top of page

About Wooden Canoes

Wooden canoe at the riverside.

Rutland Woodcraft

I have had an interest in woodworking since I used to visit my grandfather and be left playing in the basement with offcuts of timber a hammer and some nails (different times!). This developed into a love of making things from wood at school and then I went on to do a the first year of an engineers patternmaking course which gave me a very good grounding in the use of hand tools before changing direction and gaining a diploma in furniture production and management at Bucks College in High Wycombe the home of the English Furniture industry back in 1985.

I then spent three years working as a cabinet maker before becoming self-employed and making anything I was asked to whenever I picked up the phone so the range of projects I have made has been wide, varied and interesting. During this period I wrote magazine articles on some of my pieces like this harlequin Davenport for Woodworker magazine.


Canoe making began for me in 2014 when I made my first strip canoe with the intention of either selling it or keeping it depending upon whether or not I enjoyed paddling it or not. As it turned out I am now a thoroughly hooked canoeist getting out on the water whenever I can and my canoe, although now six years old, still looks almost as good as new despite many trips and a few occasional knocks and bumps.


As far as I am aware I am one of only a very small number of people making these craft from wood in the UK.

Cabinet making fine woodwork example.

Workshop Practices

Our wooden canoes and kayaks are hand made using skills that take many years to develop. In some ways the work is highly traditional, like here where the underside of a canoe deck is being shaped using a wooden moulding plane.

In other ways the materials and processes used to cover and reinforce the hull are very much up to date having been first used in the aeronautical and aerospace industries.


It is our policy to always use responsibly sourced certified timbers and the only time we don't do this is when we use recycled timber particularly on the decks and yokes where stunning beautiful pieces of timber can be used to their greatest effect. This deck has pieces of recycled mahogany either side of the centre.

If you commission us to make you a canoe from scratch please be aware that this can take up to 8 weeks to complete and that whilst we will give you an indication of how long it will take we ask that you are patient after all once you have it will last a lifetime.

Whilst your build is in progress you will be sent pictures of its construction so you can see the fascinating process as it grows from a few planks to a full hull, this is covered in cloth and resin and the gunwales, seats and decks are added.

Wood strip canoe being built in the workshop.
Finishing touches to a wooden canoe.

Restoration, Refurbishment & Repairs

Restoration repair to wooden keel and hull

Whilst most of my work is in making new canoes I am also happy to undertake refurbishment and repairs to your craft. This might be something as simple as varnishing your hull right through to repairing a hole in your hull or re-skinning your boat with new resin and cloth.


Feel free to contact us and discuss your requirements.

Repair to Keel and hole in hull of canoe believed to be from the Lakefield area possibly 130 years old!

bottom of page