A lightweight tripping canoe
Our Abenaki river canoe is lightweight and well suited to solo tripping and casual tandem paddling. The Abenaki maneuvers excellently and moves quickly through the water. Novice and experienced paddlers will be reassured by its good initial and secondary stability, though its stability does not sacrifice its speed.
An impact proof hull
Our Abenaki river canoe comes standard with a painted aramid (Kevlar) hull. This makes the canoe very resistant to sharp objects such as rocks and stones in shallow rivers. It can be outfitted as a solo or a tandem canoe. The slightly curved hull and the straight sides allow it to be edged easily making it very suitable as a solo canoe.
A quick river canoe
The Abenaki lived along the Saint Francis River in Quebec and used their canoes for hunting and fishing, but also for the transport of trade goods. Their canoes are similar to those of the Malecite but are usually slightly shorter, narrower and more maneuverable.
Our river canoe is based on the drawings from the St. Francis 2 Fathom Canoe of about 1865. The St. Francis canoes were usually small (max. 480 cm). The hunting canoes might be as short as 300 cm; these were the true woods canoes of the Abenaki.
Ours is a very “modern” looking canoe and was favored by sportsmen who competed in the increasingly popular canoe races and regattas in the 1840’s and -50’s.
The natives were racing canoes even earlier. Painter George Catlin records around 1840 the Ojibwas racing canoes in the upper Mississippi Country on the St. Mary River. The spectators wagered heavily on the outcome.
Kevlar provides impact resistance
Our Abenaki river canoe is built with western red cedar and laminated with kevlar and epoxy (the inside with glass fabric). The laminate ensures that the wood is sandwiched and never comes into contact with water. In addition, it provides extreme stiffness which makes the canoe very efficient to be paddled. The kevlar on the outside makes the canoe impact resistant and therefore suitable for rocky rivers. Kevlar is also used to make bulletproof vests. The canoe is finished with very wear-resistant two-component epoxy paint.
Solid ash for the outfitting
The gunwales, seats, decks and the yoke are made of ash. Ash is hard, very flexible and relatively light. Because the ash parts of the canoe suffer the most they are coated with double boiled linseed oil to keep them flexible and in good shape. The outwales are screwed to make replacement easy. All screws and bolts are stainless steel.
Our canoes are very strong and stiff. Normal wear will occur when used normally. We recommend checking the canoe regularly and retouch any scratches in the varnish. In the unlikely event the epoxy laminate gets damaged, it should be repaired within reasonable time to prevent water seeping into the wood. The gunwales should be oiled three to four times a year.
Build it yourself?
Build the Abenaki river canoe by yourself? All our canoes can be built by yourself in our shop. This requires no special prior knowledge. Check out our workshop section.
Our canoes are made to order. It takes us about 100 hours to build one. Prepare for a delivery period of approximately five weeks. If you would like to test our canoes, please contact us by e-mail.