Build Your Own Sassafras Canoe

Location: WoodenBoat School - Brooklin, Maine
Dates: Sunday, June 30, 2024 - Saturday, July 6, 2024

This Class in Brooklin, Maine, is offered by the WoodenBoat School; please register online starting January 3, 2024. Inquiries only to 207-359-4651 or [email protected].

Register through the WoodenBoat School

Call 207-359-4651 for inquiries.

Instructor:   George Krewson

Tuition & Materials: 

Other Considerations:

Lapstrake Canoe - Build Your Own Boat in One Week
Sassafras 12 Canoe
Sassafras 12 Canoe - Build Your Own Boat
Sassafras 16 - Build Your Own Boat
Today we often think of wooden canoes as being strip-built, but lapstrake canoes have an even longer history. The legendary Rushton lapstrake canoes are considered the pinnacle of the canoe builder's art. Unfortunately, the required skills of this costly method faded away in the early 20th century. Simpler strip building, and later aluminum and fiberglass, took over. But 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.
George Krewson

George Krewson

Imagine a boat so light that you can put it on your shoulder and stroll casually down a wooded trail, carry it to a hidden lake or stream, or paddle it with almost no effort. That was the idea behind the original "trapper" or "pack" canoes. CLC's 26-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.

Like many traditional canoes, the Sassafras 16 is symmetrical, bow and stern. This allows a solo paddler to sit facing "backwards" on the forward seat for better trim. Her slightly rounded hull offers more speed and responsiveness than many of the plastic or 'glass boats you may have paddled.  Her hull is slightly rockered - not for maneuvering in whitewater, but rather to reduce wetted surface area - making her almost effortless to paddle. She has a smooth or "well dampened" feel that is characteristic of good wooden canoes.
The Sassafras 16's™ hull is 6mm okoume with 'glass cloth on the bottom. As on all the canoes, watertight flotation compartments are fitted at the bow and stern. The kit features ash-caned seats, sapele decks, mahogany outwales, and an ash thwart.
Skills conveyed in the course include advanced epoxy and fiberglass techniques, basic marine carpentry, and an overview of what will be required to get your boat rigged and sailing. With a completed Passagemaker you can contemplate placid afternoons on the local lake, or a dream cruise on the Maine Island Trail.

As with all of our courses in which students build their own boat, this week will be a busy one with some evening work being required. But the time spent will be well worth it. As students head down the road for home at week's end, they'll be leaving with a beautiful new creation they've built themselves, guaranteed to turn heads and bring years and years of pleasure.
Note:  Boat kits for classes are specially prepared at CLC and delivered directly to the classroom.  These kits include essential supplies and may have certain parts pre-assembled.  Because of the particular nature of these kits, discounts and other promotions do not apply.