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Sassafras 12 Kit

by Chesapeake Light Craft

Today we often think of wooden canoes as being strip-built, but lapstrake canoes have an even longer history. The legendary Rushton lapstrake canoes are considered the pinnacle of the canoe builders' art. Unfortunately, the required skills of this costly method faded away in the early 20th century. Simpler strip building, and later aluminum and fiberglass, took over. But CLC's revolutionary LapStitch™ building method allows lapstrake canoes to be built by someone with no previous woodworking experience. All the planks and other parts are pre-cut. No strongback, molds, frames, or steam bending are required; building a LapStitch™ canoe is basically a matter of gluing all the pre-cut parts together.

Imagine a boat so light that you can put it on your shoulder and stroll casually down a wooded trail, carry it to a hidden lake or stream, or paddle it with almost no effort. That was the idea behind the original "trapper" or "pack" canoes. CLC's 26-pound Sassafras 12 carries on the tradition - but with modern building methods.

Though she can be carried, or paddled, by a child, she'll hold a 250-pound load. She tracks well, turns easily, and is stable enough for fishing. For maximum efficiency you'll want to paddle the Sassafras 12 with a double (kayak) paddle. 

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Reviews

This is a great sit on top kayak that looks like a…

Submitted by: on

This is a great sit on top kayak that looks like a canoe, or a work of art. I have paddled for years and have several older Heritage (Nomad, Expedition) sit on tops and got this for my wife as she likes a dry ride and more stability as a novice kayaker. Bought it from the guy who built it who was selling it to finance his next CLC project!

The Sassafrass 12 provides room, stability, high weight capacity, plus the speed to keep up with the Heritage boats. It tracks well yet steers easily due to its length. There are no covered storage areas, but plenty of open room to store stuff. I recommend a longer paddle due to the width and height of the sides. Due to the wood construction it only weighs 25 pounds. I think the bottom will need repainting every few years, but that is a small price to pay for such a beautiful efficient boat.

My 13 year old son demo'd this canoe today. It was…

Submitted by: on

My 13 year old son demo'd this canoe today. It was his first time solo in a canoe and he did quite well. He has very poor balance and was not tippy at all. We will probably attempt building the kit - once I clean out the garage!

A great little pack canoe! The complete kit costs about $600…

Submitted by: on

A great little pack canoe! The complete kit costs about $600 and you can expect to add another $150 for miscellaneous supplies. It took me about 4 months to finish the boat, but if you don't have anything else going on in your life, it can probably be completed in about a month. It's a super light-weight boat that tracks very well for its size. The initial stability is very poor, but the secondary stability is fairly good. It has become my new favorite fishing buddy! I chose to put a traditional style canoe seat instead of the kayak style seat the kit comes with. It's a very enjoyable boat that won't break you back or wallet. However, if you are new to the game just remember it's fairly tippy until you get used to it.

--- Manufacturer's Response: I would like to make a comment with regards to the boat stability. The Sassafras 12 is designed to use a kayak paddle. Hence the kayak seat, which is positioned low in the boat. By using a standard canoe seat (not recommended), this will reduce the stability. With the standard kayak type seat, the boat is very stable. ~Ed from CLC