The Redbird 17 is an efficient wilderness canoe that experienced paddlers will find to be fast and responsive. Utilising lightweight wood-strip construction, this Bear Mountain Boats design is a fast and light canoe for day trips, which performs well in most conditions.
It has a keel-less shallow-arch hull with moderate rocker, combined with a long waterline and a fine entry. The bow and stern profiles are reminiscent of the Long Nose Ojibwa Rice Harvesting canoe. The sides have a moderate tumblehome for lateral strength and to allow outwales wide enough to turn aside waves and spray.
Less-practised canoeists may have trouble adjusting to the lack of stability compared to some of the more forgiving models available.
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.
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.