Peter Bromwich

Background to the project

This is about my experiences building a 15ft Canadian Canoe from a kit provided by Fyne Boat Kits.It describes the stages I went through during the build and some to the lessons I learnt. This was my first try at boat building and describes how i went from "zero to hero". Please let me know about your experiences, questions or comments on the comments section.

Having lived next to the Kennet and Avon canal for over 25 years I thought it was about time I got myself a small boat. I have always loved working with wood so I thought why not make myself a canoe rather than just go out and buy a ready made one. I read a book written by an old friend from Kent, Gavin Atkin "Ultrasimple Boatbuilding" that inspired me to want to actually build a boat from plywood. He has a great website about boat building, dedicated to people who build or restore wood boats or generally have a love of wood boats that have the look and feel of old traditional boats.

I completed a weeks course, introduction to woodwork, with the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis ( and took the opportunity to talk to the lecturers and pick their brains about the right plans to use or the best company to get a kit from. After some more research when I returned from Lyme Regis I went for a Canadian Canoe kit from Fyne Boat Kits. The advantage of a kit was the wooden panels were precut which would save some time and a lot of work.

Lofting as it is called is an art in itself, taking a plan and drawing it on the wood and then cutting it with a jigsaw is not easy. For my first attempt I wanted to make is easy as there would be many challenges and I did not want to fall at the first fence. They say make your first boat second, so this was going to be my prototype so lets make it easy and something I can get on the water to play with while I build my real first boat. No idea what this will be, but I am sure it will come to me.Years ago when I made musical instruments I found that it took a few attempts to make something that you could be proud of, but the initial build at least satisfied your need to have something to play!

So having ordered the kit, the next thing to do was empty the garage in preparation. Ebay to the rescue, I got rid of the old filing cabinet and rowing machine. The cross trainer is now in the spare room (much more convenient!). The kit arrived on Tuesday 7th Feb, TNT managed to deliver it in two vans, 15 mins apart. This cause a few phone calls as I thought they has lost one of the packages, but all is well that ends well. So the stage is set, lights, camera, action!  

Links to chapters


Useful links


In the boat shed, Gavin Atkin


Lyme regis boat building academy


Permagrit tools


Fyne boats - where i got the kit from


Boat building video


Axminster wood working tools


My Hammered Dulcimer site


My Pewsey Folk site for music in the Pewsey Vale