• Interior detail
    Interior detail
  • On a Scottish Loch
    On a Scottish Loch
  • 16 footer
    16 footer
  • Winter trip
    Winter trip
  • !4 footer on the OwenKillew
    !4 footer on the OwenKillew
  • 16 footer profile
    16 footer profile
  • Detail on the water
    Detail on the water

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Cedar and Canvas Canoes

Shop and reviews.

The classic Canadian canoe built entirely from timber and sheathed in canvas.  Based on the traditional native American birch bark canoes and modified by European settlers to make a boat that is beautiful, robust and a pleasure to paddle.

Key Features

Shearwater 16 (Standard Build £3400)

Length: 4.9m/ 16’2″,  Beam: 85cm/ 33″, Depth at Beam: 30.5cm/ 12″  Weight: 30kg/ 70lb

This beautiful canoe is designed along the lines of the traditional ‘Prospector’ with a focus on an exceptional all-rounder.  It is fitted out as a tandem boat but is light and manoeuvrable enough to be a very responsive solo boat.

Designed with a slight rocker, moderate hull curvature and graceful fore and aft profiles, it handles well across a range of conditions.  Its hull shape provides excellent manoeuvrability, has good tracking characteristics and its profile provides minimal wind resistance.   It has ample space for day gear and room enough for all the gear needed for extended touring.

Shearwater 14 (Standard Build £3200)

Length: 4.35m/ 14’4″  Beam: 85cm/ 33″  Weight: 27kg/ 60lb

The Shearwater 14 is designed as a beautiful and responsive solo boat.  It is fitted out as a tandem and will carry two, but is most suitable for one.  The two seats provide good sitting positions for adjusting trim as conditions dictate.

Designed to combine the various elements of length, rocker and hull cross section and with low fore and aft profiles this boat handles beautifully.  It has excellent manoeuvrability, holds a good line and has ample space for solo gear for extended touring, or for day kit and short expeditions for tandem paddlers…..For the solo canoeist this is the ideal boat.


Timber:  Western Red Cedar ribs and planking. Gunnels, decks and seats are usually American white ash or mahogany.  Decks and carry handles can be a range of other hardwoods depending on availability and customer choice.

Fixings: All screws are stainless steel and are used in gunnels and deck fitting.  Other fastenings are either brass or bronze.  The boats are fitted with bow and stern brass stem bands.

Skin:  The outer hull is covered in a #10 cotton canvas and filled with a traditional oil-based filler, a durable material that has been used on generations of canoes in Canada and the USA.  This filled cotton surface is then painted with high quality marine gloss, the colour choice only limited by colour range.  All bare wooden surfaces are treated with Deks Olje saturator.

Seats: As standard, seats are woven webbing.  For an additional cost they can be hand woven synthetic cane (£75 per seat)

Tender Lines: The boats come with bow and stern tender lines of floating rope.


  1. Hi John, At long last, please find attached some photos of our first trip in your wonderful craft. Anne wants to call it the Feather, which gives you some idea of how the boat handles. Thank you again for your hard work; Matt already wants me to put another in the pipeline – I’ve told him not til he has a place to put it!
  2. We went canoeing as planned on Sunday. The canoe behaved wonderfully! It was a great day out. I’ve attached some photos. The lake we’re on is close to the village Siggerud and is called Bratetjern.  We’re going canoeing again tomorrow – I do love paddling the canoe, it behaves just as it should. Both Ksenia and Alisa (she’s three now!) enjoys our family outings in it. 
  3. Mist floats beautifully and handles like a dream.  Yesterday was quite a windy day. So, for the maiden voyage, I drove down to a small stream and mill pond close to where I live. There’s trees all around so there’s cover from the wind.  What a pleasant experience. If I was infatuated before I’m in love now. I’m just crazy about that canoe. I can’t wait to get into her again.
  4. We’ve had one splendid trip so far, in Castleward Bay off Strangford L, and all went extremely well, even if we have to practice steering in breezes a wee bit.  Several club members were visibly turning green with envy, looking at your workmanship – we told them your details, Valkyrie etc, so who knows, you may expect another order some time!
  5. I collected the canoe from a meeting point at Evesham when John brought the canoe over for me from Northern Ireland.  The canoe is fantastic – we were worried about the weight of a wooden boat but it is much lighter than our previous Old Town.  We’re flat water paddlers and love long relaxing ambles along the river and our Shearwater just makes it all perfect.  A beautiful boat, sunshine, picnics and pubs.  Thanks John.  if you’re thinking of getting yourself a wooden handcrafted Canadian Canoe contact John though his website – https://valkyriecraft.com.  He’s a top bloke and he builds lovely canoes!
  6. The red cedar and canvas canoe on the Valkyrie website is my wifes!  It was a very special present for a significant birthday . . . . he delivered an absolutely stunning looking craft, which not only looks good but paddles really well too – it’s a great credit to John’s skills as a boat builder.