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Layne Smith - Hiawatha

Posted on March 23 2012

I first saw a woodstrip canoe on top of the van of the guy who lives up the street. His son and my son played together and one day my son came home and asked me why couldn't build a canoe. I had been secretly admiring that boat so his comment was all I needed. If he could do it surely I could. I checked Canoecraft out of the library but pretty soon had to buy a copy. From start to finish it took me 2 1/2 years to build that canoe. During that time period my wife had a life threatening illness, I changed jobs, we had a new baby son, and I accepted a very time consuming calling in my church. The story of the canoe runs all through it. I finished the last coat of finish in November and rushed home from work to take it to the nearest water and give it a trial run. It was a sweet moment. My sons and I floated the Bear River, Willard Bay and the Logan River till July of the following year In a moment of temporary insanity I decided to try an exceptionally rough section of river in Logan Canyon and after swamping that canoe and about half a mile of half submerged bashing against rocks I managed to get it to the bank. That poor canoe was seriously damaged. I shed some tears but building it has at least given me the know how to attempt the repairs. But that has only wet my appetite to build another canoe. I have just printed the plans for another canoe. Having had that boat on the water makes me want to have another boat ready for this summer. Thanks for the plans and the book. Layne Smith, Logan, Utah

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