Planking Question


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am finishing up the planking on my wood canvas canoe. I have installed all of the bilge planks and am down to the last few planks. I have two bilge planks that end in one plank at the bow and stern. The bow and stern plank finishes the height to the gunwales that I need, but at the center of the boat I am still 2 planks short. This leaves me a triangular shape to plank and I didn’t see how to do this in my book or video that I’m following. I could have missed it, or it is entirely possible that I did something wrong.

Is this a normal situation, and how do I deal with the triangular shape?
triangle or trapezoid?

Sometimes you run into questions that are not fully explained in books or videos. It takes more planks to cover the mid section. Without a photo I'm not sure where you're at with your project. Is it still on the form? The canoe comes off the form with several planks not yet fastened. So, I assume it is off the form. You can lay the plank on and mark it from the inside and then shape it to fit and then fasten it using a clinching iron.

Basically, cover up everything with planking that's supposed to be covered. Planking patterns are different from different canoes and makers. Try to make sure everything is symetrical side to side.

It sounds as if everything is fine.
The first few times I tried to figure out a suitable goring pattern, it was challenging to get everything to be gapless and lie flat. As you do it a few times (especially if you're making boats off the same form) you can come to find a pattern that works.

I'm in central MN, and get down to the twin cities regularly. I'm no expert by any means, but if you need an extra set of eyes or an extra set of hands...
Thank you Dave and Nick, I appreciate it. I'll try to post pictures tonight.

The canoe is off the form, I need about 2 planks at the midsection and one at the bow/stern to complete it. Just trying to figure the geometrics out. Sounds like I just need to have a go at it and see how it turns out.
If it helps, two of these pics are from the moment the semi-planked canoe came off the form and the other two have the ends closed up. The last two have had some end planks added to close it. I "sculp" each plank as needed using a homemade scribe to maintain it as parallel as possible to the gunwales. Tedious work, but fun.




I have looked it over again and think that my problem stems from not having long enough planking to complete the bilge planks, couldn't be avoided, 8' was as long as I had. That said, any ideas on how to plank this? First picture shows how it sits currently. Second one shows with a plank temporarily held in place on the front, resulting in the triangular space to fill in.


  • DSC07520.jpg
    374.3 KB · Views: 271
  • DSC07521.jpg
    389.8 KB · Views: 283
Well, I was able to get some time to work on the planking on Sunday. I am not trilled with the result, but considering the options, it was about the best I could do. Longer planking would have helped while doing the bilge area. Also, this was my first time with a wood canvas, I think on the next one I'll be better prepared and know what to expect. Also, when I made my planking I used 3-1/2 inch boards, I would probably use 3" next time. The cheapskate in me wouldn't that 1/2" of wood away.