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About our Vessels

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo is a fast-growing giant grass.  It takes one year for a bamboo pole to grow to full height.  In certain species, it can grow as fast as 4 feet in a day and to a height of 120 feet! Bamboo is also sustainably harvested.  When a bamboo pole is cut, the plant does not die. It continues to produce new poles the following year.

Red Cedar, used in traditional wood strip canoes has a Janka (hardness) rating of 900 while natural bamboo has a rating of 1380.  That’s harder than White Oak: 1360 and Red Oak: 1290.

Bamboo’s beauty, flexibility, and high strength to weight ratio make it an ideal material for constructing beautiful, highly durable and light weight canoe hulls.  Hulls designed to be used, and more significantly hulls that are mindful of the legacy we create.

Our Rob Roy Inspired Shape

Our current production line model is a solo, dual-blade paddle canoe based on the Rob Roy, a form created by Englishman John MacGregor in the mid 1800’s.  After an expedition to North America, MacGregor took inspiration from the native Birch bark canoes and the Eskimo skin-kayak.  Our adaptation of this classic form in Bamboo is our gesture to continuing that legacy of cross-cultural innovation.  Our model paddles like a kayak and is an efficient light weight cruiser.  We find that it tracks extremely well on the open windy lakes of Kansas.

Length - 12’-11”

Beam - 27”

Depth - 14”

Weight - 36 lbs.

The carbon fiber skid plate

Taking advantage of modern materials, our carbon fiber skid plate gives our boats an extra layer of composite durability.  Used in football helmets and race car bodies, this light, highly rigid and abrasion resistant material is a beautiful compliment to the natural beauty of our blond bamboo hulls. 

The poem that graces our hulls

When our founder’s parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in 1968, his grandfather penned a wall scroll in traditional calligraphy for his father to take with him.  It hangs in our founders home in Lawrence, Kansas.  The poem is a blessing and is filled with sage advice, it reads:

Charge forth brave stallion into the unknown

Learn, grow and become something new

Find comfort and ease in newness

Find home through the passage of time

May the cycle of the sun remind you of your roots and traditions

Respect and remember your heritage

For your ancestors smile and bless you

May our future generations shine brightly

We feel the poem embraces a spirit of exploration appropriate to anyone’s journey and embodies our endeavor to innovate and contribute to the long tradition and heritage of quality canoe building, but we fully welcome conversations about other inspirational ideas for detailing our hulls.

The finer points that make a beautiful vessel

Our model is constructed with traditional Ash wood stems. Our decks also pick up the subtle texturing of this beautiful domestic hardwood.  Traditional brass stem bands protect the bow and stern stems from the all too common grounding onto shore, while brass painter rings make lashing to a car top a joy.  Our walnut gunwales, thwart and deck trim are another domestic hardwood detail intended to contrast the beautiful blond hull. 

Please contact us for more information on how to become the owner of a vessel worthy of becoming an heirloom.