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Idea on price and repair cost on this canoe

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Nate Page, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Nate Page

    Nate Page New Member

    my Neighbor is selling a 1930s wood and canvas canoe. It’s 16’ and couldn’t find a brand but I’d guess old town (if they were around in the 30s) solely based my location. The wood looks in good shape but the canvas is all cracked in ridged up so I guess it would need to be replaced. It would float I’d guess. I didn’t think to take better pictures.

    1200$ sounds crazy especially for something needing a lot of work. And can you strip the canvas and fiberglass it? Any ideas on the fair price for it and to fix it?


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  2. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Could be a nice boat BUT need more pics , will get fast responses and will be able to decide quickly.. seems a lot of money right now. Good luck
  3. OP
    Nate Page

    Nate Page New Member

    Thanks. I’ll grab more pictures next time I swing by. It’s been sitting a while so I’ll have time
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the deck shape and solid wood seats indicate that it is probably a Robertson from Auburndale, Massachusetts on the Charles River and not an Old Town. See for some pictures of a similar canoe. The information at should help answer your valuation questions. I agree with dtdcanoes that the current price seems very optimistic. You can strip the canvas and replace it with fiberglass but this is generally not recommended for a variety of reasons. The information at Process.pdf can give you some idea of the estimated costs to pay for a professional restoration. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do,

    Red Merle likes this.
  5. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Agreed with Benson - looks like a Charles River-area canoe. And from the two photos you posted, it looks to be in excellent condition. Price: the sign does say "OBO"...
  6. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Michael is right about the condition. From what we can see it looks like it's in very nice shape.
    You are correct. The price is extremely ambitious.
    It's always a challenge to slice someone's asking price by over half. In a world where the sellers may not understand the current or restored value and lack an appreciation of restoration costs it's pretty common. You can see some of this in this sites classifieds. The cost to build or buy a new canoe does not directly translate to the value of an older one. It is also the case that the cost of restoration is often greater than the value of the restored craft. Except for exceptional craft selling price should not attempt to recover those costs. Most of us restore to use the craft with no hope of recouping our cost and labor. For this boat if you bought it for the right price and did the work yourself you would end up pretty close to a breakeven on the final value. That is not always the case.
  7. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Better get you pictures sooner than later because if the rest of us figure out where it's at you may miss out!
    Looking forward to more pics.
    Dan Lindberg and MGC like this.
  8. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    You can fiberglass it, but most folks here would think you should not. Lots of discussion on these forums on the topic -- check them out before you take that step on this, or any other w/c canoe.
  9. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    And reduce the value of whatever you pay for it by at least half..........or more. What makes that boat interesting is that it appears to be easily restorable.
  10. Red Merle

    Red Merle Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A full recanvas job is right around $400-500 for filler, paint, canvas, fasteners, etc. I just bought a boat in similar condition for $600 and I am in the middle of the end stages of a "driver" quality restoration. Add needing new planking of ribs, stems, etc. and then you need a way to steam material which adds time and material cost. If you have a normal set of woodworking tools and a place to refurbish the boat, this could be a score.

    Looks like a nice boat and depending on the future plans, I could still see some meat on the bone if you are flipping it and don't over value your time or you make a very solid timeline for completion that does take your time into consideration.

    That said, old boats in good to great condition aren't going down in value and if you just want something to use and hang on to, the current price isn't too bad, but I would not pay that much. As long as you maintain it, it will likely be worth what you would have into it for the foreseeable future.
  11. Red Merle

    Red Merle Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yeah, just don't fiberglass it. I would never buy a wood canvas boat that had been fiberglassed. I am not even sure I would take one for free. It just ruins them in my opinion.
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    The repair cost will be substantially different if you do it yourself versus having it done professionally.
    The cost that Red Merle describes for canvas, fill and paint is material cost only. Not the cost to have it done professionally.
    Red Merle and MGC like this.
  13. Red Merle

    Red Merle Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yeah, I assumed he would do it himself. :)

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