Important Registration Information - 2024 Registration


Build Your Own Sassafras Canoe

LapStitch™ construction of a 12′ or 16′ lovely, featherlight double-paddle canoe.

June 30 – July 6
Brooklin, Maine
$925 (partner $450)
See Description
George Krewson
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a six-day course ending Saturday

Sassafras 12′: $1471
Sassafras 16′: $1798

Other Sessions: March 18-23 (Annapolis, MD)

Note: Please only register the initial builder and then reach out to the School offices to register any partners that will be joining you.

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. Chesapeake Light Craft’s new series of 26-lb Sassafras lapstrake canoes carries on the tradition, but with modern building methods.

Though the Sassafras can be carried, or paddled by a youngster, she’ll hold a 255-lb load. The canoe tracks well, is easy to turn, and is stable enough for fishing and camping. Like many traditional canoes, the Sassafras has a symmetrical bow and stern. This allows a solo paddler to sit facing “backward” 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.

Drawing on the instructor’s expertise and encouragement, students will build their own canoe using 6mm okoume plywood, trimming it with sapele and Honduras mahogany, and covering it with fiberglass cloth on the bottom. Watertight flotation compartments will be finely fitted at the bow and stern. As the boat nears completion, ash-caned seats and thwarts will be added and final details addressed.

As with all of our courses in which students build their own boat, this week will be a busy one with some evening work being required. But the time spent will be well worth it. As students head down the road for home at week’s end, they’ll each be leaving with a beautiful new creation they’ve built themselves, guaranteed to turn heads and bring years and years of pleasure.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for someone with little or no experience.  The course is designed around the idea that you have not done this before or know very little about the subject.  Students should pay more attention to suggested readings or videos to help familiarize themselves ahead of time.

    This course involves a high level of activity throughout the week Including: sustained sanding or hand planing, standing and working most of the day.

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