Welcome to
Building Skin-on-Frame Boats since 2004
Visit my woodworking site OpenWoodShop.com

Builder's Notebook
Tools 'o' the Trade

The Sturgeon Nosed Canoe

Click to SUBSCRIBE! >>     

In 2010 I was contacted by Harry W., a member of the Sinixt people who had seen a picture of my Upper Yukon River canoe and was interested in commissioning a traditional Sinixt canoe which, as it turns out, is a Sturgeon Nosed canoe.

Haven't heard of the Sinixt? (pron. Sin-ite) Me neither. I had always associated this canoe design with the Kutenai, but didn't know about the Sinixt.

Having an interesting boat tied to an interesting story brought it alive. And in March of 2011 construction began.

sturgeon nosed canoe image

sturgeon nosed canoe image

Lacing turned out to be a very effective way of skinning. Too good really. I had to slacken the strings to keep the gunwales from distorting.

sturgeon nosed canoe image

There is very little sewing to be done. The rub rails keep the skin attached to the gunwales.

sturgeon nosed canoe image

It was more challenging that I expected, but finally on August 9, 2011 a new Sturgeon Nosed canoe was delivered into the world.

sturgeon nosed canoe image

All joints were tied with artificial sinew. The paddle is traditional as well and made from ash.

sturgeon nosed canoe image

Deep in thought? Harry's grandfather sat in this kind of boat a hundred or so years ago. It's like being in a time machine!

We also paddled with two people just fine. From here the canoe will be displayed during Sinixt festivals in September. Thanks Harry, for an interesting project!

sturgeon nosed canoe image




  • The Geography of Memory - by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes
  • Canoe Paddles - by Graham Warren and David Gidmark
  • Bark Canoes and Skin Boats - by Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard I. Chappelle
  • Bark Canoes - The Art and Obsession of Tappan Adney by John Jennings
  • The Canoe - by John Jennings
  • Sources of the River - by Jack Nisbet
Honorable Mentions

Related Items

sturgeon nosed canoe image

More on the people, the boat, and boat building philosphy
A Rare Fish Returns - Building the Sturgeon Nosed Canoe »

copyright 2004 - 2019 PaddleAndOar.com
paul at paddleandoar.com