The Sassafras 12 canoe is so light that you can put it on your shoulder and stroll casually down a wooded trail to a hidden lake or stream, fishing rod and tackle box in the other. That was the idea behind the original "trapper" or "pack" canoes. CLC's 28-pound Sassafras 12 carries on the tradition - but with modern building methods.
Though she can be carried, or paddled, by a child, she'll hold a 250-pound load. She tracks well, turns easily, and is stable enough for fishing. For maximum efficiency you'll want to paddle the Sassafras 12 with a double (kayak) paddle.Today we think of wooden canoes as being strip-built in cedar. But lapstrake canoes have an even longer history. The legendary Rushton lapstrake canoes are considered the pinnacle of the canoe builder's art. But that style of construction is very, very complex, beyond even intermediate builders.
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Simpler strip building, and later aluminum and fiberglass, took over. Now, CLC's revolutionary LapStitch™ building method allows lapstrake canoes to be built by someone with no previous woodworking experience. All the planks and other parts are pre-cut. No strongback, molds, frames, or steam bending are required; building a LapStitch™ canoe is basically a matter of gluing all the pre-cut parts together.
The Sassafras 12 design has been completely overhauled for 2014. Like the new Sassafras 16, the Sassafras 12 Mark II is essentially a new design on the same theme. It remains an ultralight solo “pack canoe,” light enough to carry in one hand. The revised canoe is prettier, stronger, and easier to build.
The 2014 Sassafras 12 has a new hull, with a springy sheer, finer ends, and much-simplified construction, without the slightest sacrifice in looks and performance.
Plans for the Sassafras 12 have been out of print for a few years while we updated the design. The new plans comprise full-sized patterns for every single piece of the boat.
The Sassafras 12 Mark II also boasts an entirely rewritten and vastly expanded builder's manual, with 115 pages and 400 photos and illustrations. Plans builders, too, will appreciate the detailed instructions for parts fabrication. Along with improvements to the kits, which include pre-drilled wire holes, puzzle joints, and computer-indicated bulkhead locations, the manual makes this kit extremely friendly and accessible to first-time builders.
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