have a suitable sail but will need a rudder and centre board. But worth considering later.