Pal, a genuine pleasure canoe

Pal, the best all-round canoe

The Pal is considered to be one of the most all-round canoes the Chestnut Canoe Company built in its later years. Being the larger brother of our Chum and with the same length as our Prospector it’s the ideal combination of both. It is a very well performing tandem canoe excellent for leisurely day trips and short camping trips on moderately moving water.

Price: € 3740

A real pleasure model

The Pal was designed to provide the everyday paddler with a recreational craft. They liked what they saw and the all-round canoe became very popular. Responsive but stable and with a convenient size, the Pal soon became very popular with a whole range of sportsmen, holiday trippers and day cruisers.


Length: 490 cm
Width: 80 cm
Depth: 29 cm
Bow Height: 55 cm
Weight: 21 kg


Sides: Straight
Bottom: Shallow Arch
Rocker: Moderate
Capacity: 300 kg

A Pal put through the test

While Bill Mason made the Prospector legendary he regularly used the Pal alongside his fabled and undoubtedly better known canoe. He didn’t seem to mind the Chestnut sales pitch promoting the leisure and pleasure credentials of the Pal. He filled it with his gear and painting equipment and took it into the backcountry.

In Path of the Paddle: Solo Whitewater he paddles it through class III rapids and over 1 meter high standing waves.  This being said, when it becomes really tight he prefered his Prospector. The observant viewer will notice that all of a sudden the canoe has wooden seats in stead of the elegant caned ones indicating he switched canoes.

While the Chestnut Pal is one of the best all-round canoes ever designed it is not destined to handle class III rapids.  Apparently, that did not stop Bill Mason from trying. He evidently enjoyed putting his Pal through its paces too.


Cedar and glass fabric-epoxy

Our Pal is built with western red cedar and laminated with glass fabric and epoxy. 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 boat is finished with high or satin gloss spar varnish with an excellent UV-blocker.

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.

Canoe maintenance

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. Read more about maintenance.

Build it yourself?

Build the Pal 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.

Delivery period

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.