DIY Canoeing: How to Build Your Own Boat Out of Paper DIY Canoeing: How to Build Your Own Boat Out of Paper

DIY Canoeing: How to Build Your Own Boat Out of Paper

October 27, 2012

The paper skiff was followed by a comprehensive but easy-to-use set set of plans for the laymen boatbuilder. The instructions contained on their latest broadsheet publication (the seventh in Mare Liberum’s five-year-long boatbuilding how-to series) will guide the willing builder, artist, fiddler, or adventurer through an experimental process of constructing a seaworthy craft out of little more than kraft paper, wood glue, a little bit of hardwood, and a sealer.

Mare Liberum / The Free Seas is a free-form publishing, boatbuilding, and waterborne art collective, based in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood. Tracing its roots to centuries-old stories of urban water squatters and haphazard watercraft builders, Mare Liberum is a collaborative exploration of what it takes to make viable aquatic craft as an alternative to life on land, and as a technique of resistance aiding and abetting the right to the waterfront city. The collective aims to make it possible for everyone to build a boat out of a simple list of materials even with minimal building experience. For more information, visit the collective on the Gowanus or online.

To get started on the paper skiff, you will need the following:
  • A boat to copy
  • Packing tape—one roll
  • PAM cooking spray
  • Titebond III wood glue—two gallons
  • Kraft paper—two 500 sq. ft. rolls
  • Wood shims—one pack
  • Marine epoxy—one gallon resin, 1/5-gallon hardener, optional waterproofing additive
  • Dimensional lumber—four 16 ft. 2x4's (or equivalent)
  • Wood Screws—one box of #6 2-1/2", one box of #8 3/4" (brass or stainless steel)
  • Thin scrap wood or masonite for making the jig
  • Cedar or oak lumber—approx. thirty 1/4" x 1/2" strips, between 4' and 6' long for ribs and bang strips
  • An assortment of other scraps of wood for thwarts, breast hooks, rub rails, and floorboards

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DIY Canoeing: How to Build Your Own Boat Out of Paper