wooden boat kit

The Classic Cajun Pirogue
Dear Uncle John

(click images to enlarge)

I recently finished my pirogue and wanted to send you some pictures.  I LOVE this little boat!  Iíve wanted to build a boat since before I even got into woodworking and I really donít know why it took me so long to finally do it.  Well, now Iíve done it and Iím hooked.  This definitely will not be the last boat I build. 

Your plans were clear and straightforward and made it easy for a first time boat builder like myself to build something Iím extremely proud of.  Iím going to do a few more things to it but I just couldnít wait to get it on the water.  Iíll be adding inwales this winter as well as a few other modifications.  Iím still working on the chairs from your plans but a beach chair has worked out as a nice substitute until Iím finished with those.  I used luan plywood for the bottom and sides and poplar for the ribs and stems.  I used 4 ribs instead of 3 because I wanted it to be a little bit wider.  I glassed the entire inside and outside with 4oz fiberglass.  Instead of the scarf joints for the sides and bottom I just did butt joints and joined them together with fiberglass.  I had one big problem where a scarf joint on a rub rail came apart (you can see the repair in the complete photo album) but I was able to repair it without too much of a problem.  It did make me nervous enough to add screws to the other rub rail scarf joints though. The total length is 15í6Ē and weighs in at 52lbs.

 The complete photo album that includes many steps of the build is hereÖ http://s664.photobucket.com/albums/vv10/bluegrasslover/Pirogue%20Build/

 Thanks for the great plans!


We just built a Pirogue, I called you once about a keel and you were helpful.  We launched in the James River Virginia, and it did real well until I put the whole family in.  Then it got very exciting.  My youngest started to scream "we going to sink" and I feared she was right.  I threw the dog out (call PETA) and we made it back to shore.  So we'll just have to build another.  My wife (keeper of the credit card) will order one today for Salem VA.  But building another got me thinking, and that process is usually problematic.  This thing would fly with oar locks, Your seats work great and they were stabilizing.

Andy Johnson

Uncle John,
I have just about finished building my first pirogue.  The kit and seat plans that I purchased from you were great.  The guys at Southernpaddler.com were really helpful as well.  Thanks so much for such a great product.  I'm sure that my family and me will enjoy the pirogue for years to come.  Here's some pics of the boat.
Thanks again,

My buddy Harold and I have thoroughly enjoyed building our boat from your plans.  Here are some pictures and a story I wrote about our adventure.

Thanks for all this and this wonderful website.

David Lanzillotti

click here for David's story and photos

I've been duck hunting from a bright yellow kayak and I finally got tired of trying to hide the boat from the ducks. I thought about building a boat a few years ago but wasnít sure yet because I had never done it. I finally got around to doing it but I did my homework first. I read probably every post on a boat building forum, asked some questions, then asked some more, and even after I started I asked some more questions. I learned a lot during the building process and I never wanted to stop building. As I started to get closer to the end I wanted the process to go faster so I could be finished and use it, but I made myself take the time and finish it right. I had a great time building this boat and really liked the look before I painted her, so I'll probably end up building another one down the road.


Casey                                                               click here for more photos

click here for more photos

 I found a little cedar mill in our area and they had some nice 12 foot two-by-sixes so I bought three of them and ripped enough strips to make a twelve-foot pirogue.  This is the second one I have built (the first one was a 16-foot plywood)  I can carry this one in the back of my pickup holding her down with four bungee cords and when I get to the lake, she's light enough to carry with one hand!  When I'm in town I get a lot of compliments about the boat, and questions about how to build one.  I tell them, just Google Uncle John Pirogue, and you will find all the info you need!"


 Maurie Nord, Summerland, BC, Canada.


(click images to enlarge)

As you can see, I added thwarts because I have grand kids and they bang around, giving a need for a little more structure. I built 2 small lattices to spread the load, getting in and out. A small floatation cushion makes a good seat. My pirogue weighs 35#. I'm 77 and I have no trouble getting it over my head (the seat backs and lattices are loose).

good boat building to you!

best regards,

Robert Ross

(click to enlarge)

Just wanted to let you know I finished my Cajun boat and it is great and so was building it.  So easy.  I have had it out three times now and enjoy it very much. I have the entire building sequence on my website at www.martindalewoodworking.com - just scroll down to Cajun boat and double click on that tab. Thanks for the great plans and also I bought the plans for the folding seat and made two of them.  Nice!  RAKA was excellent as my source for fiber glass and resin.

 Thanks again,

Doug Martindale
Burlington, Wisconsin

 (click to enlarge)

Uncle John,
I have been meaning to send you pictures from my Pirogue that I built June 2007. I'm not much of a story teller so I will let the picture speak for them selves. I will say that I am now hooked on boat building and have plans to build a canoe and a flats boats in the future. I found your plans easy to follow and I had no problem building the craft with simple power tools and hand tools.

I did take a few extra steps in the build and fiberglass the inside and outside of the craft and adding a very good varnish to it.

Thanks again for the fun!

Glenn Whittington II
Lady Lake, FL


She's done! And it's purtty. Thanks for all the help. I attached one pic, but for my blog with more pics visit www.gulfpaddler.blogspot.com  

Cameron Bettis



Grant MacLaren has included an inboard electric trolling motor.
Visit his site to see the most complete set of building photos we've seen.


More photos? click here!

Send us your photos so that we can include you.


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