The Squam Lakes Association (SLA) welcomes back renowned boat builder Bill Thomas of Bill Thomas Woodworking, LLC, as he instructs a week-long "Fox" canoe boat building course, August 19th-25th.
“The Fox is a decked double paddle canoe, a boat intended for protected waters along the coast, for lakes and for all those appealing backwaters and creeks” Bill Thomas writes. It is a “near perfect boat for Squam Lake” as Bill puts it. “The Fox canoe had its genesis on an evening paddle I took on Squam Lake in 2007. For this lake a stable, open cockpit boat seemed just right for exploring the shorelines and visiting the islands,” Thomas says, crediting, in part, Squam Lake as the inspiration for the Fox’s design.
With an 80” cockpit, Fox is a grand boat for hunting and fishing with a dog or young child seated forward of the paddler. Fox boast two accessible watertight compartments, which add flotation and dry gear storage. There is ample room for a camping kit. A rotating seat back and caned seat insure all day paddling comfort. The canoe is 14’7” long with a beam of 30”; the finished weight is just over 40 pounds.
“Decked double canoes are not as common as they once where and wooden versions are nearly a thing of the past” states Thomas. It is a great pleasure for the SLA to be able to offer such a unique class, especially one that promotes enjoying the nature of Squam Lake in a low impact manner and teaches the lost skill of boat building.
Last year, a total of five people participated in the class – three of whom traveled all the way from Texas to participate! All five students came away with a great deal of boat building knowledge, new found skills, and a treasured family heirloom.
Last year's workshop participants making progress on their boats. Everyone left with an heirloom quality canoe.
Photo by Bill Thomas