Stripper by John Ayearst, Amethyst Harbour, ON, Canada

10 September 2006

Hi, folks:

Have finally launched the Stripper that I began a year ago. I used mostly locally-grown Eastern cedar for the canoe (worked hard to find clear 16-foot boards), with mahogany accents and some Western red cedar for the sheers and stems.

I cut the strips myself (along with shattering my left thumb in the table saw, which caused a considerable construction delay!) and routed the strips with bead and cove canoe bits from Lee Valley.

Otherwise, I pretty much stuck to your plans with some modifications to the bulkheads (I filled them with foam) and the seats are made with traditional babiche. That's moose hide that is soaked in water overnight before weaving through the seat frames. It dries even tighter and looks great varnished, like the webbing on snowshoes.

To continue the side accent stripping design in the canoe's bottom, I used the "football" method. I built the centre accent section on the forms and then removed it, bringing the strips up past the point where the "football" would be inset. Then I set the completed centre section atop the strips, traced its outline and cut the strips to accept the inset. I'm not sure I'd inset such a large section next time, though. It was a challenge to fit and I ended up using reverse clamps pushing down from the workshop ceiling... I opted for a keel and added brass stem bands.

The worst part of the project? I didn't build it for myself! It was for a friend living across the bay who liked the earlier restoration work I did on his classic cedar strip dinghy. The Stripper was so pretty I hated to slide it into Lake Superior, never mind turn over ownership! (But the owner was so happy with how it looked and paddled that it "almost" made up for it..... That's him posing proudly, showing the interior of HIS new canoe. That's me paddling it. At least I got to do that first!)

I finished the canoe with Interlux Schooner varnish which gives a nice rich amber look. The exterior is high gloss but I added flattener to the final coat on the interior to give it a satin look there.

Well, that's my second completed Glen-L project (first was the Glen-L 13 sail boat, for myself).

Now, I sure like the looks of one of those mahogany runabouts...

John Ayearst
Amethyst Harbour, ON
Canada (North shore of Lake Superior, about 375 miles northeast of Minneapolis, near the city of Thunder Bay.)