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Free Plans – Old Model Ottawa River Algonkin Canoe

Algonkin Canoe Old Model Ottawa River Plans

The old model Algonkin canoe from the Ottawa River area represents a canoe built before contact with other tribes and the fur trade changed the types of canoes built by the Algonkin. It features high ends, a flat sheerline and resembles canoes used during the fur trade. In the Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, Howard I. Chapelle writes that this style may have been the type of canoe that fur trade boats were based on. The canoe shown in these free plans has a surprisingly high carrying capacity. The flat bottom should make it stable.

Personally, I love the look of the stems. It’d be fun to paddle this canoe through the Boundary Waters or other canoe country destinations.


Length: 15 feet 6 inches
Width: 35.5 inches
Depth: 12.5 inches
Capacity: 300 to 675 lbs.


Lines plan for the old model ottawa river Algonkin canoe

Canoe Building Books

These plans don’t include instructions. If you want that, pick up a canoe building book.

For a more, check out my review of canoe and kayak building books.

Get the Drawing Package or the Free Canoe Plans Downloads

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 canoe. You can print the file on 24- by 36-inch paper on your own. The free cedar canoe plans come as a pdf (free Adobe Reader required to view) that you can print off at photocopy stores. The original Defltship model is also available.

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  • I am thinking about building a wooden kayak this winter. I am a woodworker, but have never built a boat/kayak before. I would like to look at some plans to see if this project would be a good one for me. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • What a great and generous site, Bryan.
    Well done.

    I built a cedar strip canoe with my daughter when she was fourteen
    (as well as small Bolger boats with my boys)
    and it was a magical, gratifying experience.
    She is thirty now, and still enjoys her canoe with her husband.
    I encourage anyone who is thinking of such a project
    to make the commitment and go for it.
    You’ll never be sorry!

    I have two questions, Bryan-
    The presence of station moulds for your Old Model Ottawa River Algonkin Canoe
    leads me to think the construction is strip-built,
    am I correct?

    And secondly, the term “nestings” is new to me-
    what does it mean?

    Thanks very much.


    • Thanks, Shas.

      The stations are set up for strip-built construction, but you could also use them to construct the mold for a cedar and canvas canoe if desired.

      By nestings, I mean each station is shown individually, so you can print (or purchase prints) cut out the station, glue it to the plywood and build. You don’t need to loft anything.

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