lapstrake construction


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm still undecided on the construction technique of my first canoe to be built. Lapstrake construction would be very nice. Does anybody know of a comprehensive webpage showing the building process for this method in detail?

"Building Scherzo" on is about all I have found so far. There's plenty for stripper construction and also some for wood canvas but all wood doesn't seem so popular. What's the reason for this? Is it more difficult to build and maintain an all-wooden boat?

Compared with other ways to build canoes, traditional lapstrake is among the more difficult. I am not aware of any web sites that show this in particular, perhaps some of the reason relates to the numbers of these being built. I can only think of three people off the top of my head that build them commercially with any regularity, and only one of them (Geoffrey Burke) builds them as a mainstay of their business.

Only Walt Simmons' "Building Lapstrake Canoes" discusses the topic specifically for canoes. However, they are not any different than many other traditionally built lapstrake boats - simpler in fact as you don't need to worry about a transom. Greg Rossel's "Building Small Boats" is among the best of the books about building traditional small boats and would be very relevant.

Glued-lapstrake canoes are also very nice, traditional looking boats, but construction-wise a different kettle of fish.

All wooden canoes need maintenance. Lapstrake canoes require slightly more care in use, but are by no means fragile. They need to be stored properly, and may take some time to swell up on first use in the spring.
Dan, thanks for your reply! I'll try to find some books at the local library.

Regarding the soaking required in spring: Does the leaking occur between the planks? I just read "Rushton and his times in American canoeing" where Harry Rushton is quoted: all joints were laid up with a special heavy varnish, the only waterproof glue at the time. Would this prevent leaking in the first place and is this common in lapstrake construction or Rushton specific?

If such a joint would split open by the wood contracting I don't see how it would ever be tight again by soaking with all the varnish residue in between...