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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.
If paddling is an obsession, or path to spiritual peace.
Take your experience to the next level, in one of these truly unique watercraft.

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.

Laughing Loon tandem canoe

the new kayak Magic

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!

Go to my -Shop Tips , Stapleless Stripping -and -Transparent Lay-ups pages

Follow these links to see my Canoes

Canoe Building Plans or Kits

Follow these links to see my Kayaks

Kayak Building Plans or Kits

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."

David Peters

"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

Laughing Loon
Strip Building Classes

Follow this link for 2019 dates and details.

New! New! New!
Magnetic Hatches and Cockpit Coaming,
and Vanishing too! Video!

Rob shows you, how to create invisible rare earth Magnetic Hatches and a beautiful hardwood Cockpit Coaming PLUS details how to make your boat shine by applying a flawless varnish finish.

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.

Start watching the "Building Ootek" 12 part series, "From Boards to Beach", above!

Watch Laughing Loon in Acadia video below!

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Canoe Designs / Laughing Loon Tandem Canoe / Solo Portage / Wee Robbie / Wee Vera / Wee Two / Canoe Plans / Kits / Paddles

Shop Tips / Stapleless Stripping / Hand Beveling / Transparent Lay-ups / Trips / Links

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© 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.