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Can Someone Identify This Canoe?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Old_Paddler, May 9, 2018.

  1. Old_Paddler

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Another rescue. This one was sitting on a guy's porch for over 5 years partially disassembled.
    I acquired it from him because I really like the way it looked, brought it home and reassembled it - and like it even more.
    Not sure what it is - from the first photo he sent me I thought it was and OTCA because of the decks, but it obviously isn't.
    Length is @14' 6" maximum
    gunnel width @32"
    depth at center @12"
    slight tumblehome - which is what I really like
    The seats were attached by the brackets attached to the hull.
    More pictures available.

    It has the usual missing wood at the tips and 3 cracked ribs that could be back spliced.

    I had promised myself that I would NEVER restore another wooden canoe...then I saw this one sitting there neglected...

    20180507 (1).jpg
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    20180507 (28).jpg
    20180507 (27).jpg
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  2. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Any numbers on the inside stems?
  3. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    No numbering or any marks on the stems, I suspect that if there were at one time they got sanded down.
    20180507 (23).JPG
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Several Rushton-ish characteristics..thwarts, seat hangers, wide top board etc. Where was the canoe found? Does it have short heart shaped decks under the long decks (securing the inside rails). Width of the stem?
  5. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Stem about 1" wide at widest, tapers in.
    20180507 (18).jpg

    Nothing under the deck.
    20180507 (25).JPG

    Canoe was found in lower New York State, had come from upstate somewhere - not sure of location.
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Nice find -- sweet lines.
  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    The Rushton forms (including mine) were used outside of Canton by other builders after the factory closed. We all know of the canoes built in the Burg but very little is known (at least by me) about the boats built outside of Canton and in Potsdam. I've always expected to see Rushton like canoes that are from other makers. I've seen one. This could be another. The stems are another "tell".
    Are they elm.. and what woods are used on the rails and seat hangers? And the markings on the stem bands, can you clear up what they are?
    Those are clearly not IG long IG would have had an inside short heart decks and would have a deck frame constructed over the top, with two deck planks and a king plank.
    I saw a canoe with similar construction a few years ago at an auction near Syracuse. I could not identify it..the sellers said that it had come from a camp in Northern NY.
    It looks like a really nice boat to restore.
  8. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    This deck which looks pretty much identical to Russ's canoe, is from a well-marked IG (SN 5108).

    The stem profile is peculiar.

    Attached Files:

  9. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    A friend asked me about the combing compared to a Rushton he had a picture of.
    I am not a good judge.
    CanoeShow 013.jpg 20180507 (12).jpg
    CanoeShow 014.jpg
    20180507 (9).jpg
  10. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Different style deck. Not a direct comparison. Compare instead with the photo I posted in #8.
  11. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut


    Not sure what you mean by #8.
    Did you mean one of these from your site?
    Rushton Indian Girl.jpg

    Jim sent me those pictures for comparison.
    I am not very good at comparing features, that's why I posted here.

    Not really concerned with what it is, more out of curiosity at this point.

    Thank you,

    Attached Files:

  12. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Post #8 - each post in a thread is given a number that you can see along the right hand side.
  13. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    Thanks, never noticed that.
    It does look a lot like mine - at least to me.
    Would any additional pictures or measurements help?
    I know the torpedo bow is odd, did Rushton make any like that?
  14. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Not that I know of. That's why the uncertainty about whether it is a Rushton or not. Could be a special order, or as Mike suggested, built by a former employee on an IG mold after the factory closed, or ... ?
  15. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut

    I'm guessing yours is the answer, I am not good at identifying woods, will have to have Jim Clearwater look at that for me.
    One question, what does IG mean?

    I mostly wanted to make sure this wasn't a "really special" canoe before I attempted to restore it.
    I am NOT a craftsman and would really hate to screw up something that should be done by someone with the skills and patience I don't possess.
    It needed to be rescued, it hadn't been touched in 5 years and was partially disassembled and vulnerable on a front porch.
    The man who had it had never attempted to restore a I rescued it.

    The last canoe I rescued was the one of a kind Carleton Molitor which I passed on to Nick Dombrowski's brother. It would have been criminal for me to do a mediocre job on it.

    Thank you all for your help.
  16. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I looked at this canoe with Russ after he brought it home. He and I together noticed the several items that matched other well documented Rushton canoes. In particular what we noticed were the following:
    1. Wide sheer plank
    2. Seats mounted on cleats rather than hung from the gunwales
    3. The shape of the ends of the seat cleats
    4. The shape of the ends of the half ribs
    5. The shape/style of the thwarts
    6. The top edge of the planking is visible between the outwale and the rib tops not covered as on an Old Town and most others.
    The items missing that point away from Rushton is the profile of the stems, as Dan pointed out and the complete lack of markings – serial number, name plate or name stamped hardware. The lettering stamped on the stem band that Russ posted is not legible but there is one letter that is clearly readable – it’s either a ‘W’ or a ‘M’ depending on how you hold the stem band. No where in the word “Rushton” is there a “W’ or ‘M’. I also questioned the keel which is much thicker and heavier than is needed or which I would expect in a canoe this small. The combing in the picture of the Rushton Dan posted in #8 above has 11 screws, Russ’s canoe has only 7. The shape of the ends of the combing is similar on both but not exactly the same.

    The blue and red Rushton, pictures of which Russ posted, clearly show the similarity of the ends of the half ribs, shape of the seat cleats, shape of the thwarts and visible top edge of the planking.

    The one item not mentioned previously is the shape of the underside of the thwarts. On Russ’s canoe the bottom edges of the thwarts are chamfered not rounded like the top. It’s not clearly visible in the pics Russ posted. I don’t know how Rushton usually did it and I can’t say that I ever looked before.

    Someone above asked what woods were used. The inwales and thwarts are mahogany. Outwales are likely spruce. Decks look like maple to me. Stems are closed grain hardwood of some sort.

    So, after all this, if I were a betting man I would put my money on Rushton but because I’m not I will coach my wager by saying it’s “Rushton-ish” and be happy with that.

  17. OP

    Old_Paddler Canoe nut


    Great summary - as always I appreciate your help.

    Now it will sit safely in my garage until I decide if I really have it in me to do another restoration or should I pass it on to someone more competent.
    I swore I would never do another one...I'm a paddler - not a craftsman and I have a fleet of Royalex canoes and my bucket list wood canoe already.

    The important thing is that the canoe was rescued - and whether I restore it - or someone more competent does it, the canoe was saved.

    Thanks again to all.
  18. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    St Lawrence canoe certainly comes to mind.
  19. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    "The Burg".....Ogdensburg... St. Lawrence Boat Works
    The stems are puzzling...the width and wood are right but Whistle Wings or Indian Girls (that I've seen) don't have that stem shape.
    Yet the signs are there that suggest Rushton-ish (can't get to Rushton yet, sorry) including everything previously noted and even a similar deck (thanks Dan, I had not see that one) that is very similar to this one.
    Would the mystery builder please stand up?
  20. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Mike, Dan, .etal,

    What is the correct shape of the thwart underside of an IG? Rounded, chamfered, flat? Inquiring minds need to know. Who owns the blue & red canoe pictured above? That canoe causes men to get weak in the knees and women to swoon!


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