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Beautiful • Lightweight • High Performance • Wood Strip, Canoes and Kayaks
Aleut and Greenland inspired kayak designs
Outstanding Classic Canoe designs reflecting their native heritage
Tough • Functional • Wood-cored Fiberglass Boats
Handcrafted Custom Finished Boats
Featuring Building Plans and Kits for the home builder
If you love to paddle. These are the ultimate boats for you.
My boats are extremely light-weight, and take very little energy to paddle.
They respond quickly and handle unlike any boat you have ever paddled.
Their beauty will move you, even when you are not on the water.
If you stalk solitude, or wildlife. If you paddle for adventure, or fitness.
|Let me build a Custom Boat for you.|
Rob Macks designer/builder at Laughing Loon is the most innovative stripper designer in the world, pioneering modern stripper Baidarka designs and introducing, now standard strip building techniques, such as magnetic hatch covers, lightweight 3/16" strip use, hot-glue stapleless stripping, advanced transparent glass lay-ups, and heat gun strip bending.
In the last 25 years Rob has built more than 100 boats using the strip building method. With that much experience he knows how to build the highest quality boats. He knows how to make the home builders experience fun and easy. Rob's a great teacher too!
Photo below, Rob in Shooting Star kayak, Hendrick's Head, Maine.
I hope you can see my passion for Boatbuilding reflected in my designs
Designing and building these boats combines my deep love of the outdoors, especially water, my 66 years of experience in power boats, sail boats, wilderness canoeing, whitewater canoeing and sea kayaking, my training as an artist and sculptor, and my many years of metal, woodworking and design engineering.
I am compelled to build these small wonderful boats. My hands guide every moment of creation from rough boards to gleaming varnish. I personally devote months to the creation of each finished boat.
I'm proud to offer building plans for my designs and I receive photos and stories (my wife calls my love letters) from all over the world, from happy home builders.
Home builders have consistently found my plans, instruction books and instructional DVDs provide them with all the information they need to have fun building. Building one of these boats is probably the largest project people will ever take on. The photos of the boats built by home builders on these pages and my Laughing Loon Facebook pages are amazing!
I've built furniture, houses, jewelry and many things, but nothing has been more fun than building these boats.
I think you will agree if you build one.
Solo Portage set-up as tandem
Wee Robbie double paddle canoe
Why choose Laughing Loon designs and plans?
Laughing Loon boat designs are outstanding.
My designs have received awards at shows where the judges were boat builders.
Laughing Loon finished boats are of the highest craftsmanship and quality.
My building methods for the home builder are 3X easier than anyone else! See "Shop Tips" page for details.
And, my building instruction book is the most thorough.
Laughing Loon Building Plans
I reveal dozens of tricks to make strip building easier, more than any books on strip building I've seen, and I've seen them all.
Let me guide you through the strip building process and you will have fun!
Wood strip building is easy enough for a beginner and yet is also the choice of professionals. A boat is created by gluing wood strips, edge to edge, over hull forms called stations. The wood hull is then covered, inside and out, with transparent layers of fiberglass and epoxy. This allows the beauty of the wood to show through. Wood-strip building produces a wood cored fiberglass boat. The fiberglass and epoxy layers on both sides of the wood core create a stress skin panel, which is very rigid and strong. Such a hull does not need internal ribs for strength and can be very lightweight.
"The wood strip method of building allows me to design and build boats with complex hull shapes. I don't have to compromise my hull design to the limitations of a less flexible building material or to the convenience of a manufacturing technique. All my designs use the wood-strip building method."
Rob Macks- designer / builder,
Laughing Loon Canoes & Kayaks
For a sampling of the information I provide to make strip building easier!
Boats Built from Laughing Loon Plans
"You have an exceptional product!"
Mike Dye, Wisconsin
"Your directions were very easy to understand.
Everything worked well, with no problems."
Thomas Templeton, PA
"I did a lot of research on all things related to boat building before I started and I ran across your suggestions related to achieving a transparent lay-up for fiberglass. Your suggestions were significantly different than the instructions from (a major kit company) but the more coatings I did with epoxy, the more sense your suggestions made. So, I followed your suggestions as closely as I could and the results were impressive - completely transparent and only the slightest hint of the cloth weave. "
"Thank you for sharing your expertise. You can rest assured that others are using your ideas."
"How well written your plans are and how well thought out is the design.
George Bush, Oregon
Tigara (Norm calls his Panache) is a sweet boat, a tribute to your skill as a designer. She tracks beautifully and carries a big load..she is very easy to Eskimo roll.
Norm Sanders, Toss Head, NSW, Australia
Recently I had the opportunity to read a well established, West Coast designers instruction plans for building a kayak and I must say that your booklet is many heads above his for the information you supply for the customer and the manner in which you approach the whole process, and I'm greatly appreciative of your effort to make the whole endeavor a successful one."
Mucho grazias, Jim Gabrielle
Strip Building Classes
Sand and Fiberglass for a Beautiful Boat Video!
Rob shows you, how to sand your boat faster and easier than ever before.
Learn how to apply truly transparent fiberglass cloth to show off your beautiful wood boat.
Apply fancy veneer "On Lays" and apply multipul layers of fiberglass cloth invisibly.
Additional information to help you build a beautiful wood core fiberglass boat.
New Updated version
of Rob's Kayak Building Instruction Book!
This book comes with of all of Rob's Kayak Plans.
OR, buy it separately, and use it to build any designers stripper kayak, faster and easier.
All the great innovations Rob pioneered are included, such as stapleless stripping using hot glue, bending strips with a heat gun and magnetic hatch covers!
Buy the Laughing Loon Building Instruction Book for Kayaks for $25 plus shipping.
Rob Macks / owner / designer / janitor
Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks
344 Gardiner Rd.
Jefferson, Maine 04348
Visitors are welcome. Please call to set up an appointment.
I charge $35 an hour for my time and test paddling my designs in our pond, weather permitting.
“The obstacle is the path.” - Zen Proverb How do you make a hundred strip joints perfectly tight?
How do you remove every scratch and polish every square inch of your boat so it shines before varnish?
The number one question people ask me is, "How long does it take?"
Is our time too important to waste doing tedious tasks?
To use any tool well, you have to train your mind to focus, to be present.
The key to tackeling the biggest task is to focus on small parts, work in a tiny area where you will see quick success, complete the task in this area so you are done with it and move to the area.
You must control your mind. Be present. Focus on the task. And time will be suspended.
After all the years I've been doing this, this is the key, be present, focus. Fighting distractions, not thinking about what's next, or what happened earlier, but being present is a constant battle.
When you can focus, work goes easily. When your mind is present, time is suspended, and there are no accidents.
Ours brains run around like a troop of monkeys on a caffeine high.
Without control over your wondering attention, accidents happen and the best tools are worthless.
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Star / Shooting Star / North
Star / Ootek / Disko Bay / Georgian
Bay / Panache / Twin Star tandem / Plans
Canoe Designs / Solo Portage / Wee Robbie / Wee Vera / Wee Two / Canoe Plans / Kits / Paddles
Shop Tips / Stapleless Stripping / Hand Beveling / Transparent Lay-ups / Trips / Links
Contact Laughing Loon
© Copyright Rob Macks 1996
All information and images contained on these pages are the property of the originator. You may download anything for your personal enjoyment, but it shall not be used for personal gain without the written permission of the author, photographer, or artist.