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Chestnut model ID?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by patrick corry, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A photo of the stem number is: 9271 15 Ex L

    Owner (seller) says it measures 15'8" x 36". I don't know if the length measurement is from stem band to stem band at the tip of the gunwales, or from the most distant part of the stem curves. Width may be from outside to outside of the outwales, rather than the planking width.

    I suspect it would be considered a 16' boat, and the Chestnut info I have lists the Pal at 34". It also lists the Pal as being built with one thwart.

    Your thoughts? fullsizeoutput_16b5.jpeg

    140619807_1848385161979140_2535726475950704956_o.jpg 139203149_1848382775312712_565889843952957034_o.jpg 139709286_1848382778646045_5529042942092963930_o.jpg 140298188_1848382781979378_7447281177948153343_o.jpg 140419352_1848382765312713_3220700005348297696_o.jpg 141026009_1848382771979379_2287980939151046889_o.jpg
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    I'd say its a Bob's Special.
  3. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I thought that as well, and my info indicates that the Bob's has a "tapered keel", while the Pal was built with "flat shoe keel". Another point 'against' the Bob's ID is that both charts list that model as 15'. The canoe in question measures 15'8" according to the owner. Both models are listed at 12" depth. See the attached charts. The second chart is , I think, more recent.

    The Bob's would be more desirable for me, as it's listed at 55 lbs! Nicer for solo tripping!


    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    The things that argue for it being a Bob's is that it has a single thwart, heart-shaped decks, and looks to be quite beamy. That's not a shoe keel shown in your photos. Also, dimensions given in Chestnut catalogs are quite unreliable.
  5. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yes Dan, I referenced the keel on the boat specifically because it wasn't a shoe keel. Thanks for your input.
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Looks like my Bob’s.
    Rib thickness will help you confirm.
    If it is a Bob’s, ribs will be 1/4” thick
  7. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Its a Bobs. As Dan said, dimensions vary greatly from catalogs, and moreover there were many boats built that deviated due to special orders from customers, or changes in/unavailability of, materials. Most recently i dropped a Chum to a depth of 11.5" with new rails, from its build depth of 13.5.
  8. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks all!
  9. Graham

    Graham Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I think you'll find even "Ca Ira", Trudeau's canoe at the CCM has a discrepancy in the tag, where it says it's a 16 foot canoe, but is what's catalogued as a 15 foot 50lb Special. You'll also find that like yours, it's a very early example with that version of the Chestnut decal believed to indicate a pre-fire build.
  10. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I'm curious to know when the decks might have changed from the heart shape to radiused. Or, perhaps the heart shape was reserved for the 1st grade boats over lesser grades?
  11. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    The heart-shaped deck was always* used on the Bob's Special.

    The telling features of prewar Chestnuts are the lack of wide cant ribs and the shape of the stem at its tip (left wide pre-fire, bevelled to the tip post-fire).

    * Always - a word meaning without exception, until the exceptions show up. :)
  12. Graham

    Graham Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Dan, just some observations.

    There are examples where it appears the wide cant ribs were used before the 1921 fire, one early one is the sponson canoe at the CCM that is dated to 1911 by a rental plaque on the bow deck. It has the 3+inch wide cant ribs if I remember properly. I have photos somewhere. Even Ca Ira has wide cant ribs (photo attached) and it's supposed to be 1918. And I have an early cruiser from that era that has 2 inch inch cant ribs (not wide, not narrow).

    It also appears that the pleasure canoes used the heart shaped decks, crowned and undercut, and the cruisers used the thumbnails, also crowned and undercut, from very early on. This can be verified in the early catalogues. Later the heart shaped decks appeared on the cruisers too.

    I'm not sure all the early boats had the notched stems, certainly the pleasure boats did appear to.

    It's a good reason to get back to the canoe museum when things open up.

    That early decal was another pre-21 indicator, although Dick P. said it's possible they had some stock they used up later.

    The closed gunwale canoes were also pretty much gone by the mid teens, and the open gunwales took over very quickly after about 1910, even though it appears they could be special ordered for a while longer.

    As you said, this isn't proof, these observations may have other explanations. It doesn't help that it's not easy to get verifiable build dates on Chestnuts ! OT style records would have been nice.

    Attached Files:

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