The canoe building workshop

Learn to build your own wooden canoe with canoe builder Bart Deseyn. It’s a very rewarding experience and achievable to everyone, even to those with no prior experience with woodworking. During the canoe building workshop you work with the same simple hand tools you probably have in your tool box.

Canoe builder Bart will guide you through the entire process of building a canoe. In simple steps you will see the genesis of a wood strip canoe. You will develop different skills during the workshop. Working with a spokeshave for instance or laminating with epoxy. Bart will pass down his knowledge and will give you lots of boatbuilding tips & tricks.

Wood strip construction

Strip building is a canoe construction method where it comes down to gluing long narrow wooden strips together on a temporary form. Once the canoe is sanded down the inside and outside are lined with glass fabric and epoxy. That laminate makes the canoe strong and waterproof.

The combination of wood strips and glass fabric-epoxy gives a very strong, rigid and lightweight construction. Strip built canoes are exceptionally stiff which provides a very efficient energy transfer while paddling. Moreover, they are easy to repair and nearly indestructible if treated properly and maintained correctly.

What to expect?

The workshop covers the entire process of building a wood strip canoe:

  • Mounting the stations on the strongback
  • Laminating and installing the inner stems
  • Placing the strips
  • Laminating and installing the outer stems
  • Shaving and sanding the hull
  • Preparing the hull to be laminated
  • Laminating the inside and outside with glass cloth and epoxy
  • Sanding the inside and outside of the hull
  • Preparing and placing gunwales and decks
  • Making and placing the seats and yoke
  • Final sanding and varnishing the hull
  • Oiling the gunwales, decks and seats

You don’t need any gear to participate in the workshop. Everything you need to build the canoe will be provided by Freeranger Canoe and is included in the price. We also provide personal protective equipment when needed.

Although wooden canoes are strong it’s inevitable they get scratched, or worse, damaged. Luckily a wooden canoe is very easy to repair. During the canoe building workshop you will learn how to sand the canoe and apply a new coat of varnish. Something we recommend doing every year. Bart will also explain how to repair deeper damages and how to repair seats and gunwales.

For more general info check our workshops page.


Canoe building workshop

€ 700 pp

In consultation we decide on a schedule to build your wooden canoe. Depending on the type of wood strip canoe you want to build that will take up between 80 and 100 hours. We can build an evening or a day each week or group the construction in one or more multi-day periods.

To book a canoe building workshop go fill in the registration form. We will get back to you to plan a schedule. Registration is complete once we receive your payment.

The workshop fee does not cover the acquisition of the canoe. After completion of the workshop the built canoe can be purchased with a 5% discount on the price when new. Check our webshop for the pricing of our canoes.