Everything you need to build your boat - even step-by-step video instructions
Build your own beautiful lightweight boat under the guidance of an experienced boat builder. Bring a friend to help out - or it makes a fun & unforgettable family experience!
We have boats of various styles and sizes available, or we'll make one to your specifications - kayaks, canoes, rowboats, soft decked, hard decked and open, and they’re all ultralight and supertough!
This easy to follow step by step video will take you carefully and clearly through every stage of building a beautiful ultralight skin-on-frame boat.
Detailed, Full Size Plans - Downloadable or Hard Copy
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!
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.
Boat Plans for both the one person and two person open canoes and the rushton rowboat.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
“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
…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
Sharing with you the launch of my skin boat I recently built in Vancouver with Brian owner of Dreamcatcher boats. I was assured I would love the boat. I really jumped without too much research and built the boat. I LOVE my boat. It is a dream to be in, tracks so well hardly needs any corrections, easy to turn, is beautiful to sit in both from comfort and esthetics, light easy to carry what more can I say. I no longer need to have on my bucket list the need to buy a kayak. Now the challenge is to mount it on my car and be off with my dog on many adventures on the Oxbow plus many of the beautiful lakes surrounding Prince George. Stayed tuned A new twist to my stories will be scenes from the water. Enjoy the Launch of Lady Grace Thanksgiving weekend in absolutely stunning fall light.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
Ron (and Kris)”
Kirt Evans of Louisiana made this beautiful boat, and the video…
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.
“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.”
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.
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.