In 1850 False Creek was a tidal estuary and Chinatown was a bramble, thick with terns, sandpipers, and the call of red-winged blackbirds. Tidal flats connected False Creek with Burrard Inlet, and the tributaries of the Fraser formed a maze of meandering tributaries. Old growth cedar stood heavy on the North Shore and inland waterways were accessible only through tangled brush and muddy banks.
The Greenhorn is simple. Designed to be built of 3/16’s cedar or basswood with laminated gunnels and single thwart she will weigh less than 30 lbs. The distinctive tumble home will mean that a paddler can stay anchored in her contoured seat and easily deploy any required control strokes. With moderate rocker fore and aft she will pivot with ease from her central cockpit. With a slightly flatter bottom, nervous paddlers will find she is a little less twitchy than some other solo boats, and those with more experience will appreciate her versatility.
At 15 feet, The Greenhorn will find her ideal paddler somewhere between 150 and 180 lbs, with a maximum displacement of 250 lbs. Lighter paddlers may find that tracking will require a more pronounced corrective stroke. By extending her length modestly she can be built to carry a load, and by reducing her length a tad, she can be made to fit paddlers as light as 120 lbs. And while she is designed to be paddled from a seated position with a traditional stroke, those who wish otherwise can use a double paddle or install a kneeling thwart with pads.
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The first of The Greenhorns will be constructed of cedar recovered from hydro poles taken from concession roads in Perth County and milled by Royce Riehl and his son in GadsHill. Like all of Ashes’ Boats she will have a story to tell. Her namesake is The Greenhorn Cafe, a cafe owned and operated by Walter Ledaca and Ganga Jolicoeur on Nicola Street in Vancouver. Two other cedar boats were commissioned at the same time, and a fourth will be built of Basswood and offered on spec.