Frank Turner and his family—wife Rena and sons Daniel and John—live in Savannah, Georgia, where he is a petroleum dispensing systems technician (he keeps gas pumps in working order) and an avid and prolific woodworker. Over the years, he had built a lot of furniture, but, he says, “there are only so many coffee tables and bookshelves you can stuff into one house.” He had grown tired of furniture making, all straight lines and right angles, and thought making a canoe would provide new and engaging challenges and produce something his whole family could enjoy.In May 2014, Frank began work on a 16′ Prospector from Bear Mountain Boats. He bought the plans rather than a kit, eager to try his hand at milling the strips, and picked up cedar from the lumber yard. Building the canoe from boards to boat took 18 months, working in the garage shop on and off; it was christened THE BEAST.

Photographs courtesy of the Turner family

John, Daniel, and Frank (left to right) pose proudly with THE BEAST, the first of Frank's canoes. A skull over crossed paddles adorns the bow of an otherwise undecorated hull. Each subsequent canoe would get fancier.

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