Canoe Build

Craig Johnson

Lifetime member
Hi everyone.
I know many of you are at assembly now and will not see this till next week but for those of us stuck at home here is a little entertainment. Last week I and my daughter, (who by the way is the young woman in the canoe with the flowers behind her, who graced the slide show on the home page last quarter) went to Bearwood Canoes in Parry Sound, Ontario to build a canoe with Pam Wedd. I had restored a couple canoes and wanted to build a new one without having to build a form. I did a little research on classes and settled on Pam because she is a WCHA board member and I had read her articles on getting a great paint finish but mostly because of the location. Pam's farm sits on the Saguine river near Parry Sound, Ontario, a beautiful vacation spot, and we stayed in her cabin right on the river with a dock for swimming and canoeing. We saw bears crossing the river twice in the evening. Pam is very meticulous and makes a very high quality canoe. We built a 15' canoe on a David Yost designed form and are very happy with it. The work schedule was grueling but we had time to do a little canoeing and socialize with the other course participants who were restoring their own boats. Pam's partner Jane often brought us home baked treats at tea time and fixed a fabulous banquet for all of us the last evening. It was a wonderful experience, we ended up with a beautiful boat and new friends, you cant beat that. Any way Miki put together a short multimedia presentation of the week so here is a link to it. I will post more photos after it is painted.


  • DSC_0458.jpg
    342.5 KB · Views: 342
  • DSC_0469.jpg
    368.5 KB · Views: 347
  • DSC_0496.jpg
    252.7 KB · Views: 371
  • DSC_0507.jpg
    358.7 KB · Views: 358
  • DSC_0513.jpg
    283.8 KB · Views: 350
  • DSC_0539.jpg
    324.6 KB · Views: 348
More photos


  • DSC02499.jpg
    499.8 KB · Views: 318
  • DSC_0563.jpg
    352.5 KB · Views: 318
  • DSC_0606.jpg
    303.3 KB · Views: 325
  • DSC00699.jpg
    548.5 KB · Views: 331
  • DSC_0659.jpg
    373.7 KB · Views: 348
  • Craig and Mik's build (16).jpg
    Craig and Mik's build (16).jpg
    421.2 KB · Views: 363
Photos of first launch

I finally finished the boat I built at Bearwood Canoes in July. Here are photos and a link to a video my daughter put together of the build, in case you missed it.


  • DSC_0772.jpg
    251.5 KB · Views: 306
  • DSC_0774.jpg
    189.6 KB · Views: 297
  • DSC_0775.jpg
    163.7 KB · Views: 295
  • DSC_0779.jpg
    189.5 KB · Views: 304
Great vid & pics. I'm also a Bearwood build "alumni". Made mine the summer of '08. Pam's got such a great workshop and location. It was a gruelling work schedule but absolutely worth it in the end. Enjoy your new canoe!
Pam worked with me a couple years ago on our Belle Isle Morris. I can not say enough good things about her teaching ability, workmanship or just her as a person. Jane is such a sweetheart and they both made me feel welcome and made sure I was fed well. It was a great seven days. Her shop is well equipped so if one is looking for an excellent teacher with knowledge , experience and a well equipped shop to learn from and in then I heartily recommend Pam. The timber frame cottage is a wonderful little place to go back to when the day is done. I did no swimming or canoeing as it was winter when I was there.
By the way this note is totally unsolicited - I just have great admiration for both Pam and Jane.
I am not a Bearwood alumni....but I do know Pam has a great reputation in canoe building....and is an incredible teacher (I have yet to meet anyone not overly impressed with her teaching abilities....she is also incredibly helpful to other builders (such as other members of the Wooden Canoe Builders Guild) Denis I have nothing but admiration for Pam (and Jane as well)....I'm looking forward to the Wooden Canoe Builders Guild AGM at Pam's....and seeing her shop in person....she is very supportive of canoe building and of course the WCHA....

Pam was involved last year with teaching some of the G8 wives how to build a well as cane of the canoes was donated to a camp for kids with cancer....see this from

One of two canoes that G8 leaders’ spouses helped a local artisan build from scratch was donated to Camp Oochigeas in Rosseau on Wednesday.
Pam Wedd, owner of Bearwood Canoe Company, a building and restoration company in Parry Sound that also offers canoe crafting courses to the public, assisted international dignitaries during the beginning stages of the project, which took nearly three months to complete.

On Wednesday morning, Wedd, accompanied by Edie Hentcy, who wove the canoe’s seats with wicker, and shop helper Jane Liddell, transported the 15-foot wood-canvas canoe to the camp where it was unveiled before a small crowd of kids and staff.

“This is a big deal,” Wedd said of the secretive project that involved the wives and husbands of international leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. “The whole experience has been incredible.”...
Last edited:
Craig, nice meeting you out at Pams - that colour looks great on your boat. I liked the lettering on your truck, did anyone stop and try to sell you any wooden canoes on your drive home?:D
Hey Andre
Nice to meet you too, I am bringing the boat back up for the Rendezvous. I expect to take lots of ribbing about the sign then but wood canoes are as scarce as hen's teeth around here. I have had it on the truck about a year and am finally starting to get some calls. See you at Killbear.


  • DSC_0781.jpg
    397.2 KB · Views: 335
Miki, I just saw the video (don't know how I missed it before now)....great video....and love the truck too...