"If you look for a happy person, you will find them building a boat," said Beran Wolfe. He was right. Kenneth Grahame has Ratty declaring, " There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Come and join us!
There are a few tasks which take muscle power, but we will be happy to give you as much help as you feel you want.
Relax in the spacious grounds (more than 2 acres). We sometimes take the canoes outside to work on if the weather is suitable.
Children are permitted in the workshop if you supervise them. They will remember helping to build their canoe for many years. We are happy for children to join their parents in various stages of the process, and there are plenty of outdoor activities for them when they are not in the workshop
Our standard Lakota is by far our most popular canoe. This can be paddled solo, or will take the family quite happily. We do offer other designs, but we are happiest with the Lakota, and we are sure you will be too.
Your canoe can be carried on your shoulders, and transported home on any car. You don't even need roof bars or a roof rack, we now sell foam blocks and straps which allow you to attach a canoe safely to any car roof.
The canoes are built using beautiful okoume marineply, and applying the resin really brings out the grain.
Typically we will get to this stage after about 24 hours of work or less. The work progresses at your own pace, and you are encouraged to tell us when you want a break, work faster or work slower.
We will either wear masks, or keep the workshop doors open, during the current Pandemic
If you live locally you can travel daily, but many canoe building guests stay in one of our home made cabins, or in the Yurt.
Some of our canoe building guests opt to stay in our River Cabin. It is also popular with our Airbnb guests. There is currently a special offer for canoe builders booking the River Cabin for a week for just £200
Launch is always an exciting photo opportunity, and a proud moment for us all. You can just see the River Cabin in the background.
14Last year we had a kind visit by Paul Stanley, the canoe designer behind the lovely Stanley Smallcraft canoes. I had already bought a couple of his designs ( which come as full sized paper templates). We were amazed how convergent design processes have resulted in canoes which bear significant resemblence to our own Lakota design. Paul very graciously offered to allow guests at Birchcanoes to build his designs at no extra cost, and last May ( 2023) we built our very first Peasemarsh 14 canoe. In early September 2023 we built a second Peasemarsh 14 with a moderated sheerline, which I and our clients were delighted with.She is beautifully stable and a joy to paddle. Feel free to peruse Paul's website to get inspiration, whether you want to build a canoe at home, or indeed with us. https://www.stanleysmallcraft.co/
We are now offering the Peasemarsh 14 ( or our version of Paul's design) at the same price as the standard Lakota. The following benefits seem to be evident:
1) 22kg instead of 28kg
2) Significantly more stable, owing to a wider base
3) A 14 foot canoe is more readily stored in a domestic garage
4) Strikingly similar to the Lakota, owing to convergent evolution, but in my view even prettier
5) Just as easy to paddle, carry, transport and store as the Lakota, just maybe a bit easier
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss availability, prices etc