Another Plywood Quick Canoe in a week – Clinton in Sydney

Canoe Plan info
USA precut canoe kit available

At the same time that PJ and Cliff were racing to finish their Quick Canoe within a week to take to the Tinaroo event in Far North Queensland, Clinton had started his Quick CAnoe and was not far behind.

Plywood Quick Canoe took just over a week to build

I had some questions for Clinton – he and Rick (the builder of the Quick Canoe prototype) suggested a wooden stempiece instead of the duct taped stem (duct tape holds the boat together while it is epoxy filleted or glass taped together on the inside.

Cutting out the panels for the plywood quick canoe. Note the use of "gravity clamps for the buttstraps

Howdy Clinton,

I do think seriously about what you and Rick are saying about internal stems – wood joining the bows up. The only thing I have against it is that with my other boats that use such a stem it is kinda tricky to shape with a changing bevel. Not a problem for the woodwork accomplished but I’ve seen first time builders really struggle with it.

I am thinking that cable ties or copper wire might be good for the stems. The reason it might be good there is that the fillet in that corner is quite deep because of the narrow angle of the bow. It will be more positive than the tape.

The duct/gaffer tape works a treat for the chine because if you stitch it always makes a bumpy fillet or glass tape because the angle is shallower – but with the tape it is nice and clean. But the stems will result in the tape or copper wire being hidden well under the fillet.

What do you guys think? Particularly Clinton. Did you find the ends a bit unstable to assemble with the duct tape?

I had seen this pic … but Clinton just kept following the plans and the canoe’s shape kept improving as more spreaders were added and the gunwale was

Clinton replied with a lot of useful detail (and some other fun stuff)


No, I did not find it unstable at all with the gaffa tape (I used 1 roll up, lost the other two in the clutter, and went with 50mm plastic masking tape, which worked really well. Also, I omitted your ‘put a screw/wire through the side if the ends are unstable step’ (ends = ‘bow and stern’, or ‘stems’ in a double ender – showing off!).

I made the whole thing on my own, including taping up and turning it over… no worries at all with stability, or ease of ‘making’.

1. I’m thinking more from an end result perspective… glass taping the stems was difficult to get really neat (more practice, I know), and now I’ve painted the outside I realise that I could have epoxy fillet goo’d the stems to get real neatness. Or is ‘bogging up’ bad practice?

I think, for a neater appearance I’d be better fitting a timber strip that the ends of the ply are fitted into a ‘rebate’. Introducing point 2.

2. If I made the internal stem to be v shaped in vertical plane (very slight, from the current ‘end result measurement’ to a flaring of about 5mm or so), so the top of the ends flared slightly, would this stuff your design?

Yes, the stem at the deck is changed, but the deck if fitted to size anyway.

I’m thinking of the the appearance only, a solid, clear piece of timber to finish off the ends… pleasant appearance has so much to do with the lines, shapes, ratios, contrasts and hints.

I’m happy knocking that shape up, have the tools and techniques… and I agree, its not for the 1st timer with minimal wood work experience. I’d rather spend the time on that than spending time on taping and filleting the end.

My way of doing it – Simplest way to form the piece would be to plane to shape, then rebate could be a deep scribed line, then paring cuts with a chisel thru to using a box grooving moulding plane… again not for the inexperienced.

Not telling you your business… my inexperience is demonstated by the fact that I’m chuffed to now know what a chine is… but I reckon leave the plan as it is, except for a “decide to paint the exterior, and skim coat epoxy bog to fair the stems” line… and leave the ‘hint’ about internal stem, as you have done… those that can will pick up on it. (except me, because I was ‘precious’ about following your design).

A big part of a first ‘boat’ really could be about the appearance/perfection of the end result… e.g people say ‘you can’t do that’… then say ‘wow’…

first build + task worthy, economical, and other peoples praise = second go = more happiness in the world.

I’m rambling….



In other words … now speaking as the designer … follow the plans, but if you have confidence in trying other methods – I won’t stop you – the glory or the failure is yours!

I then asked Clinton about cost and time. He used Epoxy Resin and glass tape. Polyester resin is cheaper, but less durable than the epoxy methods I tend to favour for my more quality oriented designs like the Goat Island Skiff and the slightly more complex but very pretty Eureka Canoe.

Here is the Quick Canoe building process compressed to 6 minutes. The Quick Canoe Electric is also built this way.

I have been taught quite a lot about the value of cheaper ways too, largely by my US friends who have access to very cheap building materials compared to the rest of the world. The Quick Canoe Family is meant to appeal to that type of building or a higher quality one.

When you read Clinton’s comments about the cost and the time commitment that there is value in both a boat that is built properly and a boat that is built quickly and cheaply.  Basically the more building there is in a boat the longer it needs to last to cover the expense.  With canoes the cost of doing a nicely finished boat is not that great.

Ok … so cut to the chase … cost and time, Clinton …

Just did my sums.

$282 and 5 hours 30 mins…. not including waiting for epoxy to dry and hovering over it wanting to get on to the next bit.

This included machined hoop pine (clean and clear) and the delivery costs.

I have not included left overs in the cost (such as the ply left over from which I will cut our another side panel), but have included all consumables, with nearest estimation of cost for things like ‘1/2 tin paint, 1/4 tin of varnish…’


The ends of the “skeg/fins” should be radiussed to make the line between the keel and the end of the hull into a curve – not a sharp corner.

Pretty Blue Quick Canoe

That’s great … but most of all … what a beautiful Blue!

Plans and info here

Perttu in Finland has a video of paddling a Quick Canoe down a Finnish river.

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  1. […] wires or cable ties.  In this case the build uses a similar method to the OzRacer RV and the Quick Canoes – the hull is assembled and held together using gaffer […]

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