I wanted a light weight and stable canoe that was easy to build using the stitch and glue method of construction.
I had found Matt at Jem Watercraft through a paddling web site and chose his Townsend plan to build. After some discussions with Matt, I settled on modifying his existing plan to stretch the Townsend to 16' long. I sent in my order and a week later I had my plans. The plans were excellent very easy to follow and every thing fit together perfectly. Construction went smoothly and if I had a question Matt was always there to help with advice if I needed it. I did notice that it took me a bit longer than Jems estimate to complete the boat but I think I did a bit more work on the railings, breast hooks, and seats than the plans required.
Finally in April I finished and had the first launching. I couldn't have been happier the Townsend is a great canoe. It is light stable and fast. It turns easily and handles rough water well. It tracks pretty well without a keel but it does have some leeway in 15mph+ winds on the beam. A keel would help tracking but would also hang up on logs and rocks so I don't think I would add one.
The Townsend also catches fish my son and I picked up 20 bass including one that pushed 5lb. in a 1-1/2 hour fishing trip at a local lake it was blowing 15-20 mph and we had to make a rock anchor to hold us in place so we could cast. If that isn't a "10" I don’t know what is!
If you are looking for a canoe to build you can't go wrong with the Townsend or with Jem Watercraft both are winners.