Frequently Asked Questions

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Pirogue Questions
Ordering Questions

What is a pirogue?

A pirogue is a canoe-like water craft originally used by the Cajuns in the swamps of Louisiana. They were designed to get into extremely shallow water, like swamps and marshes, but can also be used in lakes or rivers. Pirogues were invented by some of the craftiest outdoorsman, the Cajuns, and hunters and fisherman still use them today.

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What are the pirogue's specifications?

Length 13' - 9"
Beam 3'
Sides 11"

The Cajun Secret Pirogue is 13'-9" in length. This length is big enough to hold two men, yet still small enough to navigate even the most remote backwaters. At the pirogue's widest point, it is 3 feet. The sides are 11 inches high.

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How is the pirogue constructed?

Basically, the pirogue is constructed in a 3 step process. The sides are cut out, they are attached to the bow stems, and the bottom is attached. Check out pictures of the pirogue being constructed here. There are other small steps such as attaching chines, adding seats, trim, etc., but some of these are optional.

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What type of plywood is used?

Depending on how much you want to spend, you have a few options when buying the plywood. The cheapest way to go is to "scarf" or join two pieces of smaller plywood to create a larger piece. Click here for an explanation on how this is done. Click here to view pictures of the scarfing process. This is done with exterior grade 1/4" plywood, which can be bought at any home improvement center or lumber yard. If you use two pine pieces, the cost will be about $30, fir pieces will be about $50. If you decide not to scarf two pieces, a 14' sheet of marine quality plywood will cost approx. $98. This can be ordered from Robichaux's Lumber Yard (see below).

Robichaux's Lumber Company in Raceland, Louisiana
Phone: 985-447-7035

(shipping and handling, approx. $50)

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What advantages does a pirogue offer over a canoe?

Unlike canoes, pirogues have more of a flat bottom which allows them to get in water as shallow as a couple inches, even with a heavy load. This allows them to get to fishing holes and hunting spots where an ordinary canoe cannot go. The pirogue is more stealthy and low profile than a canoe. The two removable bench seats are another advantage that the pirogue has. One or both of the seats can be removed, depending on your needs, and the space is freed up for storage, etc. The Cajun Secret Pirogue is also made of cheap and easy-to-find materials, which can be assembled easily.

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How much does it cost to build one?

The estimated cost of building the pirogue is approximately $125 - $300, depending on if fiberglass is used, quality of wood, etc. For the one long piece of plywood needed, you can scarf your own out of two pieces of 1/4" exterior grade plywood like you would find at your local hardware store. The more expensive option would be to buy a 14' piece of marine plywood from a place like Robichaux's. Scarfing is much more economical, and two sheets of plywood will cost between $30 and $60, depending on what kind of plywood is used. A 14' sheet of marine plywood from Robichaux's runs about $98. For more information on the plywood, click here. For more information on scarfing, click here.

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What can I do with my pirogue?

The better question is, "What CAN'T I do with my pirogue?!" The pirogue's amazing versatility makes for a large number of applications. If you do any type of hunting or fishing, you must own a pirogue. Is the river too shallow or too narrow to navigate? Not for the Cajun Secret Pirogue. This boat can almost float in mud! Do you need to get the boat to a remote put-in spot? The light weight of the pirogue makes it easy for one man to drag or for two men to carry.

If you are not an outdoorsman but have always dreamed of building your own boat, the Cajun Secret Pirogue is a dream come true. It is a simple yet solid design, and also very affordable. The plans are easy to understand and include many large diagrams. The boat can be built in a short period of time. The design is also very elegant, not like some pirogues I have seen. Your friends and family will be impressed with such a good looking boat, but you will know that it was deceptively simple to build.

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What do customers have to say about the pirogue?

"I want to thank you for a quality set of plans that have led to the making of a beautiful and functional boat. I am an avid canoeist and sailor. This spring I had a fellow canoeist and friend from South Africa come to my home on the coast of North Carolina for a six week stay. In addition to our "on the water" activities we decided in advance to build a small boat while he was here. After considerable cruising of web sites we decided on your plans based on another builders recommendation and on the appearance of your finished boat...(read the rest)"

Thomas Hill, Stonewall, NC

"This thing is contagious! I have the typical battery of boats, but not one that I can take when I have a few hours to kill with the flyrod, and throw in or on top of the truck. The cost of your boat saves a lot of dollars that can be used for duck hunting and fishing stuff. Take care, Gene."

Gene Walk, Alabama

"I have been debating building your pirogue or a stitch and glue canoe. The canoe would only allow one person(me) to get in, so I think I would prefer your boat, since someone else could go with me in it. I think your design is excellent, and the construction looks very easy."

Jeff Jouett, Texas

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How much are the plans?

The plans are priced very reasonably at $19.95. This is the lowest price you will find a quality set of plans for anywhere. On top of that, I give free shipping on every order!

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What is included in the plans?

The plans include detailed text instructions, a materials list and full page diagrams. They give simple, step-by-step directions that make it very easy to follow. You don't need to know any special woodworking lingo or have advanced math skills to be able to successfully build this pirogue.

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How do I order a set of plans?

To order a set of plans, simply click on the "order" link in navigation bar on the left-hand side of every page on this site. Or scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the "Order Now" text.

Ordering with a credit card:

At the order page, click the "Buy Now" button. This will direct you to our credit card processing company, CCNow. Select your shipping, and click the "Pay and Finish" button at the bottom of the page. Confirm your order information and click "Secure Checkout". This will ensure maximum security when processing your personal information. Clicking "Standard Checkout" is not insecure, but "Secure Checkout" provides the highest level of protection. Now, fill in your address and credit card information, and click "Submit This Order" at the bottom of the page.

Ordering with a personal check or money order:

At the order page, scroll down to my name and address. Make the check out for the appropriate amount depending on where you live.

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Is my credit card information secure?

The credit card processing company, PayPal, is a large company with state-of-the-art encryption technology. With the method that they use for processing, there is no safer way to buy online at this time.

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How long will it take for my plans to arrive?

If you order online, your order will be sent the next business day. So depending on where you live, an online order will take anywhere from 3-5 days to arrive at your doorstep. Checks will obviously take longer, due to the time the check is in the mail.

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Do you accept PayPal?

If you would prefer to use Pay Pal instead of our normal credit card ordering, please contact me( via email.

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Order cajun pirogue plans and let the good times roll!