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An Ontario Builder, but who?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by dogbrain, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    Hi, I picked up this canoe last week and am wondering if there are any guesses to who might have made it. I have exhausted my online search. The Lakefield decal on one of the decks is obviously wrong, and was placed there by a previous owner who I believe had mis-identified the maker. The canoe has no numbers or marks anywhere, unless they were sanded out at some point but that doesn't appear to be the case.

    The previous-previous owner thinks this canoe was made sometime in the 1960's. It originally had slat seats that were mounted to the gunwales with a horizontal rail instead of typical drops. It also had 3 thwarts and the front seat mounted far forward because it was apparently part of a summer camp inventory in northern Ontario. Overall, the canoe appears to be made as a utilitarian boat. The build quality is certainly a step below, although all fasteners are either brass or bronze. There are no broken ribs, but the canoe has a few ribs with creases in them from steam bending and weren't replaced. The canoe is in surprisingly good shape, having no rot in either stems, so it must have been very well taken care of. The canoe seems a bit heavier without canvas than my OT HW, but it does have a bit more wood in the construction and the hull seems to be quite saturated with oil.

    The canoe is 16' long overall and 36" wide at the widest part of the hull. Ribs are un-tapered and 1-7/8" wide, roughly 5/16" thick and spaced 1-1/8" apart. I can't tell if they are made of white cedar, but may be something else. Planking is 5/32" thick and 3-3/4" wide and is definitely western red cedar. Some of the planking and ribs are nice quality quarter sawn stock, while plank at the bilge area is flat sawn for some reason. Decks and thwarts are ash. I think the decks are original, but they appear to have been sanded heavily prior to refinish. Gunwales are some species of soft wood, spruce or fir and are built quite heavy being 1-1/16" high. Inwales are 15/16" thick and have a minimal bevel since the canoe has almost no tumblehome. Outwales are 7/8" wide.

    At center, the canoe is approximately 14-1/2" deep, and at the ends is 25" . The keel line is almost flat and raises only near the stems.

    I have my guess of what it might be, but any guesses from experienced WCHA members?

    Thanks, Mark

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  2. OP

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    One more picture. The plank next to the garboard plank on all 4 sides has this unique solution to filling in the curvature near the stems that might be helpful in identification.
    image1 (2).jpeg
  3. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    If I had to guess I’d say it’s a Langford built late 60s or 70s, judging by the strange grain and odd finish. Worked on one once won’t do another. They used bars for mounting seats. Could be any number of small builders I guess. Aluminum stembamds and lots of red oak is typical so may not be, unless 60s. Usually lots of steel too. Northlands are usually fiberglassed.
  4. OP

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    Langford was my guess too Andre.

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