Beginning work on the Peace Canoe

I have begun gathering the lumber and hardware for the Peace Canoe project. It is, by the way, AMAZINGLY difficult to find appropriate plywood. Even specialty places around here – and while we are not a maritime center here in DC, we aren’t land-locked, either – seemed to have a hard time once “marine grade” entered the equation. Then the quotes that came back suggested that multiple people didn’t know what they were talking about. The designer, Chesapeake Light Craft, actually sells Okoume for a pretty reasonable price (though I just can’t bring myself to go there for this boat). I hope I don’t regret the decision…

I did have pretty good luck with the other material. I managed to find – in Home Depot, no less – some straight, pretty clear pine that I am some way through turning into sheer clamps and chine logs. I also have turned out the seat supports.

Seat supports

It is always interesting to see, even in detailed guides such as the one I have (courtesy of WoodenBoat), what missing pieces there are (it may be that what one would buy from CLC is different). The seat supports were one. The plans indicate they have a curved bottom, but there aren’t specifications for the nature of this curve. As best I can figure – and this seemed as good an approach as any – the curve is an arc of a circle and it is constant across all six seat-support pieces. My approach was as follows: I laid out one of the mid-ship supports, which are the widest. I then grabbed a string and pencil. A made a loop in the string at one end for the pencil and then extended the string back along the center-line of the support until the arc the string / pencil described touched the two lower corners of the support and a point about 3 inches up from the bottom of the support along the center-line. It would have been helpful if I had recorded the measurement; I believe it was about 42″ – 44″. Whatever it was, I matched the center lines and lower corners for the other, narrower supports and simply used the same arc (the result being that there is, on a relative basis, much less cut away on the shorter supports).

I am also making a change. The plans call for chine logs to be outside the planking, in deference to the novice builder. Fair enough, but I am not able to warm to this idea, so I am going to put them inside, even though – in fact, somewhat because – this introduces a complex bevel job as they meet the stems. My thinking about this provides another reminder of the benefits of lofting, even for narrow views. For the exterior application, the chine logs should be half-a-trapezoid in section. In drawing the section view at the chine, however, I realized that when brought inboard, that would leave a channel to catch water and whatever residual by-products. For the interior, I had to go back and shave off the other side to make the chine logs parallelograms in section. Obvious, now that I say it, but it didn’t jump out until I put it down on paper.

Drawing of chine log

4 Comments for “Beginning work on the Peace Canoe”

Mike Thomas


Can you email me how to make the angles of the stem parts.


Here was my replay, in case it is useful to others:

I am not sure if you read all my posts on building PEACE OF THE PUZZLE, but, if not, check out before asking me about stem angles! Needless to say, it wasn’t one of the project’s high-points! Anyway, I will try to help as best I can. I assume, in asking this question, you mean the angles at which the side panels meet the stems. I am still not sure where I went wrong, but the Getting Started in Boats pamphlet I used specified 69 degrees for the bow stem and 65 degrees for the stern-post. The bevels are constant, so I ran them off on a table saw. For whatever its worth, I let the stem pieces be deeper than specified such that the inboard face does not meet the side panels but rather is a bit proud of the point where the side panels meet the stem. This proved fortunate because when I had to shave off the stems to reset the bevel I still had a full mating face. I did end up cutting some of the inboard face off to save weight, but left the bottom for a slightly bigger mating face with the bottom panel.

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