Fine Strip-Planked Boat Class at WoodenBoat School - microBootlegger Kayak and Mystic River Tandem Canoe

Event Date


Class Built microBootlegger and Mystic River Tandem

If you want to build a lightweight, rugged, and beautiful small boat, combining thin strips of wood with epoxy and fiberglass will make a cartoppable, low-maintenance, and gorgeous vessel. Nick Schade has been building strip-built boats for over 30 years. He has written two of the standard texts on the subject, Building Strip-Planked Boats and The Strip-Built Sea Kayak, and his efforts have guided thousands of people through building their own boats using the popular strip-planked method.

In this six-day course, students will explore this method of construction while building two very different boat designs created by Nick. The July class will be building an Adirondack Guide Boat and the microBootlegger Sport sea kayak. This class will be building the Mystic River tandem canoe and the microBootlegger tandem kayak.

Speedboats built in 1923 are not your typical inspiration for a kayak, the George Crouch designed “Baby Bootlegger” was the starting point for both the microBootlegger Tandem and microBootlegger Sport. The speedboat was an instant classic with elegant rounded, muscular lines. The “Sport” version is a 15.5’ x 23” sea kayak with beautiful lines suitable for exploring lakes or heading out to sea.

The Mystic River Tandem is a modern interpretation of a traditional cedar strip canoe designed by Nick. It is 17’ long with nicely recurved stems. It is a great canoe for exploring a pond, lake or sheltered bay.

Day One will have students fairing up the forms, shaping the inner stems, fabricating the kayak coaming and canoe parts, and getting a start on the planking. Tuesday will have us continuing with planking, installing stems, and working on hatches and gunwales. Before you know it, we will start sanding the hull and deck and applying fiberglass on Wednesday. On Thursday, the kayak and canoe will come off the forms. After fairing the insides of the hulls, fiberglass fabric will be laid-up on the interiors. Come Friday, students will start finishing up the canoe while the hull and deck of the kayak are joined together. The class wraps up midday on Saturday with final fiberglass work and completion of details on both boats.

Throughout this course, Nick will take time to discuss the many variations on the strip-building process that students can use on their own boatbuilding projects. After a week of fine craftsmanship and fun, we’ll step back to admire two stunning boats that will raffled off to two lucky students.

Location: WoodenBoat School, Brooklin, Maine

Cost: $850 (50% Discount for High School and College Students)