You're currently on the Canadian/International site. US customers visit bearmountainboats.com 🇺🇸

Rice Lake Rowing Skiff by Joe Paterson, Peterborough, ON Canada

By Joe Paterson

In my youth, I spent many wonderful days paddling the Muskoka Lakes and Algonquin Park. From these experiences I often dreamed of owning a canoe and in later life, of building a canoe. My chance came on a trip to Port Carling where I bought the 16" Bear Mountain Canoe Model Kit. It proved to be a most satisfying small project, but I still wanted a full size canoe. In my retirement years, we moved to the Peterborough area and I took the opportunity to visit the Bear Mountain Boat shop. Here was the answer to those dreams. I shortly after spent a great week with Ted, building two kayaks. I was hooked ! However, the practicality of building and owning a canoe came into question my advancing years and less than flexible knees. The Rice lake Rowing Skiff was the answer. I could row a boat, but not paddle a canoe. So I bought the plans for the circa 1890's Rice Lake Rowing Skiff from Ted. Our property has a fairly dense growth of white cedar and since I have been working as a volunteer, restoring the Hope Mill (circa 1835 saw mill) on the Indian River we cut, with the help of a good neighbour, logs which we then delivered to the Hope Mill to saw into planks. The planks were later ripped, planed and edged (bead & cove) at the Bear Mountain Shop. I was happy to be able to fit the boat building form into my shop and thus began many months of exercising the recently learned strip planking skills I learned with Ted. Without a doubt one of the most satisfying and demanding projects I had ever undertaken. The only material not from our property was the Sitka Spruce I obtained from BC to build the oars which are based on those built by the Peterborough Canoe Co. in the early 20th century. Ever summer on our family vacation, I have the pleasure of rowing my boat in the peaceful Rideau Lakes area, and reminisce on the happy coincidences that  resulted in achieving my early dreams. I am truly indebted to Ted and Joan for their help and advice on this project. Joe Paterson

Related Posts

Up the Cric - A Redbird Canoe by Jack Diffily, Azle, TX, USA
Up the Cric - A Redbird Canoe by Jack Diffily, Azle, TX, USA
By J.A. Diffily My canoe project got started in 2007 when I was working at the US Embassy in Togo in West Africa. On...
Read More
The 12 Month Canoe Season by Jean Gregoire, Notre-Dame des Pins, Quebec, Canada
The 12 Month Canoe Season by Jean Gregoire, Notre-Dame des Pins, Quebec, Canada
By Jean Gregoire My canoe season starts at the end of spring when I clean and wax my skis to store them for the summ...
Read More
My Love of Boats Began Early by Steve Ballew, Lavina, MI, USA
My Love of Boats Began Early by Steve Ballew, Lavina, MI, USA
By Steve Ballew My love of boats began early. I remember earning every waterfront merit badge that boy scout camp ha...
Read More