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MCA Building Plans


The MCA Canoe Builders Book is a comprehensive guide to strip-canoe building with lots of photographs and drawings.

The MCA offers a variety of canoe and kayak plans as well as the building book. To select the right design for yourself, consider the primary use of the boat. Will it be for wilderness trips, or day outings, or racing; for rivers or for lakes; with what kind of load? Pick the plan best suited for your own use. Plans are folded flat for shipping. The canoe plans are for cedar strip construction and one of the kayak plans is for tack-and-tape plywood assembly. 
  • Each separate canoe or kayak plan is $30 ($20 for MCA members) plus applicable MN sales tax and shipping and handling charges 
  • MCA Builders Book "Revised Edition" is $30 ($27 for members) plus applicable MN sales tax and shipping and handling charges 

Plans can be purchased by contacting the Building Director (contact info here).  All monetary transactions are in US currency and prices are subject to change.


Available Plans


Each boat listed is described briefly, and measurements are given for the overall length, maximum width or beam, width at the 4" waterline, depth at the center, and bow height.

MCA Tandem Canoes

  • Guide: The first of the MCA designs and still popular after all these years! Its traditional design is like most people's idea of a canoe. It has a relatively flat bottom, tumblehome sides, moderately high ends, slightly recurved stems, a graceful sheer line, and can be built in three different lengths. It's a good family tripper and camping canoe. Recommended for first time builders by Bob Brown, one of the MCA's greatest boat builders. Designed by A.C. Momsen; length 16', 17', or 18'1/2", beam 33", waterline 31", depth 12 3/8", bow height 19"
  • Osprey: A redesigned guide with the tumblehome removed, the stems plumb rather than recurved, flare added to the hull, but the rocker of the keel line remains the same. Designed by Mike Zapf, length 17', beam 33", waterline 32", depth 12", bow height 19"
  • BWCA Cruiser: This is an asymmetrical design with the widest part of the hull being behind the center of the boat. It has some tumblehome, slight rocker, flatter bottom, shallow draft, and has high initial stability. Design Team: Karl Neal Ketter, Irvin (Buzz) Peterson, Chris Berne, Frank Wattunen. Length 18' beam 35" waterline 32" depth 11" bow height 18"
  • Explorer: This is a shallow arched hull with recurved ends, no rocker, and no tumblehome. It can be built in two lengths and makes for tripping or race training. Designed by Karl Neal Ketter. Beam 33", waterline 27"
  • Modified Explorer: The Explorer with plumb ends. Can be built in different lengths or depths for a higher volume boat. length 17' or 18', beam 34", waterline 28", depth 12", bow height 18"
  • Kootney Tandem: A 17' cruising canoe. Other details available on inquiry.
  • USCA Racer: This meets the 4 & 32 U.S Canoe Association measurement rule for citizen class racing; it can be used as a performance tripping hull. Slightly asymmetrical, very slight rocker, relatively flat bottom hull. Designed by Ron Burley; length 18' 6" beam 33" waterline 31" depth 11" bow height 15". Hull depth can be varied. 

MCA Solo Boats

  • Kootney Solo Canoe: For single cruising. Length 15' 6" Designed by Bruce Kunz Other details on request.
  • Sandpiper: A small solo canoe. Shallow arch hull with no rocker and moderate tumblehome; for the smaller paddler or child. Designed by Shirley Kysilko; length 12' 4" beam 26" waterline 25" depth 10" bow height 16" (Not currently available, may be available in the future.)

Sea Kayaks

  • Polar Star: A solo sea kayak that blends beauty with function. It has an asymmetrical hull with the cockpit significantly aft of the center. This gives the best hull efficiency, a dry ride, and a neutral hull in terms of side wind. Slightly rounded hull cross-sections amidships flaring to a V hull at the ends; Length 18', Width 22", Has 1" bow rocker and 1" stern rocker, with a 16" waterline at 200lb load. Designed by Ray Klebba.
  • Simplicity: This is a "tack-and-tape" boat that is very stable on the water. It can be built using only three sheets of marine or other thin plywood in about a third the time needed for wood strip The plans include drawings and building instructions. Design by Bob Brown. Length 16' width 27".  Inquire about availability.
  • Wilson sea kayak: A solo boat. Inquire for more details.