What is a Canavas Kayak?

Kayaking Memories

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The Canvas Kayak Website

"There is a tremendous satisfaction to be had from boating, and many possible ways of going afloat, canoeing offers something special in adventure and romance and particularly the satisfaction of being skipper of your own craft. That often misquoted bit by Water Rat about there being nothing half as much fun as simply messing about in boats is perfectly true, but there is even greater fun to be had out of messing about in a boat you have built yourself."

Percy Blandford, Canoes and Canoeing, 1962.

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Welcome to this website, dedicated to the canvas and wood kayaks popular in the 30's to 70's and still going strong today!

Below is a growing list of kayaks. If you have any information, memories or pictures please email them to me at

Last updated 12/07/11 - New Forum on Canvas Kayaks



Granta Folbot
Klepper Long Haul

Cockle Mark II

Cockle Mark II 1942


New Canvas Kayak Forum. Somewhere to ask questions, swap stories and find homes for unwanted Canvas Kayaks.

Wherever possible I have included further contact information where you can find out more about the kayaks or order plans if you want to build one of your own. For information on materials click here.

Also visit "A great resource for the consumer." But check mine out first :-)

Also see to buy a folding kayak in the UK

If you want to meet fellow canvas kayakers why not join The Historic Canoe and Kayak Association

Happy Paddling, Richard Mitchell


British Military Canoes of World War 2
320 Pages with 134 Photographs. Size 248x172mm
ISBN 978-1-84868-065-4
Filled with many rare and unpublished photographs, this publication contains a gripping tale. A tale about a most unusual mode of warfare wrapped up within a very human story. This story represents the first and only definitive work of the entire history and development of British military canoes during World War Two and much of the 'Most Secret' information within has never been revealed before.

The story is a celebration of those individuals, some of great fame like 'Blondie' Hasler and the other Cockleshell heroes, who have become part of canoe history. Many others will become accredited through this work; a product of real life testimonies within the stories of the commanders, inventors and designers. It tells of the epic journey of progress that canoe development took from Cornwall, all along the Southern English Coast, even to the tropical island of Ceylon.

Thousands of various marks of canoe were sent worldwide and used operationally, representing an entirely new facet of maritime military history and showing how clandestine warfare was conducted by the various Special Forces during World War Two, including the S.O.E. This 'Most Secret' endeavour used the code name 'Cockle' for the canoes. One such 'Cockle' was equally at ease below the water as it was above; the designer even suggested that it could be used as a carrier for an Atomic bomb.

The work is deserving of the description... 'Indispensable' and tells the dramatic story of the 'Cockles' and how these tiny canoes helped the Allied cause on almost every front.

Click here to download the complete synopsis (PDF - 104KB)