BETH Sailing Canoe being built by Norm in Toronto


Norm is putting together a BETH Sailing Canoe and documenting it on the WoodenBoat forum.

He is going like a rocket, it is possible to drop in every day and see some big changes. He has departed a bit from the plan in both building method and detail. I’d suggest that most people who build a BETH stick to the plan and the methods in there.

I have only put up a couple of the cooler pics of Norm’s Beth, please have a look at the link above to see the whole series. There are a similar set but with more of my comments here.

Norm writes;

The last few days saw a lot of progress – but Beth attracts so much attention at the boatyard, I think I lost 2 hours each day answering questions! No worries though, I just talk about how easy it is to build, show them the sail plan, and watch the gleam come into their eyes.

On Friday I installed both sheer strakes – western red cedar – and did all the fitting for the daggerboard case and bed logs – and that process taught me a lesson I’ll share.

As the first picture shows, the hull is resting on two workmate-type benches, mostly unsupported over its length. I just flip it over to work on top, bottom or the sides.

I fitted the case to a “T”, working hard to get the front and bottom into perfect contact. When I was happy with it I prepared to install it by doing a a dry run of the glue up with all the clamps in place.

Guess what? It didn’t fit!! There were big gaps, and for a minute I thought the whole thing was upside down. After a few deep breaths and a few more choice words, I realized what had happened.

The issue was that the unsupported bottom had sagged a bit – enough so that when it was properly supported and pushed into place, the relationship between the bottom panel and bulkhead #2 – now correct – was out of whack with the case that I had so carefully fit to the out-of-alignment surfaces!

The problem only showed up because I had clamped some cross pieces underneath ( you can just see them in the next pic) to give me something to push against when setting the case. Those cross pieces squared everything up nicely, of course, but now the case was all wrong – well not too wrong – just a few MM in fact, and the plane took care of it – but wrong enough.

After fixing it up, I proceeded to glue everything in place – quite a set-up if I do say so myself!

So a word to the wise – on a boat with a light plywood skin, beware of sag before you do a final fit!

Over the rest of the long weekend I installed the last bulkhead, put in all the stiffeners, made and installed the deck knees, beveled the sheer strake, put epoxy goop into all the little voids and gaps I could find, filleted here and there and generally cleaned everything up ready to coat the interior. Next are the mast steps and partners

I’ll post more pics tonight.

And he did … and the night after that and the night after that and ….

Thankyou Norm!


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