CEDAR PLANK VERSUS CEDAR STRIP CANOES
Confusion is the word here. Many people refer to any canoe made of wood as a cedar strip and treat them accordingly. I will try to explain the difference between the two.
CEDAR STRIP CANOES
This canoe is made over a form using 1 cedar strips nailed to ½ oak ribs. Copper nails are usually used. A lot of these canoes were built in the early 1900s and were finely crafted and finished with several coats of varnish inside and out. The only downside of this boat, was that it had to be soaked up. This means that, as finely crafted as it was and varnished to help seal and finish the wood, the canoe usually took in some water until the cedar wood did its thing and swelled like other woods when submerged in water. As the cedar swelled it closed all the gaps between the planking that were not visible to the eye. This process could take up to a week or so to completely seal the canoe. With the added water to the wood, this would of course, make the canoe heavier.
Now, with the initial soak up done, the canoe could be paddled and enjoyed without getting wet inside. The only thing to remember, is that, the canoe has to remain in the water to be dry inside. Like everything else, as the canoe ages, the ability to soak up the water lessens and therefore one has to expect a little moisture to seep in.
CEDAR PLANK-CANVAS COVERED
This canoe is also made over a form. Thin, 5/16 cedar planks that are 3 - 4 in width are nailed to cedar ribs that are approximately 2 in width and about 1/4 thick. Brass tacks are usually used in this application. The sheathed hull is then sanded, varnished and a heavy weight canvas is stretched onto the hull and tacked into place. The process of filling the weave of the canvas is then done. Once the canoe is painted it now ready to be paddled. The water proof canvas will usually last 20 - 25 years if it is taken care of.
The canvas is the waterproofing agent. You do not try to soak this type of canoe as it will damage the thin planking by warping which will show bumps through the canvas and your once smooth hull will look like a washboard.