Jack Launches his Eureka Canoe. Built in Adelaide, finished in Melbourne – Pics

This was kinda a team effort. Almost all the labour was by Jack, however its almost like an informal storerboats network helped him out.

He built most of the boat in the 10 days Duck Flat boatbuilding school in Mt Barker, Adelaide. I think the seats still needed to be fitted and the boat varnished as well as the inevitable detail work.

He then took the boat back to his home in Melbourne. Next I heard that he was finishing it off at the Build Wooden Boats Centre with Phillipe in Preston, a suburb of Melbourne. Another of my agent/collaborators.

But let’s hear from Jack …

Hi all,

It was a beautiful afternoon today; too good for work. I took my pulse, said “ahh” and decided that a mental health half-day was necessary.

The Eureka was already on the roof racks, and it was a short ride to the Fairfield Boathouse, on a turn of the Yarra.

No hassles getting it off the roof rack, just slide forward and onto the trolley, turn it over & strap it down, and a easy downhill walk to the canoe club launching spot.

Eureka Canoe - light plywood DIY canoe

Stairs at the waters edge? OK for slim little Methodist Ladies College canoeists, with their kevlar K1s over one shoulder like a designer leather jacket, but with some less-than-dignified grunting and shuffling I work my way to the waters edge. In goes the paddle and the trolley, on goes the life jacket, shove off, and the ordinary world disappears.

Eureka plywood canoe - built at duckflat boatbuilding 10 day classes

What a joy this little boat is. What a pleasure to be surrounded only by water, trees and birds amongst a city of four million people. Kneeling at the centre crossbeam, knees tucked into the chine, I could push, draw, lean and adjust my weight so that the Eureka tracked through the breeze. So easy – so much fun.

Paddling their new DIY canoe on the river

What a gift. Thank you Mik, and Duck Flat (please don’t consider this advertising; these are sincere thanks) for teaching me to build a boat. Thank you Mik, for a great design – it turned heads in the home-from-work traffic as I brought it home from the river. Thank you Philippe Patacca and his staff at Build Wooden Boats who rented me workshop space to finish it off and gave all sorts of advice. Thank you to all the forum members who posted advice, suggestions & detail photos. This boat is well worth all the time (almost 2 years??!), money (amount forgotten) and materials it took to make.

New Eureka Canoe - a boat as a woodworking project finally in the water

If you are a visitor to this forum, and you are wondering whether to plunge in and begin building your boat: It is worth it. It is worth it. It is worth it.

Eureka plywood canoe – family boatbuilding project

Best wishes,


Pics from the duckflat school Jack attended.


Which Canoe – the simple and elegant Eureka or the cheap and very fast building Quick Canoe
General Plans information about the different boats

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