Home > Culture > Material Culture > Canoe > Assembly footsteps icon


10:24 min. - We’ll close up the canoe from the center, which implies thinning the center planks of the canoe. Here, the planks overlap. Since the ribs are not nailed, it’s possible to change them if they break.


Jean-Baptiste Bellefleur - Pull a little, it's not quite centered. Three rocks will be sufficient to hold the canvas and template on the ground. We'll push the canvas aside to place the top piece. This piece will be used to hold the canoe's structure in place. I'll place another rock here. I already have the right measurement. I measured it with my stick on the other side of the canoe, and this side must be identical. I have to give it a little slope; that's how we can check the canoe's level. I use nails to attach the canvas properly. It's different from the time of bark canoes, when we used roots. I still need to finish this piece. This is where we adjust the canvas piece that covers the wood in the centre. This is where we remove the template. You can't wait till the end of the canoe is covered, or you won't be able to remove it. Drive in some poles at each end of the canoe: we have to stretch the canvas. The canoe's bow will look like this. We use the template to make the half-circle identical on both sides. This little piece of the template, here on the ground, is used to give the canoe its curve along its length. Pay attention to the mark on the piece of wood. You must make a similar mark on the canvas, in exactly the same place. This is where the piece of wood is inserted inside the canvas. I make my holes in advance, using this tool.
That way, I don't risk damaging my piece of wood while nailing. To avoid folds in the canvas, you have to make holes at regular intervals, about 4 inches apart. You must drive in all the nails, especially this one. We'll waterproof them later.
This is where the bow of the canoe will fit. It's a very strategic spot in the canoe: the planks and the keel interlock tightly here. Later, I'll have to readjust the keel by advancing it a little. Once my planks have been lowered towards the keel, the opening in the bow will be completely closed.
In each bundle of 7 ribs, one is kept as a replacement (unless it's used as a temporary support). The others alternate from one end of the canoe to the other. In other words, planks numbered 1, 3, and 5 go at one end, while those numbered 2, 4, and 6 go at the other end. Now that my first bundle of ribs is in place, I'll bring the planks down towards the canoe's keel, the piece in the centre, so that they press against each other. And we'll continue like this for each bundle of ribs. After this step, you can see that the bottom of the canoe will be flat. Later, I'll have to meticulously adjust all these planks again, until they all press against each other. All these planks will surely advance towards the bow and I'll have to adjust them once again. The ribs will also advance as they're being adjusted. This is where the canoe gets its shape. It becomes flatter and more stable. We'll close up the canoe from the centre, which implies thinning the planks in the middle of the canoe. The planks overlap here. Since the ribs aren't nailed, they can be replaced if they break.
You have to use spruce resin, fir resin isn't made for that.
Narrator - To keep the spruce-based glue flexible and sticky, you must gradually add tallow, but not too much, just the right amount. This finishing piece comes from a rib that we modified. Besides its use in finishing, it will retain the planks on both sides. This piece of canvas will close it all up.
Music - Rodrigue Fontaine, Bill St-Onge, Luc Bacon

1 Comment

pierre 11 years, 1 month ago

Vraiment du beau travail .

(*) Field mandatory


4 Related Video to Canoe

11 Related words or expressions

he handles the crooked knife
going upriver using a pole
the bow
he rows in front
they disembark from the canoe
he moves with the wind
he descends the rapids in a canoe
she directs the canoe
template for the canoe
getting into the canoe
they go out in the canoe in the evening

Top of page