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Sassafras 16 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.

Like many traditional canoes, the Sassafras 16 is symmetrical, bow and stern. This allows a solo paddler to sit facing "backwards" on the forward seat for better trim. Her slightly rounded hull offers more speed and responsiveness than many of the plastic or 'glass boats you may have paddled. Her hull is slightly rockered - not for maneuvering in whitewater, but rather to reduce wetted surface area - making her almost effortless to paddle. She has a smooth or "well dampened" feel that is characteristic of good wooden canoes.

The Sassafras 16's™ hull is 6mm okoume with 'glass cloth on the bottom. As on all the canoes, watertight flotation compartments are fitted at the bow and stern. The kit features ash-caned seats, sapele decks, mahogany outwales, and an ash thwart.

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A friend of mine built this, but he found it to be…

Submitted by: on

A friend of mine built this, but he found it to be too tippy for his taste. I asked him what he was going to do with it and he told me the first person to put $500 on the table could buy it. What can I say aside from his loss being my gain?

This princess of a canoe is not only beautiful -- which means I have to endure all those envious compliments from other boaters -- but it is also fast, agile, and not any tippier than any other shallow arch canoe. And all this comes with the most charming charming sound of all: the renowned lapstrake gurgle!