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Has The Interest In Wood/canvas Wained?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Dan Lindberg, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I read with interest some of the recent comments about flagging WCHA membership and possible decreased interest in wood/canvas canoes and canoes in general.

    And then sense I have an add for a canoe on the web site I scrolled down the list of canoe for sale.
    There seemed to be a lot that have been there for a long time at very high prices, and even some at what I'd consider fair prices.

    Do any of these canoes ever sell? Is there still a market for arguably high end canoes?

    I also have an add on the local c-list, with zero responses so far.

    Just curious what others think.

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, my feeling is that interest in wooden canoes is clearly much less than it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s era. Adirondack stuff in general was hot then. The overall antique market seems to have gone very cold now. Canoes have always been seasonal and this is the beginning of the typical low interest period. There will always be a market for the very high end canoes but it is getting smaller. As Tim Hewitt said at many years ago, "If your goal is to make money on a canoe, go into another hobby, you'll not likely make any here."

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  3. goldencub

    goldencub Carpenter

    Unfortunately Dan, I think you're right about decreased interest. Not just for canoes, but for woodie station wagons, wood and fabric airplanes and almost anything that requires routine care and maintenance on the part of the owner. Today, people under age 45 or so might comment on "how nice that looks", but most of them who might buy will farm the maintenance out to specialty shops and are able/willing to pay the cost of that luxury. Rollin Thurlow posts that he has about two years-worth of backordered work. I wonder what the ages are of those owners?

    The younger set today seem to much prefer high tech new over-the-top stuff. Kevlar water craft so thin-skinned that you can see the bottom of the pond. And a canoe is so old-fashioned! We want kayaks on our car-top racks (mounted beside the family trail bikes). And how 'bout those cool stand-up paddle boards? Yea, man - I want a couple of those! And after a couple of years, we can cart them off to the dump and buy something brand new and upscale.

    As for prices, those of us with a W/C canoe that we've maintained, or who might own a 1939 Ford station wagon in great shape, tend to think we have something of great monetary value. But that value is only to only the very few people who might cherish ownership of the object. And as time passes, there are fewer and fewer such people - the average person has long since lost interest in old stuff (and that includes your family's silver tray and water pitcher!) Sad, but true. Al D
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