Rob Roy stitch and glue


New Member
I bought plans for Glen-L's 14' Rob Roy S & G canoe. Has anyone built this boat or paddled one? It looks like it has a lot of rocker - maybe too much to track well, and their website lists the weight as 42+ pounds with 4mm Okume, 12 pounds heavier than their brochure stated - so I'm hesitating. My goal is a 30 -35 pound canoe for single paddling on the "non-navigble" rivers in our area of upstate NY. Any suggestions for S & G canoe designs that meet this criteria would be welcome.
42 lbs. for a 14 ft. S&G canoe is light. It is probably possible to go below that weight but not by much.
Cheap Canoe,which is a simple pirogue, 13'6" by 30" can hit high 30's with ¼" okuome and careful building but it is small and somewhat tippy. It is stable if you sit on the bottom but I found kneeling more comfortable. If you need a raised seat it can't be more than 5" high.
I built a Cheap Canoe the came out at 45 lb. I used a lightweight ¼" underlayment but doubled up on the fiberglass tape and used a lot of hardwood for the gunnals and breasthooks. This boat has hit numerous boulders and even survived a short flight from my roof rack to the road. If it had been built lighter it would hav been destroyed.
To me the problem of going lighter is,first, controlling flex. As the hull gets lighter it flexes more so additional stiffening must be added at the sheer line and thwarts or by adding a partial deck. Secondly, thinner ply invites puncture but any 'glass/epoxy sheathing addes more weight.
I don't think there is away to juggle all this and get too far below 40 lb.
You can build a very nice stitch and glue "tortured plywood" canoe called the "SWEETDREAM", weighing about 30 lbs and can be built weighing quite a bit less. Tortured plywood refers to the plywood being bent in two directions at the same time, not the Bush adminstration trying to extract information from it. Mark Pettigill (?sp) wrote a book "Building Sweetdream" which explains how to build it and gives plans for three lengths, about 12', 13', and 14'. I built three, two at home and one at an Assembly in the late 90's. Mark paddles it with a single blade, kneeling, with butt on a pedestal (plans in book). I like paddling it sitting sitting on a pad on the bottom with a double blade. It tracks good but I wanted it to track stronger, so I added a small skeg to two of them and firmed them up to my wishes. Changed the rocker on the third to improve tracking, but the man who bought it has never put it in the water so I don't know if the change worked. Cost is about $300 for two sheets of 4mm marine plywood(cannot use cheap plywood), epoxy, fillers, glass tape, paint ect.

If you are very large the "SIX Hour Canoe" could work. There is a book "Building The Six Hour Canoe" that explains construction. Easier, faster and cheaper to build, I don't like it in the wind, think it's too big and it weights 35-45 lbs. It can be built with cheap plywood- just check for and avoid voids in the plywood.

If you weigh about 150lbs or less, Mystic Seaport sells plans for a similar but smaller canoe called the Mystic River Jellyfish. I fostered the construction of 15 canoes of a similar design in a parent/child boatbuilding course. I like this canoe much better than the six hour canoe and it can be built for $100 (using cheap plywood) or less if you have a lot of epoxy around.

If any of this interests you, I could give more info in a phone call

Dave 203-248-1704