sail boats

Wood Strip Planking Boatbuilding

Strip planking is a grandchild of the carvel planked of old. When super strong adhesives such as epoxy were developed it became possible to edge glue thin wooden strips of light wood over a temporary frame. Faired and covered with fiberglass inside and out these thin wooden shells became rigid, waterproof and very strong. They also can be very light since there is practically no supporting structure to add weight. Wood covered with fiberglass, epoxy and varnish appears with a rich glowing colour.

Strippers, cedar strip, or strip built boats have the advantages of fiberglass boats built around a thin core. An occasional coat of varnish is needed to protect the epoxy from UV degradation but otherwise, unless damaged, there is little required maintenance.

Many woods have been used for strip planking. Cedar is the most common but redwood and many other light bendy woods can be used. Here is my page about Cedar Wood

Strip construction allows designers to experiment. It is a relatively simple way of developing new shapes. Frames are built, the boat is quickly covered in strips of wood or foam, faired and fiberglassed. IF the shape is satisfactory, after testing, it can be made into a mold and reproduced in fiberglass.

Homebuilders and professional boat builders alike have made this a favourite method. It is relatively simple, requires few tools, produces a quality product, and is drop dead gorgeous.

Another advantage of strip building is the ability to make quite complex smooth curves on a hull. This is not possible when using lapstrake or stitch and glue.

Check out my page on the various steps in building a wood strip boat.


CLC has Several Strip Planked Boats

link to Chesapeake Light Craft resource page on strip planking Strip Planking series of video on Chesapeake Light Craft website is a fabulous resource.

If the videos won't play from CLC website just click on the YouTube icon bottom right of the video window and watch from there.

CLC has many strip planked boat plans and kits as well as hybrid stitch and glue/strip kayaks.

They also offer many plans which use the strip planking method. Some are John Harris' design and other are a collaboration with Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks who is pictured in their step by step videos


Great Auk

Great auk

John Harris of the Chesapeake Light Craft's Great Auk is a simple versatile boat. One of their many designs.

CLC provides plans, kits and boatbuilding supplies. They are very supportive and will answer questions and offer help. Their videos offer really good support as well.



Gary Dierking's Ulua is a Strip Built Outrigger Canoe

Gary Dierking has spent years exploring the world of outriggers. Here is one of his designs the Ulua

In his own words,

"Seaworthy, light and easy to build, outrigger canoes combine the romance of the Pacific Island with spartan design and breathtaking sailing performance."

ulua can be stripped planked using wood or composite foam

The ulua outrigger sailing/paddling canoe strip built on a series of forms. It is featured in Gary Dierking's book. Numerous builds have been completed and proven the design as fast and seaworthy.

Plans are available for the Ulua. It has recently been built as a foam stripped boat. This makes an already light boat even lighter.

Gary Dierking's book

Thanks to Gary Dierking for use of his photos. If you want to order plans, get his book on building outrigger sailing canoes, or read more about outriggers, his website is here.


Here is one wood strip Ulua in it's first sail


Guy Rinfret built another of Gary Dierking's outriggers the T2 using strip building technique. Interesting video on his website showing him shunting the boat. I chose this boatbuilding project because this is the place from which I hail. Lac St.Jean is only a couple of hundred miles from where I was born and was raised.

William Curry's Prospector Wood Strip Canoe

Interesting video with slide show of all the steps of setting up the frame, nice details.




email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine