Take The Heavy Lifting Out Of Boating

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When we first started out making boats, we had a Big Idea. The idea was to design a boat that was very light, easy to handle and manoeuvre, safe, tough as nails and not least of all, beautiful to look at…

…And just by looking at them you can see how light they are, (they can weigh as little as 18lbs (8.2 kg) for the solo and 33lbs (15kg) for the double!) but you’d never guess that you can hit them with a hammer or scratch them with a knife and not do any damage. Dreamcatcher boats are made from the same material used to make bullet proof vests – if it’ll stop grenade fragments then barnacles and dog claws wont be a big problem.

Because they’re so tough they’re great boats for taking the dog and the kids along, and because they’re so light and easy to carry, you’ll be out enjoying the water every chance you get.

These eye-catching boats are beautifully lashed together by hand giving them a distinctive and captivating look.They are inspired by J.H. Rushton’s designs, from around 1885, which are hard to improve on, and over a hundred years of comments and reviews have only proven the point. The canoes resemble kayaks in the aspect that you sit on the floor, putting your centre of gravity lower in the boat, and you can use a double paddle, however you never feel boxed in, you have complete freedom to move around.


Brian Chandler has been building skin-on-frame boats for over 25 years and has encountered many problems and devised solutions along the way. He loves to teach people how to build them and offers workshops, kits, plans and an online video course. The course leads you step by step through the boat building process, breaking it down into manageable chunks so that even a beginner can follow it and successfully build a beautiful, seaworthy boat to be proud of, while the more seasoned woodworker will find plenty of tips and techniques to simplify and enrich the boat-building experience.. This puts building your own boat within your reach!

Video/DVD Boat Building Course


Build a Skin on Frame Boat - Online Video Course
Step by Step How to Build an Ultralight Canoe Online Video Course This easy to follow step by step online video will take you carefully and clearly through every stage of building a beautiful ultralight skin-on-frame boat.

See the video page for more details.
Price: $39.97

Build a Skin on Frame Boat - DVD (Hard Copy) + Online Video
We'll mail you a Step by Step How to Build an Ultralight Canoe DVD AND you'll have access to the online video. This easy to follow course will take you carefully and clearly through every stage of building a beautiful ultralight skin-on-frame boat. See the video page for more details.
Price: $59.97

Boat Plans


Downloadable

One Person Canoe Plans - Downloadable
One Person Canoe Plans - Downloadable
Downloadable full sized plans to build an ultralight one person skin-on-frame canoe – beautiful, super tough, safe and durable. The finished boat weighs about 20lbs, is 10.5 feet long and tough as nails. It is stable and will safely carry an adult and a small child (or dog). The tumblehome on the boat makes it very difficult to capsize – it is designed to stay upright and keep its occupants safe and dry! Great for exploring. The design is based on Rushton’s Wee Lassie, but has been adapted for skin on frame. it has proven to be an extremely versatile boat, as tough as it is light.
Price: $19.97
Two Person Canoe Plans - Downloadable
Two Person Canoe Plans - Downloadable
Downloadable full-sized plans to build a two person ultralight skin-on-frame canoe. This versatile boat has the comfort of a canoe but the manoeuvreability of a kayak. The paddler sits on the floor and can use either a single or double paddle. This canoe is 14.5 feet long, approximate weight 33 lbs. It will carry 2 adults and a small child (or dog).
Price: $19.97
Rushton Rowboat Plans - Downloadable
Rushton Rowboat Plans - Downloadable
Downloadable full-sized plans to build a elegant skin-on-frame rowboat which is versatile and very fast. It will carry 2 adults and 2 teens. At around 45lbs and 14,5 feet, the finished boat will still be easily manageable to lift on top of your car. Small Adirondack guide boat - designed by Henry Rushton.
Price: $19.97

Hard Copy (Paper-Full Size)

One Person Canoe Plans - Hard Copy (Paper - Full Size)
One Person Canoe Plans - Hard Copy (Paper - Full Size)
We'll mail you full sized paper plans to build an ultralight one person skin-on-frame canoe – beautiful, super tough, safe and durable. The finished boat weighs about 20lbs, is 10.5 feet long and tough as nails. It is stable and will safely carry an adult and a small child (or dog). The tumblehome on the boat makes it very difficult to capsize – it is designed to stay upright and keep its occupants safe and dry! Great for exploring. The design is based on Rushton’s Wee Lassie, but has been adapted for skin on frame. it has proven to be an extremely versatile boat, as tough as it is light.
Price: $39.97
Two Person Canoe Plans - Hard Copy (Paper- Full Size)
Two Person Canoe Plans - Hard Copy (Paper- Full Size)
We'll mail you full-sized paper plans to build a two person ultralight skin-on-frame canoe. This versatile boat has the comfort of a canoe but the manoeuvreability of a kayak. The paddler sits on the floor and can use either a single or double paddle. This canoe is 14.5 feet long, approximate weight 33 lbs. It will carry 2 adults and a small child (or dog).
Price: $39.97
Rushton Rowboat Plans – Hard Copy (Paper - Full Size)
Rushton Rowboat Plans – Hard Copy (Paper - Full Size)
We'll mail you full-sized plans to build an elegant skin-on-frame rowboat which is versatile and very fast. It will carry 2 adults and 2 teens. At around 45lbs and 14,5 feet, the finished boat will still be easily manageable to lift on top of your car.
Price: $39.97

