Constructing a More Communal Canoe

Author: Nate Smelle [Bancroft This Week]

In his off-grid wood-working shop nestled in the scenic hills of Hastings Highlands local canoe builder Will Ruch has been carefully crafting a boat unlike any he has ever built before. He started assembling his latest project, a 26 foot long voyageur cedar/canvas bent wood canoe, last spring.  As far as he knows, no one else has built a canoe like this since 1966.

Ruch has been an avid paddler for as long as he can remember. He began building canoes more than 30 years ago while in Muskoka. During this time he fell in love with the craftsmanship of the canoe builders of the boats he would repair.

“When you take the canvas off of an old boat you notice the level of craftsmanship of the person who built is,” said Ruch.

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