Canoe building time and cost

If you ask me now how long the last build took, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I probably wouldn’t want to know. Similarly, the receipts that I promised to file have gone missing. So in this page, I’ll keep a running tally of the time and cost for this canoe build so that I can’t lie about it later.


$80 — plans

$45 — plywood for station forms

$300 — cedar, ash, douglas fir (this is a rough estimate; I bought enough to build more than a couple of canoes)

$12 — half a 3 liter jug of wood glue from the last build

$7 — hot melt glue

$40 — sandpaper

$90 — fiberglass cloth

$300 — epoxy

$60 — varnish

Total so far: $944


5 hours — tracing and cutting station forms

8 hours — mounting station forms and forming internal stems

12 hours — planing boards, ripping strips, and routering the bead and cove

50 hours — stripping

6 hours — fitting outer stems

16 hours — sanding inner and outer hull

4 hours — making canoe seats

3 hours — making the yoke

14 hours — fiberglassing inner and outer hull and adding fill coats

2 hours — making the gunwales

4 hours — installing gunwales

2 hours — making and installing decks

4 hours — sanding hull

4 hours — building and installing bulkheads

4 hours — installing seats

6 hours — varnishing

Total so far: 144 hours

§ 6 Responses to Canoe building time and cost

  • wwwessinger says:

    Its a nice looking boat you are building. I just found your blog and look forward to seeing pictures of your boat upright, which at your current rate of progress looks like it will be pretty soon. What design are you working to?

    I recently finished a Wee Lassie. I didn’t blog about the process while building it, but you can see a few pictures on

    Keep up the good work!

    • rstruck says:

      Thanks, Bill. I can’t wait to see it upright as well. Another week, I guess. The design is the Prospector 16 from Bear Mountain Boats. I chose this particular design because it has great capacity (350 – 540) for its length, and because I liked its lines. You did a great job on the Wee Lassie.

  • mark suel says:

    Greybeard, I am concerned that I have sanded too much on the outter hull.
    By the same token, there are some waves that I need to level, its a bit of a quandry. Any insight.

    • rstruck says:

      If you have exposed the weave of the fiberglass, I’d recommend re-epoxying the area (one or two coats) and resanding. As for the waves, they’re a little more difficult. I’ve had some success adding a layer or two of epoxy, sanding the high spots and then repeating until the area is level. The idea is to build up the epoxy in the “valleys” without sanding into “peaks”. Unfortunately, these problem areas will always be visible to some extent. If it’s really bad, I’ve heard of builders sanding back down to the wood and re-fiberglassing. I’ve never gone this route though (deciding to live with it and doing a better job the next time).

      Hope this helps.

  • John Culbreth says:

    Where did you get your strips? I am looking to start my first boat this spring.John

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