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Home » Canoe Plans » Recreational Canoe Plans



Merrimac: A Native American term meaning "swift water".

Merrimac Canoe


Overall Length

4.7 m

Max. Beam

91.5 cm
Beam at sheer line
75 cm
Height at bow & stern
50 cm
Height at mid ship
34 cm
Rocker fore & aft
5 cm
Estimated weight using Okoume plywood.
55-65 lbs.
25-30 k.
Recommended weight on board
170 - 820 lbs.
77 - 372 k.

*Weight of hull: Hull weight will depend on skill of the builder and chosen build materials. Achieving the lowest overall weight will require the best materials and a highly skilled builder.

The Merrimac is designed to be more maneuverable than our other recreational canoe, The Townsend.

With the moderate rocker, slight V-bottom, and tumble home side panels, moving this canoe through turns and currents will be easy and fun. The side panels also require less leaning to reach the water allowing for easier and more stable paddling.

The Merrimac can be made from 3 sheets of 4' x 8' (1.2m x 2.4m) plywood. One additional sheet (actually less than 1/2 sheet) will be required to make temporary frames. These frames can be made from any quality of plywood so don't spend your money on 4th sheet of high-grade material.

Merrimac Canoe

The frames are spaced so the builder has the option of making them permanent and construct 1 or 2 compartments located fore and aft. The compartments can be left hollow, filled with buoyancy foam, or be used with an access hatch for dry storage. The compartments will provide enough reserve floatation to make the canoe unsinkable.

Merrimac Canoe Storage

The frames can be completely omitted from the final hull construction by using mini-decks (also known as breasthooks) at the bows.

Merrimac Canoe

The required gunnels provide the needed stiffness to the hull and allow you to hang seats or mount fishing rod holders.

One thwart is required at midship. Check out our Free Portage Yolk Plans. You'll have the thwart and a way to carry your canoe all in one piece.

Add bench seats, cane seats, or kneel right on the floor and you're ready to go. Check out our Customer Service Forum to see some different seating ideas.

Merrimac Canoe

Built with the stitch-and-glue method, our designs require no complicated techniques. Everything can be done with simple hand tools.

We make great efforts to keep our plans simple. No experience reading blue prints required, no base lines to refer back to, no adding up dimensions to get the one you want. Everything is laid out for you in an easy to follow, step by step manner.

A first time builder who carefully follows the detailed instructions provided in the plans could build this canoe with good results.

Always wear your Personal Floatation Device!

Bill of Materials

Plywood: 3 sheets
Epoxy Resin (With 15% waste factor)1.84 Gallons (7 liters)
Fiberglass Tape69 Yards (63 meters)
Wood Flour 1.5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Paint/Primer75 ft2 (7 sq meters) per coat

*Additional material for fairing will be required. Material type and amount will vary depending on builders' taste and skill level.

Click here for a downloadable Bill of Materials. To open this file in a separate window, right-click and then choose "open in new window". You will need the free version Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this file.

-Click here for info about purchasing epoxy and fiberglass.


For epoxy and fiberglass, starting price will be about $240 plus shipping in the United States depending on the brand and vendor you choose. This doesn't include items such as varnish, brushes, rollers, mixing sticks, gloves, etc. See our list of trusted suppliers.


The hull will required about 40-65 hours to complete. You can save about 10-15 hours with a precut kit. These times are rough estimates and will vary according to the skill of the builder. Please note these are "hands on" hours and do not include the time waiting for epoxy to cure.


Visit our Customer Service Forum to ask questions or see what others are saying about this design.

Plans Packing List:
  • Simple to follow, detailed drawings of each part with all dimensions required to layout and cut from flat plywood sheets.
  • Nesting drawings for the best plywood layout with all panels clearly labeled.
  • Drawings list
    • Plan and Profile
    • Nesting
    • Panel Drawings on A size paper (11" x 17")
    • Frames and Bulkheads
    • Quality Assurance Drawings
  • Specific building manual for this boat.
  • Bill Of Materials.

- All dimensions are shown in metric and U.S. Standard units.

Always wear your Personal Floatation Device!

Price: $45.00

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