We offer strips of both western red cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar. You can use a mixture of both and develop your own unique strip design as you build your boat. We recommend a mix of roughly one third light strips (yellow cedar or paulownia) and two thirds dark (red cedar) strips, or one third dark and two thirds light.
The colour of western red cedar varies from dark to medium, not just from tree to tree but often along the length of the strips. We may be able to accommodate special requirements for colours on your request, or you can stain the wood to make a more consistent colour, but we recommend you embrace the natural variation of wood and use it to full effect in your design.
Another point to consider is that western red cedar is about 20% lighter than Alaskan yellow cedar. Paulownia is even lighter.
These cedar strips are milled with a ‘bead and cove’ joint so that one slides into the next for a perfect fit. This makes the process of building a cedar-strip boat much less fiddly and more enjoyable.
The beads and coves are precision-cut for easy construction of smooth hulls. We use our custom-made machinery to produce these cedar strips with tight tolerances at a reasonable price.
The strips measure 6 mm by 19 mm and vary in length from about 2-3 m (about 6-10 feet). If you tell us your requirements, we will try to supply the wood in lengths of about the right size for your convenience.
The wood can be simply butted or scarfed to length as required by the design. About 150 metres length is needed to deck an average kayak and about 300 metres to build a cedar-strip kayak or canoe.
To glue the cedar strips a waterproof glue should be used, preferably a polyurethane one.
The strips are 19 mm wide, but the effective width is 16 mm (⅝″) taking the joints into account.
To calculate what length of cedar strips you need to build your canoe or kayak, you need to take two measurements from the plans: the overall length of the boat (A) and the girth at the widest point (B). For an open canoe, the girth should be measured from gunwale to gunwale around the bottom of the hull. For a kayak, the girth should be measured right around the hull and deck.
The simple formula below will give you the length of cedar strips you would need to plank a cylinder shape with a circumference equal to the maximum girth of your boat. This will be larger than the exact surface area of the boat, but you're going to need extra, so that you have better colour selection and in case you make a mistake. On the average canoe or kayak, the formula yields about 20% extra depending on the hull shape. Tested and refined over hundreds and hundreds of kits, this seems to work for everybody. You can always get slightly more if you want a larger reserve than 20%.
Metric: Length of cedar (m) = A (m) × B (m) × 59
Imperial: Length of cedar (ft) = A (in) × B (in) × 18 ⁄ 144
The multiplier (59 for metric, 18 for imperial) yields about the correct amount of extra material.