Preview: Building a Chesapeake Log Canoe by John Cook

November 13, 2017

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Big trees begat the dugouts used by native Americans, and the long and straight pines of the Chesapeake watershed inspired the early settlers from Europe to also form their boats by hollowing out trees. Log bottomed sailing canoes and bugeyes, composed of several hewed and hollowed logs fastened together, followed. But due to scarcity of suitable trees and avancing technology, many years have passed since boats having log bottoms were built. A new log bottom has been recently constructed for Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s bugeye EDNA LOCKWOOD and simultaneously a new 20-foot five-log canoe took shape under the hand of John P. Cook. It’s an unusual and now-forgotten way of building a hull—altogether different from the plank-on-frame, strip-planked, sheet plywood and cold-molding methods that we’ve become used to. But it works, and with ingenuity and respect for old ways of doing things, both CBMM and John Cook have proven it to be viable today. CBMM’s Pete Lesher has described the LOCKWOOD’s construction in an OCH video, and now, here’s John Cook’s story:   

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