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The Upper Yukon River Canoe

kayak image

Not exactly what we are used to seeing in a canoe, there were about a half dozen tribes located near the Upper Yukon River who built canoes similar to this one. Perhaps it evolved from the kayaks built on the West coast.

Originally these were bark boats. Not having a Birch tree at hand and being primarily a skin boat builder, this boat is not strictly a replica, but an interpretation.

I did not however design it. That honor comes from Robert Morris' "Building Skin-On-Frame Boats. Thanks Mr. Morris!


kayak image

The odd thing about this build is that it starts with a bottom plate and builds up, whereas the usual way to build SOF is to start with the gunwales and build down. (This image incedently was of the bottom plate BEFORE it was cut down by about two feet. I was kind of traversing new ground here and made it too long. The one thing about building SOF boats though, is how wonderfully quick and easy it is to modify "errors".)


kayak image

The gunwales were split into three about 6 feet in on each end using a bandsaw. They were then curved around a form and glued back together. This is how the bends were achieved. Here you see how they are propped up into place with forms.


kayak image

A knee is required for the ends.


kayak image

The stem and stern pieces are in place and the ribs dropped in. The end ribs were tight enough that I split them and then glued them together.


kayak image

It is starting to come together. The port gunwale gets its inwale.


kayak image

And finally the finished frame.






[ Upper Yukon River Canoe |  Skinning |  Seatrials ]




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