A Cinderella Story  
By Martin Welby - Cantebury, New Zealand

Hi Chuck

I thought I’d send you a description on how I made some cheap outriggers to turn my canoe into a makeshift rowing skiff. A while ago I built a Cinderella canoe to the free plans on Duckworks from Gavin Atkin. It was built as a cheap way for me to explore the local lakes, and for something for the kids to play in when we went to the beach. A cheaper alternative to the plastic sit-on-top kayaks, and fun to build as well.

The canoe went together very well, although I was a little disappointed with the fairness of the seams. It was the first time I’d used 4mm ply, and I now know that you need to be a lot more careful with it than 6mm ply. I put a couple of watertight compartments in, and made the seat so it could be moved along the length, for solo, or paddling with a passenger.

I used the canoe as built for a while, but never really got used to that tippy feeling. The children found it too unstable to give them confidence, and in retrospect, at 6 and 4yrs old, I probably built this 5 years too early for them, but rationality doesn’t come into reasons behind boatbuilding!

So I decided to adapt it into a rowing skiff.

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I had plenty of offcuts of ply around the garage, and made up some out riggers from them.

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Each side is made up of two pieces that clamp together with 3 galvanised bolts

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I was fortunate that I hadn’t put inwales on the canoe, and this made it easier (although I’m sure they could still be made to fit, even with inwales).

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I also didn’t mind putting a couple of holes through the hull, as the boat was only ever built as a knockabout, and rubber grommets seal the holes if I’m paddling.

I have to say I am very pleased with the result.

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A pair of oars add a lot to the stability, and the thing travels very well through the water, creating barely a ripple - all from a few hours work on some scraps taking up room in the shed.