Feather Canoes | Frequently Asked Questions Feather Canoes Wee Lassie Build it Yourself
Feather Canoes offers Wee Lassie Plans and Patterns for build-it-yourself Classic Cedar Strip Solo Canoes as designed by Master Woodworker Henry A. "Mac" McCarthy, author of Woodenboat's "Featherweight Boatbuilding".
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Questions & Answers

 

We have compiled a list of common questions that folks have asked over the years, plus a list of corrections for Mac’s book Featherweight Boatbuilding if you own one of the first editions. If you do not find your question or answer below, please drop us a note by clicking here.

 

Q: Some of the measurements are off a little in Featherweight Boatbuilding, what are the correct measurements?

 

A: The early editions of Featherweight Boatbuilding had some incorrect measures, if you have one of these editions the measurement corrections are listed below:

 

For the Wee Lassie:

Page 87: the length of building board as shown should be Ten foot Seven and one quarter inches. Actually it can be any length, the mold spacing is the only important item here. I often set up a wee lassie on a building board originally made for a much longer canoe. The overhang on each end makes it a little easier in placing the outer stem.

 

For the Wee Lassie 2:

Page 88: Mold #2 – at nine inches it should be 13 3/8″.

On page 89: Stem Mold – height change 15 5/8″ height to 15 3/8″
Stem Mold – at Thirteen inches should be 12 3/4″
Mold #5 – at Thirteen inches should be 3″
Mold #6 – at Eight inches should be 3 7/8″

The main thing is to fair your points, we use very close spacing on the measurements for just that reason. In a normal table of offsets your points would be three or four inches apart, and mistakes might not be obvious.

 

 

Q: Just how thick should the stem be?

 

A: Five or six 1/8″ thick strips compose the inner stem (more or less-whatever will bend comfortably) .  This is mounted to the stem mold with masking tape in between otherwise the boat will never come off the mold!

 

 

Q: How long should the building board be?

 

A: It is really not significant exactly how long or short it is (how far out it sticks beyond the boat.) It is good to have it stick out as far as the stem to put a clamp on it to hold the end of the strips down.  Later when you are sanding you may wish it was a bit shorter… Featherweight Boatbuilding shows a reasonable length. To lay up the molds start in the middle and work out both ways using the station locations from the plans.

 

 

Q: I ordered the plans for the Wee Lassie 2 from you and I have a question about the spacing on the forms. For the bow section the spacing is clearly 13″ but the stern section is 12″ on the plans. I’m not clear what the exact measurement is. Can you please enlighten me what spacing you use. I’m setting the forms on the strongback and want to get it right.

 

A: The Wee Lassie 2 is not symmetrical. The dimensions shown (and described in the email question) are correct.

 

 

How-to Videos

 

We have posted some videos shot by Dale Andrews while he was taking a class taught by Mac. These may help to visualize some of the common questions that come up during a build.  Click here to watch the videos!