A classic solo canoe of the style of the earliest recreational canoes, designed to be paddled with a double-bladed paddle.
The origins of the Rob Roy canoe go back to Victorian adventurer John MacGregor, who popularised the concept of canoeing as a recreational sport with his 1866 book ‘A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe’. After seeing indigenous birch bark canoes and Inuit kayaks, he designed what he considered to be the ideal craft for cruising Europe's canals and rivers. He named it Rob Roy, after his famous outlaw relative. The type of canoe he favoured were paddled with a double-bladed paddle and often rigged for sailing. They were usually decked, but with a large, open cockpit.
MacGregor's books were an inspiration to early American canoe builders and this type of solo canoe, paddled with a double-bladed paddle, dominated recreational canoeing into the next century.
There are many possibilities for fitting out the boat to your own preferences. This hull design can be kept as a simple, lightweight canoe for fast cruising, but has also been built in a version that is fully-decked in bookmatched walnut veneer, with sliding seat, foot rest, floorboards and hand-rubbed varnish.
This Rob Roy Solo canoe design, by Bear Mountain Boats, is 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.
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.