Build Your Own Fox Double Paddle Canoe with Bill Thomas


This class takes place during two consecutive weekends: Friday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 24th, and Friday, March 1st – Sunday, March 3rd.


Tuition: $750 (10% discount for Lowell’s Boat Shop Members) 

The cost for the kit is $1,375 for both members and non-members (no member discount).

Total class cost: Non Member: $2,125   Member: $2,050

$500 non-refundable deposit is required at time of registration. Students are required to call or stop at Lowell’s to pay balance at least two weeks before the class start date (this avoids unnecessary online registration fees).  A minimum of four students is required to run this class; we reserve the right to cancel due to under-enrollment.

This class, offered over two consecutive three-day weekends (February 22-24 and March 1-3), will be taught by the boat’s designer Bill Thomas. Students will each have an assembled boat, ready for final sanding and finishing, at the end of the class.

Class begins Friday morning at 8:30am with a brief orientation and overview of what we will accomplish during class time. We’ll work until about 6:00 each evening, and should finish early in the afternoon on Sunday, March 3. Family-built boats or builders with partners are welcome.

Fox is a decked double paddle canoe, a boat intended for protected waters along the coast and for mountain lakes. With an 80” long cockpit, Fox is a grand boat for hunting, fishing and tripping with a dog or young child seated forward of the paddler. Two accessible watertight compartments add flotation and dry gear storage. There’s ample room for a camping kit. A rotating seat back and caned seat insure all day paddling comfort. Fox is 14’7” long with a beam of 30″; the finished weight is just over 40 pounds. For more information please follow this link:

Building the Fox to a high standard takes about 80 hours, including paint and varnish. In a six-day building class the boats are assembled and ready to transport, but students usually finish the epoxy coating, sanding and painting at home. (Once they have the boats home, students will need to provide their own sandpaper, paint, varnish and finishing supplies.) At the end of class all students will have Bill Thomas’s contact information and access to the 21-part building video on the Fox design.

In a review featured in Wooden Boats annual Small Boats issue Mike O’Brien commented on Fox’s handling. “Fox appears to have just the right amount of directional stability. It likes to keep going where we point it, yet it turns easily and predictably.” I’m not sure what more to ask for in a small boat.


Tools and Woodworking: the Basic Basics with Bill Thomas


Saturday, November 17th – Sunday November 18th.


In this introduction to tools and woodworking we’ll begin with the most basic skills and concepts, and then build on that foundation. If you’re intimidated by tools and the idea of working with your hands, don’t worry — you can do this!

We’ll meet for two sessions with Saturday being a bit longer than Sunday. We’ll focus on understanding and using the common hand tools needed for home repair and basic woodworking projects. We will explore what tools to buy and which ones to avoid. We’ll use simple power tools, drills and fasteners. The class will also learn to sharpen basic edge tools and discuss which wood is appropriate for your repairs and projects. We’ll also talk about glue and which one to have on hand. In the process of covering all this we’ll practice these new skills as each student builds a basic toolbox to help them organize the tools they have or will be buying.

The pace in the class will be relaxed and catered to the students’ needs and questions, including time to explore ideas and particular repair and woodworking issues. If there is interest, we can build on what we learn in this class with a series of more advanced classes where we design and then build more projects.