Shearwater 14: Cedar and Canvas open canoe

(6 customer reviews)


The price shown above is the Deposit required and not the full price of the boat. The actual cost of the boat depends on the options chosen and is between £3200 and £3600.

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.

Category: Tag:


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.

6 reviews for Shearwater 14: Cedar and Canvas open canoe

  1. Martin Olaisen

    Our Shearwater 16 has been a part of our family for five years now. We’ve named her Dancing Baby! This indicates both how dear she is to us, and how well she behaves on the water. In our family we also have an Ally PVC foldable canoe (17 feet) and a PE Sandwich canoe (14.6 feet). The former is a bit to floppy and the latter is a bit too stiff. The Shearwater however is just perfect! She moves beautifully with the water.

    I do love the design. The stems are adjusted so that they are high enough to handle the waves, but low enough to avoid being affected by the wind on a large lake. On our Shearwater, John has positioned the front seat far enough back for it to function really well as a solo seat. This makes the canoe a great allrounder. I enjoy paddling her alone just as much as I do with my family. In addition to this, she a beauty to look at! The different types of wood work really great together. I really like the walnut decks. The craftsmanship is wonderful!

    And, not to forget, John is a great guy who makes an extra effort to make sure the customer is happy.

  2. Stevie Millar

    I have had the chance to paddle both the Shear water and the Merlin recently and almost wish I hadn’t…..having got out of both I knew that I will at some point making an investment to buy one of these beautiful crafts from him

    I have been paddling a while and have been fortunate enough to travel on lots of rivers and lakes with not much consideration to the craft I have used as opposed to its ability to carry my gear and withstand my abuse .

    over the years I have thought of modern canoes as just what was available in the UK and Ireland and often felt envious of those in N.America where access to carbon , kevlar lightweight canoes just part of the course ….

    so when I had the chance to paddle both of John’s boats I had lots to compare and contrast to ; these are my finding.

    1. there are lots and lots of little subtleties about paddling these boat in the feel , how they look , how they respond on the water etc. and when they all add up they account for alot , this in my mind how a canoe is supposed to behave on the water.

    2. I have always found that modern boats respond to the paddler but not so well to the water…. both of these craft do each exceptionally and I felt all the movement and weight changes through my knees.

    3. Three is always something nice to look at …..if the scenery is not to your liking you will find yourself admiring the wood, colour pattern and the workmanship , love and attention that has gone into the making of the boat .

    4. Have something built by an artisan who is also a paddler….I cannot over emphasize the benefits of using something made by someone who also paddles , perfect blend of form and functionality.

    5. you have to try one to understand what I am wittering about.

  3. Pixie

    Had the pleasure of using one of theses amazingly crafted canoes of john’s at the weekend. The craftsmanship and skill that is put into all of john’s creations is outstanding. It’s handles beautiful in the water and can take on the wind . Really stable and strong boat. Thank you John

  4. Michael Hansen

    My Shearwater 16 was a present to myself for my 60th birthday. That was 7 years ago. She has weathered well and becomes more beautiful with every season. Needless to say I take care of her and for me that’s part of the fun. I’ve paddled since I was a kid. Over the years I’ve had many canoes of every kind. Most of them were good canoes in one way or another and I learned something from every one of them. John Wilkinson’s Shearwater canoe is absolutely the best all round canoe I’ve ever had – by a nautical mile. I can still portage her by myself too. If she ever gets too heavy for me, and the day will come if I don’t paddle into the sunset first, I’ll just have to get one of John’s skin on frame canoes.

  5. Paul Green

    Visited John prior to purchasing a Shearwater 14 although i was a novice he very patient and explained every detail of what i would be getting and was not disappointed with what i collected a few months later super quality.
    Have now had many hours of enjoyment on the water.

  6. Valkyrie1

    Reviews Prior to August 2020
    Uploaded by Valkyrie
    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. I have named my Shearwater Mist – She 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 – 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.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *