Phil Stanworth's Seneca 140 Canoe

Phil Stanworth of York, UK, built his Seneca with Russian Whitewood strips! It's very similar in color to White Cedar and worked well for stripping his hull.


Phil used Mahogany for the decks and yoke. The integral stem ...adapted into the design by made of hardwood and stained with mahogany colored stain to match the trim.

When you consider the small space Phil had to build his canoe, the wonderful result is a real tribute to his skills and patience as a canoe builder. Well done, Phil!

*** UPDATE October 2001 ***
Phil has emailed us the following commentary:
"Late this summer my wife (her first time on the water in a canoe ) and I were able to enjoy a week on Windermere England's largest lake (a puddle compared with the huge lakes you have over there but at 10 miles long big enough for novice paddlers).

Seneca was a delight - easy to manoeuvre, comfortable, and quite in tune with the beautiful surroundings. I got a chance to practice my J stroke - but also took along a kayak double paddle for the occasional heavy wash from passing tour boats. Though I had also made a couple of paddles myself I had obtained a Nashwaak Cruiser paddle. I'll be remodelling my own paddles in the light of comparison!

It was a relaxing and peaceful week made all the more enjoyable by the fact that I had built the canoe in which we were exploring the lake. So thanks again for all your support and encouragement ,when I get the time I may build another canoe (I got huge satisfaction from that experience alone) but I have to solve the space problem before then..."

"Yes, the whisper of the "long silent drift" was a particularly enjoyable part of our days on the water. And, as one becomes more skilled in handling the paddle, the less noise there is from from the propusion unit! Of course the great aesthetic quality of the canoe comes from its marvellous shape (congratulations) and the use of wood.

Working, even in this modest way, with wood has made me appreciate what a wonderful charming (sometimes annoying) substance it is , and admire the skills of those who work it. The use of fibreglass is great because you get the look and all that extra strength.

On Windermere there are quite a number of plastic modern craft ,cruisers and yachts. Very practical but somehow a bit lacking in character. What particularly interested me were the standard wooden rowing boats , very hard working , robust but with lovely shapes , and a number of restored old steam boats (from 16 to 30 feet long). These had ,in the main, beautiful wooden hulls, decking and cabin work. Quite lovely to look at and surprisingly quiet in operation (photos at

There was considerable curiousity about the Seneca and admiration for its good looks. The vast majority of canoes over here are kayaks of some sort , with just a few open canoes ( plastic) here and there. So a strip canoe is very rare. Next year we hope to get to France, Switzerland and Italy with the canoe so expect some emails from that part of the world as people get to see a strip canoe for the first time . ( I have seen a couple of lapstrake canoes in Austria in the distant past).

Phil...Thanks so much!

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