Hiawatha 14 - Study Plans
Specifications BOM and Labor
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JCordray Kent, England

A few months on and roughly twenty hours in the water later, I am really pleased with the canoe! There are a few th...
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The Hiawatha canoe is a double chine boat constructed of panels in classic style typical of the Native American canoe: high bow with reverse curvature, pronounced sheer, with a slight tumblehome at the bows. Hiawatha is the sister of our single chine canoe, Chenoa.

  12' 14' 16'
LOA: 12'-1" 3,7 m 14' 4,3 m 15'-5" 4,7 m
Beam: (molded) 30" .76 m 35" .9 m 39" 1 m
Est. Weight (1/4" (6mm) Okoume) 40 lbs. 18 k 55 lbs. 25 k 60 lbs. 27 k
Est. Weight (1/4" (6mm) Meranti) 55 lbs. 20 k 70 lbs. 30 k 75 lbs. 34 k
Material: Stitch & Glue Stitch & Glue Stitch & Glue

Note that their hull shape is different from the "barge type" production canoes. Our canoes are narrower at the waterline which makes them fast and nimble. However, the chine must be immersed for stability. This means that they are designed to carry a load proportional to their size. Do not build the 16' version if you plan to mostly use the canoe alone. If the boat is not loaded to it's waterline, it will not have the expected stability.
The 12' version is ideal for one person, maybe one adult and a child: normal load up to 200 lbs (80kg).
The 14' version is ideal for one or two adults: between 180 and 400 lbs (75 to 180 kg).
The 16' is an ideal camping canoe (cargo type) that will be happy loaded with minimum 250 lbs and up to 500 lbs ( 90 to 225 kg). When loaded with only one person, the 16' will work better if some ballast is added.

Building method:
The standard version is built in stitch and glue without any molds but 3 small battens are used to shape the sheer and chine. Dimensions for those battens are taken from the molds drawings. The boat can also be built around 3 throw-away molds.

No lofting, no beveling, no scarfing: the sides and bottom are cut from standard 4x8 plywood (122x244cm), joined with a simple butt block. All seams are taped with fiberglass and epoxy, see our "how to" section for details. These epoxy seams are much stronger than the plywood.

Required Skills:
As all our stitch and glue boats, the Chenoa is easy to build. No woodworking skills or special tools are required. The plans include all dimensions and patterns to cut all the hull parts flat on the shop floor. No scarfing required.

The panels parts are joined with fiberglass splices for fairness. The plans show the usual details and suggest two seats but those are optional.

Bill Of Materials:
(Excerpts from our BOM)
The BOM list materials based on our standard layout and includes a 15% waste factor for resin and fiberglass. For plywood, we use standard sheets 4' x 8' (122 x 244 cm). Please read the building notes and see the plans for detailed specifications. For the Hiawatha, we recommend Meranti or Okoume. Please see our plywood store.

12' 14' 16'
Plywood: 2 Sheets 3 Sheets 3 Sheets
Epoxy Resin 1-1/2 gallon 1-1/2 gallon * 1-1/2 gallon (3 gallon available)
Fiberglass Tape: 35 yards 41 yards 45 yards
Wood flour: 1 pound 1 pound 2 pounds

*Additional material for fairing will be required. Material type and amount will vary depending on builders' taste and skill level.

A skilled and experienced builder who is frugal with epoxy resin can build the 16' version with our 1-1/2 gallon epoxy-fiberglass kit. However, we recommend the 3 gallon kit for the 16' version.

See our Epoxy kit, and add the cost of plywood, or the CNC Kit.

Each hull can be built in 20-25 hours. Up to 20 hours to fair and paint depending on the desires and skills of the builder.

Visit our message board, help pages, tutorial pages and read our FAQ: most questions are answered there.

Plans Packing List:
Simple to follow, detailed drawings of each part with all dimensions required to layout and cut from flat plywood sheets.

Nesting drawings for the best plywood layout with numbered parts.
Drawings list:

  • Plan and Profile
  • Plywood nesting and molds locations
  • Construction drawing with optional seats exploded view
  • Expanded panels and molds dimensions.
  • Specific building notes for this boat.
  • Bill Of Materials.

Read more information about our plans packages here.


JCordray Kent, England

A few months on and roughly twenty hours in the water later, I am really pleased with the canoe! There are a few things I think I would change but nothing major. For example, I painted the whole boat, including the rubrails, but I think this was not a good idea. It would have been better if I had left the rubrails bright wood with a few extra coats of epoxy. All that has happened is that they have been nicked up a bit by collisions with paddles. Anyway, I have been out a few times with my local canoe club and people seem genuinely surprised by two things: First, the canoe makes moves well for its size. Even when I am paddling alone with a couple of boys in the boat (well, one of them paddles but it's not much of a speed boost) I can keep pace with a group of boats travelling at moderate speed. The canoe also seems to track fairly well. I think this might be because of the not-completely-flat bottom. This perhaps helps the canoe in that it seems to act like a really, really wide keel. So a decent J-stroke can keep her in a good line. Second, most people are surprised by how light the canoe is. I don't think I built it particularly light, but I suppose it must look heavy! People perhaps assume a boat made out of wood will be much heavier than one made out of plastic. Yet this does not seem to be the case. Of course, after a couple of hours of paddling, every boats feels heavier when it is time to lift it on to the car again! So thanks again Jacques for designing a good boat!

All supplies to build this boat are available from our online stores :: epoxy/glass/paint and more :: plywood


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