Steve Pettey's Cypress Strip Keshequa 150 Canoe

Texan Steve Pettey constructed his "Keshequa 150" Canoe of Cypress wood strips. Steve used his plans for our Keshequa 170 design and moved the station spacing closer to achieve a 15 ft. canoe.

Steve's commentary and pictures follow. Thanks for sharing them with us, Steve!

"...As you can see, I used Ted Moore's strongback design out of particle board. It turned out very sturdy and inexpensive..."

"Forms are attached with metal utility shelf brackets and drywall screws."

"The first strip was screwed to the forms. I switched over to bar clamps in short order due to the unwillingness of the cypress to bend."

"Towards the top I had to pull everthing back down to the forms with another row of screws. There was significant "pulling away" towards the ends, especially the last three stations at each end. Probably due to a combination of the shortening of the hull and the stiffness of the strips. It was very symetrical, so I didn't worry too much..." Steve adds: "I don't recommend contour stripping with 3/4" cypress strips on a 15' hull. They just aren't flexible enough to keep them true to the molds. I will either plane my stock down to 5/8" before cutting the strips for the next hull, go with the full 17' or both.

"The filling with epoxy and sanding dust made the screw holes virtually invisible - far better than I expected."

The following pictures show the hull exterior completed.

"The hull measures right at 15'. I kept the station spacing at 12" and just omitted the middle and one of the adjacent stations. I had to shorten the length of the stem molds by about an inch each so that the strips would lay closer to the last station."

Steve's own Sassafras framed caned seats and carved paddles...job well done!

"I have roughed out a couple of paddles out of some of the sassafras. It carves very easily and is quite light. They have oval shafts (1/4" pieces laminated to both faces of the shaft and grip). This finish is boiled linseed oil."


As these pictures show, Steve's done a very professional job.   Now it's time for the "Maiden Voyage" on one fine spring day!

"...We easily put 380 pounds in it between my daughter, my niece, myself and accessories. I didn't measure exactly but it looked like about 8" of freeboard. I would estimate the capacity between 400-450 pounds. With only myself aboard, it handled like a sportscar and it is very fast. Total finished weight is just under 70 pounds. In cedar, you could probably cut off between 5-10 of that...
...My wife tells me I have a file cabinet and a bookshelf to make before I start the next canoe..."

Thanks again for sharing your pictures and commentary Steve. Enjoy your canoe!

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