Having spent two years failing to build a 12′ (3.7m) Wee Rob canoe – or two – due to lack of time, I thought I might manage my new 10’8″ (3.25m) Stickleback. A major part of the appeal of this enticing little project is the idea of an absolutely minimal boat.
These wee canoes are so easy and quick to build; an excellent way to get started if you have never built a boat. The materials cost is very little, as is the building space required and the time. Of course, the little boats are a lot of fun as they are so light to handle, so easy to get to the water and open up so many interesting areas for exploration which are quite inaccessible to all bigger boats. And they are so simple to maintain.

The owner of a more sophisticated bigger dinghy, kayak, skiff or cruising boat may find the canoe gets used a lot more. The fun per pound weight or pound money, or hour of preparation may be far ahead of any other type of boat as the canoe can easily be stored in a simple rack or slings in the garage, or hallway, spare room, or living room in my case. It can be tucked under the arm, lightly lifted on to the roof rack or into the back of the estate car and launched almost anywhere there is 4″ (100mm) of water.

Not least, such an exquisite little canoe will be a singular and beautiful thing to own. There are simpler ways to build a canoe but they lack the elegance of form and proportion which, with just a little more care and patience, makes the small double-paddle canoe a delightful thing to create, to use, to look after.
The plans are comprehensive, with full-size moulds patterns drawn up on both sides of the centreline to simplify marking them out. Lines and offsets are included, for checking things out if necessary and for builders who feel like doing their own lofting, for the experience on a small scale. The construction plan is fully detailed, showing the open boat and the half-decked version. Full size patterns are also included for many parts -stem and stern, breasthooks, deckbeams and paddles.

  • Length

    10′ 8″ – 3.25m

  • Beam

    2′ 4″ – 0.7m

  • Draft

  • Weight (kg)


  • Sail Area

    No rig

  • Time to build (estimate)

    80-130 hours