The Redwood Pal

Andy Hutyera

The Red Canoe Guy - Life Member
A year or two ago close friends of ours had a house fire which resulted primarily in smoke damage. The house contained long composite beams of old growth redwood from the days when that was still available. The contractors tore out most of the beams and replaced them with new wood despite the fact that they had sustained little damage. When the job was complete the owner inquired as to their plans for the redwood. The contractor replied that they were to be scrapped so the owner confiscated the "scrap" redwood and stored it vertically in his barn. He generously invited me to take whatever I could find a use for. Much of it was quarter sawn and I thought of using it for planking for a new Pal. Not having access to nice quarter sawn white cedar I have always wanted the luxury of planking with quarter sawn stock. I found that redwood is only slightly more dense than red cedar.

So I proceeded to build and discovered that redwood is more brittle than red cedar. Every tack hole had to be drilled large enough for the tack not to compress the wood. Bending the planking was a challenge and I had to use a bit of white cedar in inconspicuous places.

The canoe is finished out with walnut seats and outwales, curly maple book matched decks and curly ash thwarts. The ribs are of course white cedar.

When the canoe was completed I promised the wood donors that I would launch it on its maiden voyage in their nice farm pond behind their restored home.

That event took place yesterday and their son obligingly photographed the event for me.


LOVES Wooden Canoes
WOW, Andy. That is a heart warmer of a story. The boat is just fine and I love those decks. Ya Za !