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I'm not sure about the background to Jeff's canoe but I can tell it is a canoe that has been on some great trips! It is a beautifully crafted Swift canoe that is so light! 


Manufacturer's Description: 

Our first design, the Kipawa, was the forerunner of a new breed of fast, seaworthy and maneuverable tripping canoes designed to meet the modern tripper's requirements. While the Kipawa offers unprecedented performance to experienced paddlers, it also provides a secure, big-boat feeling for novices. Few canoes can bring out the best in your paddling skills so well as the Kipawa


Length: 16`-6"
Width: 36"
Centre Depth: 14"
Bow / Stern Height: 22" / 19"
Weight: 58 lb. (Swiftech)
Weight: 49 lb. (Expedition Kevlar)
Weight: 45 lb. (Ultralight Kevlar)
Capacity: 360-510 lb.

Jeff contacted me about a gunwale problem. An accident occurred while transporting the canoe and resulted in a crack on the inside starboard gunwale.


What appears to be a small crack is actually a tricky fix for a number of reasons. First, the gunwale is broken at the yoke. This can pose a problem for further cracking especially when lifting and portaging. Second, there is some debris in the crack which doesn't allow the wood to fit properly back in place. Third, a number of the screws have bent because of the force applied as a result of the accident. This means futher investigation of both gunwales will be required to determine any other damage.

The Fix

With the help of my neighbour Pat, we performed a bit of wood dentistry and cleaned out the crack so that the wood fit back in a comfortable position.


Next, we drilled some holes along the crack line where we injected marine glue that will hold the wood in place. 

I will add a brass brace under the starboard gunwale (near the break) to provide extra support. 

IMG_0462 2.JPG

Glue and clamp




Stain and Varnish


Brass plate inserted to add extra support


In addition to the crack, Jeff asked if I could put a brass stem plate on the stern of the canoe deck to help prevent damage to the decks when portaging. I had some old brass stems from another canoe (I tend to hoard) and so I shined them up, made a template, and formed a piece to fit over the end of the deck. Although brass is fairly malleable it took 3 tries to get the angles to make a proper fit. 


I am grateful for the opportunity to work on canoes such as Jeff's Swift. The lines of this Swift are pure. The wooden gunwales only help to enhance those lines and given the opportunity to repair those lines is amazing!  It provides the chance to think things through, slow down and enjoy the process. Thanks, Jeff! I hope all your future adventures with this Swift are full of strong paddles, calm waters and the wind at your back.

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