If Ron Cantelon had his way, he would be working on a stitch-and-glue canoe this fall, but his son Arthur had other ideas.
Rather than the relatively simple stitch-and-glue technique, where panels are sewn together and then fibreglassed, Arthur opted for the far more challenging cedar strip design.
“He asked me about a month ago,” Cantelon said. “We had been talking about stitch and glue for a long time but he got on the web pages — that darned Internet — and found exactly what he wanted.”
The canoe, when complete, will be 17 feet long and, Cantelon said, very light.
Although the project is challenging, Cantelon doesn’t come to it as an entire landlubber.
“I built them as a kid,” he said. “I helped my dad build one and I also helped my uncle build a 24-foot cabin cruiser.”
That project, he said, dwarfs anything Arthur can throw at him and Cantelon’s voice still shows a remnant of the pride he took in that project so many years ago.
“It was one of the first to use a four-cycle engine,” he said. “I loved it then and I still have a love of boat building and I was pleased when my son decided to build one.”
Before they could begin cutting, sanding and gluing, they had to prepare their work area.
“The biggest real impediment so far was that we had to clean out half the garage,” Cantelon joked.
Now, the kit has come and it’s time for the father and son pair to roll up their sleeves and get to work. The first step, Cantelon said, is to assemble his tools.
“We ordered the plan and it came complete with instructions and templates,” he said. “I’m acquiring the tools and just got a planer, which is something we need, and I was checking out routers yesterday, which we are also going to need, because it’s a beveled, concave thing.”
Although the instructions say the project should take a couple of months, Cantelon is pragmatic about when they’ll actually be able to launch.
“I have no idea,” he said.