Boat Kits


One Person Canoe/Open Kayak Kit
One Person Canoe/Open Kayak Kit
The kit contains all the materials you need (except the wood) to build a one person skin-on-frame canoe – beautiful, super tough, safe and durable. It also contains a hard copy of the instructional DVD and full sized paper plans. The finished boat weighs about 20lbs, is 10.5 feet long and tough as nails. It is stable and will safely carry an adult and a small child (or dog). The tumblehome on the boat makes it very difficult to capsize – it is designed to stay upright and keep its occupants safe and dry! Great for exploring. The design is based on Rushton’s Wee Lassie, but has been adapted for skin on frame. it has proven to be an extremely versatile boat, as tough as it is light. See the kits page for more details
Price: $297.00
Two Person Canoe / Open Kayak KIt
Two Person Canoe / Open Kayak KIt
The kit contains everything you need to build a two person ultralight skin-on-frame canoe, excluding the wood. It also contains a hard copy of the DVD Boat Building Course and the full-sized paper two person canoe plans. This versatile boat has the comfort of a canoe but the manoeuvreability of a kayak. The paddler sits on t he floor and can use either a single or double paddle. This canoe is 14.5 feet long, approximate weight 33 lbs. It will carry 2 adults and a small child (or dog). For more details see the kits page.
Price: $347.00

Materials


Ballistic Nylon Skin
Ballistic Nylon Skin
This is $10 per linear foot, 60″ wide. Just enter the number of feet you require in the quantity box after adding it to the cart.
Price: $10.00
Lashing - Artificial Sinew
Lashing - Artificial Sinew
very strong waxed nylon. enough to lash 2x one person canoes or 1x 2 person canoes or 1x rowboat
Price: $25.00

Boat Building Classes


Individual Build Your Own Skin Boat Class - one person canoe/kayak
Individual Build Your Own Skin Boat Class - one person canoe/kayak
Receive the supervision and guidance of Brian Chandler, a boat builder with over 20 years’ experience as you build your own beautiful ultralight, super tough skin-on-frame one person canoe/ open kayak. Dreamcatcher boats are built on the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple stupid). These are ideal projects for the beginner boat builder as well as the advanced craftsman. (Optional deck costs extra.) No previous experience necessary. Price includes all materials, use of equipment and individual tuition.
Price: $1,299.00

Individual Build Your Own Skin Boat Class - two person canoe/kayak
Individual Build Your Own Skin Boat Class - two person canoe/kayak
See Description for the one man canoe building class. Friends are welcome to join and help in your boat building experience. It makes a great family bonding activity!
Price: $1,599.00

Weekend Hands-On Boat Building Workshop
Weekend Hands-On Boat Building Workshop
Over a weekend (2 full 8 hour days) a group of 8 people will build a boat together under the expert guidance of Brian Chandler. This is a fun, hands-on workshop during which you will learn the abc’s of building a skin-on-frame boat, from setting up the station molds to skinning the boat, along with boat building tips and techniques which will make it easy to build an ultralight boat . The boat will be available for purchase at the end of the class for $650. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Dates: Ask us (Sat & Sun 9am – 5pm) Location: TBD
Price: $100.00

Step by Step How to Build an Ultralight Canoe DVD / Online Video

This easy to follow step by step online video will take you carefully and clearly through every stage of building a beautiful ultralight skin-on-frame boat.
See Details
skin boat building instructions

 

Boat Plans

Boat Plans for both the one person and two person open canoes and the rushton rowboat.

See Details

plans

Canoe/ Open Kayak Kits

Take the hassle out of gathering the materials with one of our open canoe kits which contain everything you need including an instructional step by step DVD.  Our Step by step DVD instructions put building your own boat within your reach!
See Details
Dreamcatcher 050

 

Boat Building Courses

Build your own beautiful lightweight boat under the guidance of (and a little help from) an experienced boat builder, or join a weekend group workshop and learn how to do it yourself.  No experience necessary.
See Detailslatest lee vallley pics and Rodgers cedar strip boat 021

 

Finished Ultralight Skin-On-Frame Boats

We have boats of various styles and sizes available, kayaks, canoes, rowboats, soft decked, hard decked and open, and they’re all ultralight and supertough.
See Details
messing about in boats

 

Ballistic Nylon Skin

ballistic nylon skin

Individual Boat Building Course 

John Privett the Anglican Archbishop of BC recently built a “Dreamcatcher” Boat:

Tom Radcliffe built a custom canoe:

“Of all the books and related information on SOF boatbuilding that I have purchased, your modest fee is the best money I have spent, and you can quote me on that.”

