The finished yoke.
With the end fittings installed so the yoke can be attached to the gunwales of the canoe, this is what the finished yoke looks like. (I don’t think you can beat the beauty of cherry wood.) Instead of probably $110 for the commercially created yoke with shipping cost and hardware, I probably have less than $10 in this, plus the satisfaction of creating it myself.
End clamp detail. To keep the bar from twisting and coming undone,
the outboard end is routed to grip the top of the gunwale, and the
inboard end is cut to sit over a brass key set into the step or post.
The yoke and pads fitted on Buffalo Gal, the Mohawk Odyssey 15.
Here’s something you may wish to consider if you haven’t already done so. In the lower left corner of the picture with the yoke in place on Buffalo Gal, you will see a bright orange sticker. This is a USCG “Vessel Identification Sticker for Canoe, Kayak, or Rowboat." The one I have on the boat is an earlier edition of the one pictured, but the function is the same. Before attaching the sticker to the boat, you should take an indelible marker and provide your name and a couple phone numbers. The rugged adhesive holds the vinyl sticker in place for years. The Coast Guard, along with Natural Resources departments and police agencies, have had problems for years with finding small craft sunk, stranded, or floating down a river with no identification on them. They don’t know if the boat has been stolen, if it simply floated away from the shore, or if it means that someone is in distress. Being able to establish ownership and contact someone with knowledge of why the boat may be where it was found, and if they know whether someone is supposed to be paddling with it, goes a long way to returning lost or stolen boats, or to initiate searches and rescues if there’s no apparent reasons why the paddler and boat have been separated. The USCG Auxiliary has had the stickers on hand in years past, so they may be the first place to find several free stickers for your craft.