The Freedom canoes are a range of modern, efficient tripping canoes from Bear Mountain Boats which are also easy to build, using the wood-strip planking method.
The Freedom canoes have an asymmetrical hull shape, with a fine bow to part the water easily and a fuller stern section to reduce resistance at higher speeds. The maximum beam is just aft of the middle. The canoes have slightly more rocker than many modern canoes, allowing them to turn more easily – like traditional canoe shapes – without sacrificing the speed of the modern hulls.
Three different sizes are available, to suit different paddlers and types of use.
The Freedom 17 is a fast, responsive boat with generous gear capacity for two canoeists on a longer adventure. A slight tumblehome in the middle section makes this canoe a wonderful solo boat, but most of the time it can be found with two canoeists onboard, heading off on canoe trips.
The big Freedom 17′ 9″ canoe is designed for those who love the feel of the 17, but need to be able to carry a heavier load. The length, beam and freeboard have been increased, with only subtle changes to the hull shape, resulting in high stability. When you need to carry more people, larger people or more gear for extended trips, the Freedom 17′ 9″ is a good choice.
The Freedom 15 is a versatile and responsive design that steers easily and adapts well to solo paddling. Smaller canoes turn corners more easily and need some design features to aid with straight-line tracking, so the Freedom 15 has been designed with less rocker and also deeper aft sections for effortless steering. Its 35″ beam gives it a stability factor of 104, which means it will give confidence to those on board – and yet be a pleasure to paddle. We see it on lakes, rivers and portages being used for camping, day trips, fishing and just playing around.
There are also two Freedom Solo canoes, which are designed specifically for experienced solo paddlers.
The Freedom canoes are constructed using the strip-planking method and sheathed in fibreglass for a light and strong hull without internal ribs.
Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats is the author of Canoecraft, the standard reference book for wood-strip canoe building. The book is recommended to accompany the kit or plans. It is packed with tips and techniques and has inspired countless first-time canoe builders around the world.
|Freedom 15||Freedom 17||Freedom 17′ 9″|
|Length||4.57 m (15′)||5.18 m (17′)||5.41 m (17′ 9″)|
|Maximum beam||845 mm (33¼″)||850 mm (33.4″)||915 mm (36″)|
|Beam waterline||850 mm (33.4″)||805 mm (31¾″)||825 mm (32½″)|
|Beam gunwale||870 mm (34.3″)||825 mm (32½″)||915 mm (36″)|
|Bow height||490 mm (19¼″)||490 mm (19¼″)||535 mm (21″)|
|Centre depth||330 mm (13.1″)||335 mm (13¼″)||370 mm (14½″)|
|Draught||115 mm (4½″)||108 mm (4¼″)||100 mm (4″)|
|Displacement||180 kg (400 lb)||190 kg (420 lb)||190 kg (420 lb)|
|Optimum capacity||68-204 kg (150-450 lb)||68-230 kg (150-510 lb)||180-308 kg (400-680 lb)|
|Wetted surface||2.6 m² (28.0 sq ft)||2.8 m² (30.15 sq ft)||2.92 m² (31.5 sq ft)|
|Weight to immerse||133 lb/in||143.8 lb/in||150 lb/in|
|Weight||20-23 kg (45-50 lb)||20-25 kg (45-55 lb)||25-27 kg (55-60 lb)|
Watch us build a Bear Mountain canoe in this one-minute overview video:
We manufacture our kits to the highest standard using European-grown Paulownia for the planking strips. Uniquely, the strips in our Bear Mountain Boats kits have not only a bead-and-cove profile but also a pre-cut finger joint at each end, making the neat joining of strips even easier for builders at home.
Please note that the kit does not include the box beam strongback for mounting the building forms on. You can either use a straight length of suitable timber or order the box-beam strongback we supply.
This strongback is made up of CNC-cut MDF panels that fit together to form a strong and stiff box beam measuring 200 mm × 200 mm and long enough to build the boat.
The plans contain sufficient information to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit. The plans are printed in colour and include scale plans and full size drawings for all the forms.