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Canoecraft on the Water Winner: Lauren & Reid's Bob's Special


Continuing our series of featured posts on each entrant to the Canoecraft on the Water Video Contest, it's time to showcase Lauren Pacho and Reid Shaeffer's third-place entry. Lauren and Reid impressed us with the immediacy of their video - it was actually filmed on launch day - and some beautiful woodworking touches. Keep an eye out for those malachite inlay decks and matching paddles.

There's an interesting story behind Lauren and Reid's decision to build a canoe, too. Here it is in Lauren's own words:

"Reid and I moved to Ohio from Gainesville, FL where we were avid fossil hunters, spending hours combing the creek beds for megalodon shark teeth. When we came to Ohio, we knew that fossil hunting was no longer an option, so we needed a new task to capture our imagination and (mildly) obsess over. Enter Bob's Special. Building a canoe is no small task, but with a copy of Canoecraft in hand at all times and multiple reruns of Ted's Youtube videos, we were able to create our very own functional cedar masterpiece. We started with no tools, no workshop, and no skills. We spent months outside carefully stripping three different colors of cedar strips using the staple-less technique to create a flawless finish. As winter was a new concept to our Floridian-selves, we did not account for the dropping temperatures right as we were ready to fiberglass and varnish, so Bob moved inside like a new member of the family. Our stems and trim were made from ash for strength and durability with dark walnut scuppers as contrasting accents. Perhaps the most recognizable feature of our boat is the malachite inlays intertwined on the decks to create a feeling of motion as you paddle Bob over the water. The paracord seats are woven from a matching dark green in a matter that mimics waves.

Our maiden voyage, featured in this film, took place in Hocking Hills, OH on Christmas Eve. We were unable to make it home to our families for the holidays, but being able to take our canoe out on the water was the best Christmas present we could have given ourselves. In building our canoe, we gained new skills, an entire workshop of tools now housed in our living room, and most importantly we learned a lot about ourselves and about each other. While we could be happy with Bob alone, we have both been bitten by the cedar strip bug and have already purchased our copy of Kayakcraft. We can't wait to get started on our next project and hope to encourage others to build a boat of their own."

Lauren and Reid's efforts have earned them a model canoe kit (retail value: $125) and a signed copy of Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman. Congraluations and thanks again to both builders! Watch their entry in the embedded player above, or check out the whole playlist on YouTube.