The “Bellinger” Easy to Build Canoe

Can be built ready to hit the water in 5 days!

  • Only need basic hand tools & a cordless drill to cut out & drill holes.
    Bellinger Canoe

    Bellinger Canoe - Brian the man behind the canoe plan

  • Approximately half the weight of most fibreglass Canoes.
  • The Bellinger only needs three separate panel shapes to make the ten panels required.
  • Comes with;
    • Full size plans enabling the builder to trace out the panels and cut with a Hand saw.
    • Comprehensive Step By Step Instructions with illustrations that enables people with no boat building skills to make a canoe.
    • We also recommend you purchase the Bote-Cote Boat Building Book, for the cost of $5.

Check out Camp Creative, where you can build your own Bellinger over five days!

Recently featured in the AWBF Update!

Please click play below to watch from go to finish a Stitch N Glue Bellinger Canoe build in THREE days! Students from four High School competed for Best Build under the Tutalige of Brian Jones the designer of the Bellinger canoe. This Video was taken during the Sydney Classic & Wooden Boat Festival in April 2016.

The ‘Bellinger’ is a stitch and glue plywood canoe that is easily cut out then stitched together with plastic cable ties or copper wire & fastened with Bote Cote Epoxy Resin thickened with Gluing & Filleting Filler to provide a thick paste.  The result is a 3.6-4.2m canoe with approximately 750mm beam that is light enough to be carried by one adult.  It will handle two (2) adults easily, is very stable, and is easy to paddle.

Finished Bellinger Canoe - Proud Owners

The design is ideal as a family project, schools or youth projects, either as a one student per canoe project, or as a group effort.  The Bellinger has been built by Year 10 students from Great Lakes College and Bulahdelah Central School, and by 12 to 70 year olds at Camp Creative, Bellingen. Several plans have been sold to individuals around Australia as a result of an article in Australia Amateur Boat Builder titled "Teacher 2 Designer".

The Bellinger requires two (2) sheets of 4mm AA or BB Face Plywood in either Marine or Exterior, which can be supplied by DRIVE Marine Service or  your local hardware store.  If you want a Clear finish or minimum weight we recommend using Gaboon Marine Plywood which has a good finish on both sides.


The Bellinger canoe is built from plans that are then set out onto each sheet of ply, once marked out & cut out the builder has three (3) templates which are simply traced around to form the other seven (7) panels.  Only hand tools & a cordless drill are required, though a sander makes quick work of the final sanding & finishing.
The ‘Bellinger’ plans are available in two versions;-

  • Length – 4.2 metres (14 Feet)  -  Shortened Version  - 3.6 metres (12 Feet)
  • Beam -    750mm (2’ 5”)  -  Shortened Version  - 700mm (2’ 3”)
  • Weight -  Approx. 20.0kg – in Tropical Hardwood Marine Ply or 18 kg in Gaboon Plywood
  • Cost - Plans & Instructions - $50.00. / Construction Kit -  Bote Cote, Filler, etc as per Materials List - $295.00
    • Note:-    Plywood, timber strips, Acetone & other items which are expensive to freight are not included in the Construction Kit.  We have listed them in the Materials List as they should be easy to get from your local Hardware Store.
    • Note:-    Paint prices are not included.  We recommend using AQUACOTE Water Based Topcoat.




The “Bellinger” Canoe Material List

The following is the Material List for items you will buy in the Construction Kit  to build your canoe.

  • 2 x 4.0mm Hardwood Marine Plywood - 3 ply - A bond - B-B Veneer Grade - BS1088 2440x1220mm.
  • 3 Ltr Bote-Cote Epoxy Resin Kit with Standard Hardener.
    • Note:  If you want a clear finish you will need to use Non Yellowing Hardener.
  • 250ml Timber Preservative & Reactive Diluent Additive (TPRDA).
  • 4 Litre Tub of Filleting & Gluing Filler.
  • 36 metres 50mm wide x 150grm Biaxial Woven (Plain Weave) Tape for Stitch n Glue boat building.
  • 3 x 250ml Reusable Measure Cups.
  • 5 x Little Ripper 100mm Mohair Roller Covers.
  • 4 x 50mm Economy Brush - disposable low cost brush with plain wooden handle.
  • 20 x Tongue Depressors Wooden, Premium Grade.
  • 1 x 10 metre roll of Copper Wire.
  • 30 x Silicon Bronze Screws – 8G x 25mm long.

Note:  You should also consider painting your canoe if it is going to spend considerable time outside as Epoxy has no UV resistance.  We recommend the Aquacote Water based Topcoat Paints.  If leaving as a clear finish then Aquacote Clear over the Bote Cote.  This will be extra cost and estimated you will need 2 litres.  It is worth purchasing contrasting colours and painting the inside a different colour to the outside of the hull.

Figure 2 – High School students canoes at Forster 2014DRIVE Marine also supplies an accessories kit which includes a Centre Brace, Screws, Cable Ties, 2 x Nose Blocks & Cable Ties as shown in the picture below:


Additional items you can purchase from us or your local hardware store:

  • 1 x roll of masking tape.
  • Cardboard or plastic sheeting.
  • Gunwales – 25mm x 19mm Tassie Oak, Radiata Pine or Hoop Pine – 2 x 4.3 metres long.
  • Inwales – 25mm x 12mm Tassie Oak, Radiata Pine or Hoop Pine – 2 x 4.3 metres long.
  • Beam Spreaders and Seat Supports – 45 x 19mm Tassie Oak, Radiata Pine or
  • Hoop Pine – 6 metres long.
  • Sandpaper in various grades.
  • Disposable gloves.

Note:  Our prices are competitive with the major hardware stores.  If you want us to provide all of your building gear, we are happy to provide you with a quote including freight.

Here is what one of our customers has said

"During a 2 week period over Christmas 2014 I built a Bellinger canoe with my 2 sons, at the recommendation of Dave from DRIVE Marine Services. I wanted a project that was simple to follow and fun to build. The Bellinger most certainly was both of these things and more.

We all learned a lot and the sense of satisfaction on launching was priceless, the boys telling all the other kids at the lake of their build. I ordered all items for the build through Dave, they arrived promptly, in the right quantities, and are great quality.

We have had a ball paddling the Bellinger. It take our family of 4 easily with camping gear and we've had a great time exploring the local waterways. Best of all the bellinger is light! I can easily lift it on and off the roof of my car by myself, making a quick evening paddle much more appealing than lugging heavy sea kayaks.

Thanks again for the recommendation Dave, we love the Bellinger."

Click here to see the Bellinger Canoe detailed information.

More Information:

Click on the Below Image to Watch Channel Seven's Coverage on The Bellinger Build Program in late 2016!

canoes on channel 7