Colin Henwood is a boatbuilder with 40 years experience of building, restoring and caring for wooden boats on the Thames.

Concentrating on high quality craftsmanship the workshop can take boats up to 25ft in length.

In addition to boat building Colin is a fully insured marine surveyor and consultant specialising in wooden boats. As well as pre-purchase and insurance surveys, he is frequently commissioned to provide advice on all aspects of wooden boat ownership.

When time permits Colin writes for WaterCraft Magazine, runs practical courses at The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis and at the Sylva Foundation Wood Centre where his workshop is based.

2 WORKSHOPS: Make a Canoe Paddle at Sylva Foundation

During this two-day course with award-winning boat builder Colin Henwood, you will learn how to shape a single canoe paddle from Ash using hand tools

  • Working with ash – our superior native hardwood.
  • Using traditional skills and tools you will produce a complex shape with hand and eye.
  • Learn how to finish your smooth and elegant design.
  • Take home a unique and usable canoe paddle ready for a varnish or an oil finish.
  • Tools and materials included (if you wish to bring your own tools please discuss this with the tutor).

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February 2019
9.00am to 5.00pm

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April, 2019
9.00am to 5.00pm

Venue: Our new purpose-built Education Barn at the Sylva Wood Centre, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QT


What people are saying about this course

“I can’t think of anything that could have improved a perfect couple of days – I will signing up for another one soon.” Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Colin was fantastic; his attention to detail and support ensured we all left with a paddle I think even he was happy with! Student on Paddle making course, January 2018.

Lady Emma video

Here is the Thames motor canoe “Lady Emma” in her element. She was built 92 years ago by Andrews of Maidenhead and I finished re-building her in June this year. The hull is planked in Mahogany copper fastened to steam bent Oak frames, the decks and fit-out are also in Mahogany with an Alaskan Yellow Cedar floor. Instead of the little petrol engine she had when she was built in 1926 she now has a silent 2Kw electric motor and a battery pack so she can cruise all day, peacefully.

“Lady Emma” is probably one of the most beautiful, elegant motor canoes I have ever come across. The hull has been completely re-built with only the original planking above the waterline and some of the keel remaining. I have interpreted the 1920’s style to accommodate the modern propulsion system and given some subtle detail to the layout and style of the seating and controls.

The video is the work of Michael English, helped by my good friend Peter Jones who provided the “aircraft carrier” for Mikes drone operations. The special music has been composed and played by my daughter Megan Henwood, it was recorded at Henwood Studios.

Mike English's website
Megan Henwood's website
Henwood Studios Website

A book about the story of re-building “Lady Emma”, called “Lady Emma’s Diary” by Martin Preston, will be published soon.