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Headwaters Canoes’ standard wood-canvas canoe construction can be customized to suit your personal interests, paddling ambitions and aesthetics. Starting with a basic foundation, we encourage you to consider custom options. We’re happy to guide you through all options to help you design the canoe of your dreams.  

The Basics

Standard construction includes: 

  • white cedar ribs and sheeting (planking)

  • white ash trim (decks, gunwales, seats, thwarts)

  • straight centre thwart

  • regular filler finished with enamel paint

  • standard weight wood components

  • seats are woven in durable nylon lacing in traditional babiche weave pattern

Grades of Construction:


No.1 Grade canoes use the finest select wood...

No.2 Grade canoes utilize wood which has smaller...

Bush Model is a nod to the working canoe in the...

Canvas Colour

Don’t feel restricted by the classic red or green canoe.  Many colours are available depending on the type of canvas filler selected. 

Butyrate Filler

Headwaters started using butyrate to fill and finish canvas-covered canoes over two decades ago. Extensive use shows that butyrate is a significant upgrade to standard wood-canvas canoe fillers, offering greater durability, ease of maintenance and significant weight savings compared to other options. It is available in a wide array of colours.

Ultralight Build

We can trim down components of the canoe, including gunwales, ribs and seats, to reduce overall weight. The ultralight option includes butyrate filler.  This option can reduce the weight of a finished canoe by up to 10 pounds, depending on the model.

Cherry Trim Package

Cherry outer gunwales, decks, thwarts and seats add a unique look to your wood-canvas canoe and save weight over the standard ash trim. Choose the full cherry package or mix and match cherry trim components to customize the look of your new canoe.