In 1888, Jim Paul and Peter Polchies built the Malecite Racing Canoe of 1888 for Lt. Col. Herbert Dibble of Woodstock notes Howard I. Chapelle in the Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. This 19-foot, 30-inch canoes, which appears as figure 66 in his book, shows flare in the center and tumblehome towards the ends. Its sleek hull looks fast. The original was built lightly built and much decorated.
There’s something about Malecite canoes. The lines seem to draw my eyes, and the canoe in this free plan does the same. I imagine that it’s a tender but fast ride, and I think it looks like a fast boat. Something to use on flat water when you want to tick off mile after mile with two strong paddlers. I’m not sure if it meets canoe racing regulations, but it’d be interesting to see how it stacks up to modern canoes.
p.s. I modeled it in red, because everyone knows red is faster.
Length: 19 feet 6 1/2 inches
Width: 30 1/2 inches
Depth: 12 1/2 inches
Optimum Capacity: 300 to 600 lbs.
Canoe Building Books
These drawings don’t include instructions. If you want to build a cedar strip canoe, pick up a canoe building instruction book.
- Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction.
- Building a Strip Canoe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by Gil Gilpatrick
- Consider buying The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America for more info about this canoe.
For a more in-depth list, check out my canoe and kayak building books review.
Get the Drawing Package and Free Canoe Plans Downloads
The free cedar canoe plans come as a pdf (free Adobe Reader required to view) that you can print off at photocopy stores. The drawing package includes the full-sized study plan and each station and stem drawn separately on a PDF that prints full sized on ARCH D size paper (nestings). You can cut these out and glue them to plywood to cut full-sized forms. A pdf of the electronic drawing package. is available for this kayak. You can print the file on 24- by 36-inch paper on your own.