Mist Special: Custom length Skin-on-Frame open canoe

(1 customer review)



A beautiful lightweight alternative to the classic Canadian cedar and canvas canoe.  The Mist Special is built using a combination of the techniques used to build traditional skin on frame kayaks, Welsh Coracles and Irish Curraghs, adapted to produce a boat that is beautiful, lightweight, robust and a pleasure to paddle.  The Special is built using a modifiable form allowing it to be built from 17 to 20 foot in length.

The nature of the building process allows the hull shape to be lengthened, the gunnel high adjusted and the shape of the stems to be modified, for example to have the stern stem more vertical to accommodate a rudder fitting.

The basic price Mist special is £2400.  The variable nature of the product means that the price will vary depending on length, timbers chosen and any other variations chosen by the customer.


Full details and description available here.

To order Mist contact John to discuss the details of your order.

email : info:valkyriecraft.com

mobile +44 (0) 7722018457

Additional information

Options/ choices

The Mist Special has a range of options including: The timbers used for the gunnels, decks, thwarts and seats; the Material used for the seat support; the stain colour and finishes used on the hull and timbers, stem shape and central beam.

Boat deposit

Any length has the same deposit amount!


To confirm your intent to order this boat to be built we require a 15% deposit. Payment of the deposit confirms your place in the workshop build schedule. Building will not begin until we have had discussion via e-mail or telephone to confirm options.


At this point select 'To be confirmed.'

1 review for Mist Special: Custom length Skin-on-Frame open canoe

  1. Tom GEORGE

    From the moment I finally stopped drooling over the pictures of John’s beautifully crafted Canoes and Kayaks and picked up the phone to talk to him, I knew that I had made the right choice. First and foremost John is a true craftsman, with a vast amount of canoeing experience, who takes pleasure in building beautiful things carefully and slowly in this otherwise fast paced world. I had an idea of what I thought I wanted, but on discussing my plans with John, I found myself gently steered towards a different and far more suitable vessel in the form of “The Mist” skin on frame open canoe. It soon became clear that John was both happy and keen to build me something completely custom. Every element of the construction, from the length, the relative strengths of various timber options, (and associated weight penalties), to the treatment of the wood and skin in the final stages of construction was discussed. All the extras such as seats, mast thwart and step were included and specified. As the design evolved I was able to express a preference regarding bow and stern shape, gunnel height, deck and handle materials, even the font for the name and the position of the Valkyrie builders plate, all with calm and sensible advice from John regarding the pros or cons of any such decision.The end result is a completely bespoke and absolutely stunning open canoe which, if I chose to do nothing else, would give me sufficient pleasure just to stand next to her on the river bank fielding the constant stream of admiring glances, compliments and questions. She is however not just a pretty thing to be put on display. On the water she is fast, manoeuvrable, safe and voluminous. Off the water she is extremely light to lift on to the roof rack and port round obstacles. I am neither young nor strong, but I can easily carry an 18 footer on my own using the yoke thwart that is fitted. John and I discussed weight at every stage, every decision is linked to it. A target maximum was set and hoped for, In the end she came in at 34 kg (Including all the ancillary components) which was significantly lower than the target. The benefits of johns technique, which combine a relatively traditional, strong light weight frame made from (In my case), Green Oak ribs and Ash stringers and gunnels, with a high tech skin system, gives the best of both worlds. The weight is kept low, the strength is high, the durability and repairable nature of the construction ensure that the end result is an “Heirloom” quality vessel which your children and grandchildren will continue to enjoy long after you hang up your paddle. If you have ever thought about buying yourself an open canoe you will have discovered, as I did, that your choices are limited to various plastics with varying claims on durability and weight, and by the time you have got to something capable of carry three people, with all their kit for an extended river camping trip that you can get on the car roof without injury, the options keep diminishing. Spend similar money (or less) on a Valkyrie Craft built to order and customised to your precise plans and you will have bought something beautiful, desirable, enviable, and completely fit for purpose. My advice is to pick up the phone, talk to John, (he is designer, builder, marketing manager and office administrator all rolled into one), tell him your plans and start your journey to owning the best open canoe available. It is a journey, and for those of you in a rush all the time, it is not an instant process so don’t make fixed plans until nearer the completion date, enjoy being involved in the decision making as you will learn a great deal from John in the process and rest assured that he is a perfectionist and will take the time to rebuild any component he is not happy with. The end result is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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