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Thread: Selway Fisher Wren

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Selway Fisher Wren

    Maker's Spec

    Lenght: 15'10"

    Maker's Write Up
    The WREN is typical Canadian canoe built using the stitch and tape ply method. Her design was based upon an original Indian bark canoe and simplified for ply construction but without loosing the essence of her beautiful shape. She is very quick and simple to build (taking around 18 hours) and she has a length of 1510 (4.83m); and a beam of 33 (0.84m). 4, 5 or 6mm ply can be used giving an average weight of 45 lbs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Plans

    i have the plans for one of these,so later this year may build one?
    the things we do for love,paddle,paddle,then paddle some more

  3. #3


    I've just ordered the plans for one of these to include some special design to allow me to make it in two parts and bolt it together! I'll post a blog when I get the plans and make a start on it

  4. #4

    Default Wren plans

    Just recieved my plans today, all i have left to get is the ply, which i'm buying on friday, only one thing though i have two sets of plans the standard wren and a later 16 ft model which is slightly wider i'm going for the 15.10" earlier model, bit of a bugger though the plans are metric!!

  5. #5

    Default Completed lofting yesterday

    And i'm going to cut all the parts today! Glad i've got the lofting out of the way, as it was the most daunting part for me.

  6. #6

    Default Wren? Raven, prospector,etc plans?

    My son's still at school but he'd like to build one of these and I said i'd buy him the doings and offer advice (wherever i may obtain that from!)
    Has anyone got plans for one of these that they would lend him?
    Remember - 'An Angel smiles every time an X Box is turned off'

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    Hi Green Arrow,

    I'm building the 14' Raven and its pretty straightforward except everything seems to take me twice as long as I thought it would (may need to allow for this! ). The plans are bought for one off use I believe, with the legal requirement to pay Selway Fisher for any further boats built from any given set of plans. I don't know how much it is but I think it's cheaper than buying another set of plans. I'm sure someone more in the know will post a more accurate answer.

    Good luck with it, boatbuilding is addictive!


  8. #8

    Default 'Raven 14'

    Cheers Alan
    Funnily enough we've since decided to go for a Raven as my wife and son remembered the scary time we had on derwentwater with all of us in an Apache.
    I thought someone said that Selway doesn't mind you making more canoes as long as it's not for personal gain - but I wouldn't know for sure as I haven't seen the small print.
    I suppose I could get him the plans and if he builds a 10 ft 'pete-tong' I could pass the plans on and face the coming winter knowing that I'm sorted for kindling!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    I don't really find myself in a good position to write a review as the Wren is the only boat I have spent any real time in but I will add what I know.

    I built the wren using budget equipment where possible. The power tools used were jigsaw, belt and orbital sander and drill. It would have been possible without but a whole lot more tedious. Using 6mm exterior ply and polyester resin may have reduced life but bought the cost down to somewhere around 200. I also used tape on the exterior seams and skipped the fibreglass sheet. Construction itself was far simpler than predicted and too a certain extent many things could be bodged with only aesthetic problems. For example a messy bit of filling, as long as compacted tightly enough into the gap may look messy but still does the job.

    A year on the hull is showing little wear. After sliding the boat down a muddy bank to transfer from canal to river there has been some scratching through to wood but prior to that only the colour coat of paint has suffered. The plan this summer is to reinforce the whole bottom plank with remaining fibreglass tape.

    Hull Performance:
    All in all she has performed well as a first canoe. Used exclusively on tandem trips so far I have found her very dry and VERY stable. The secondary stability is phenomenal and she has yet to go over. Tracking seems good although the wind seems to take a lot of effect on the high sides.

    As I stated early I have little to compare to but the boat seems very heavy. I can just about manage her on my shoulders but it requires herculean effort and rough terrain is a no go. This is definitely a two man job for portages.

    Instructor at Ember Survival

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