Building The Flat Bottom Canoe


Q. How stable is this canoe, I have heard about initial and secondary stability, what's with that?

A. True Flat Bottom Canoes, are very stable. I don't believe in defining initial stability and secondary stability. I would say that a canoe is stable until it is taken past its tip angle. This canoe can be tipped to one side or the other until you sip water over the gunnel, even with out tipping. Now with this in mind, you answer were does initial stability end and where does secondary stability start. You're right the concept of secondary stability is absurd. Movie Clip of Stability Test.


Q. How much does this canoe weigh?

A. The 20' canoe tips the scale at just over 150lbs,

     The 12' canoe weighs about 47lbs.


Q. How long does it really take to build this canoe?

A. The 20' canoe could be built in 40 hours or less.

A. The 12' canoe could be built in 30 hours or less.


Q. What construction method is used?

A. 1/4" Plywood and 1x2's


Q. What tools do I need?

A. This could be built with a hand saw and a screw driver, but I recommend, an inexpensive table saw, and a drill as a minimum. Power sanders such as a palm and a belt sander could be used. Also if possible 2 or 3 drills could be used to speed up the time. The need for changing drill bits and screw chucks could be eliminated.


Q. How much can I load into this canoe?

A. With the displacement of this canoe (20' x 32" x 16 inch side walls), you could carry in excess of 2200 lbs and still have plenty of free board left, how ever I wouldn't recommend that amount of weight unless 3/8 plywood was used instead of 1/4 inch ply, and three thwarts were installed from gunnel to gunnel at half and quarter placements. This canoe as is, could carry 1500 lbs easily, as long as it is stowed correctly. The 12 foot could carry an adult and small child with gear, or two small adults.


Q. Could I portage this canoe?

A. The 20' canoe could be, with two guys if necessary, but you likely wouldn't over head. Although that would not be impossible. One person could portage this canoe with a dolly set up with wheels. That is how I transport it to the water close to home. The 12' canoe is only 47 pounds and easily carried.


Q. Could I transport the canoe on top of my car, or would I need a trailer?

A. You would need a large car and very strong roof racks and two people to load or unload. A Trailer is recommended to transport this canoe. Then camping gear and what not could be stored for transport in the canoe as well.

Again the 12' model is 47lbs and well with in factory stated limits fo4r most car top carriers.


Q. Will I be happy with this style of canoe?

A. There are a number of ways that someone can enjoy this canoe as well as its style. This is an ultra stable canoe, solid, and well behaved in the water. It draws very little water for day trips, and is easily handled. Tracks straight, yet turns easily when asked to. For those long hauls, whether it is a hundred miles or a thousand miles, this canoe will deliver its payload with ease and comfort. And it looks smart as well. My Family and I enjoy this canoe to no end, and I know that soon enough I will start to get comments emailed to me about how awesome it is.


Q. I own a Mac, can I view this manual on my computer?

A. Yes, each download comes with two versions of the manual. The first is for PC's only, and the second is a PDF for PC and Mac. On the down load box there is a choice for Mac users, please choose that link.



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Building The Flat Bottom Canoe




This page and answers herein, in no way imply warranties or guarantees of performance or capability. It is all opinion and basic common sense.

All end results are dictated by the builder and handler of any vessel.