Rick

School Project

dragonfly

“I finished the canoe Friday and gave it to my friend yesterday. It tracks like a dream and looks great. My friend said it’s the nicest gift anyone has ever given to her.”
Ed September 2014

gift

 
Boat Design

…we tested two of Brian’s Ultralight canoes; a 10 foot single canoe and a larger 14 foot double of similar design and construction. We paddled for several hours on False Creek in fairly calm conditions with waves from the wakes of passing powerboats enlivening our paddling experience.  As expected, these boats handle very well. They are exceptionally nimble, turn quickly, yet track well.
Larry Zakreski. Momentum Magazine

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Group Boat Building Class

“I really enjoyed my morning session at the Naramata Centre. The boat building class was fascinating. The project developed in a very interesting way, gradually emerging from nothing into a beautiful and working project.”

“The boat building class was interesting, satisfying and lots of fun.”

“The class was excellent, as was the instructor. The session was very informative.”

Participants in the boat building class held in the Naramata Centre, Naramata, B.C.

 

“Your boat building class was fun and most informative. Thanks alot, Brian.”
Alan and Trevor

“The skin canoe building class was excellent as was the instructor. I loved the hands on approach.”
Kevin

“The very well organized seminar covered in one day, every step in building a canoe. How wonderful it was to see an affordable boat come to life.”
Richard

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Boat Building Video

“Hi Brian,

We finished the boat on Saturday. The varnish was still a bit soft but we went out for sea-trials yesterday with a Minn-kota Endura 30lb thrust motor and it ran beautifully. The boat tracks like an arrow even in powerboat wakes. 

It is a very stable, very quiet, and fast fishing boat.

Cheers,

Ron (and Kris)”

***********************
 

Kirt Evans of Louisiana made this beautiful boat, and the video…

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“Hi, Brian

My name is Antonio Prado, and I live in Santos, south of Brazil.

I’ve bought your video “Build your own skin-on-frame UL canoe”; you give lots of information that are hard to get elsewhere and, above that, you SHOW how simple it is to build the boat.

Antonio Prado”

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“PROGRESS! Ribs are in, Canoe is off the form!

A word on design… IT’S AWESOME!

Upon popping the boat from the form, every odd bend in the gunwales or stringers relaxed and the boat took an amazing form. The boat weighs in at around 10-12lbs currently. This boat looks AMAZING. I can’t believe how fast it has come together.

***************

Caroline Smithers – Vancouver

“I am so happy with the boat my son and I built toget

her. It was such a great experience and we now have a beautiful unique rowboat with our own personal family logo on. I love it! Thanks Brian for your friendly help and encouragement.”

 

 

Hey Brian,

1mankayak

 

just finished one of your free lassies. we decided to

deck it. some other Ladner boys and a friend of mine want each want to build one, so I’ll probably order a couple

more skins in a bit. Means we’ll hopefully have done 5 boats in our downstairs suite before the in-laws move in later this spring or summer; ha!

thought you might like to see the pic.
steve

Online Boat Building Video and Plans — $39.97

If you want to build your own boat this easy to follow step by step online video course will take you carefully and clearly through every stage of building a beautiful ultralight skin-on-frame boat. It includes 3 sets of plans so that you can build a one person canoe, a two person canoe, or a 3-4 person rowboat. It lists and describes the equipment and materials you will need, leads you through the building of the molds, the construction of the frame, covering it with the skin and putting in the finishing touches. It also equips you with tips and techniques learnt over many years of boat-building experience. You even get personal access to Brian’s wealth of experience with skin on frame boat construction – if you have a question along the process – just drop him an email or give him a call!

It enables a complete novice to build a boat, but even the seasoned carpenter will find it indispensable!

When you purchase the video you will receive a link to 12 video chapters and downloadable (full size) plans for 1 and 2 person canoes and a 3-4 person rowboat. See The Store if you’d like to order a hard copy of the DVD or any hard copy plans.

We are so confident that, whatever your level of expertise, you will derive great benefit from this instructional video, and that it will enable you to build a beautiful, functional boat that we are offering you a money-back guarantee. Simply inform us within 30 days of purchase that you are unhappy with your purchase and we will refund your payment.

Online Boat Building Video and Plans — $39.97

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