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Is this worth the cost?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by drbill, May 30, 2019.

  1. drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hey everyone,

    New to the forum so thanks for the help in advance. Depending on how this goes I may become a more active member. I have had a canoe offered to me by a long time mentor. It is an Old Town Octa, 16 foot, from 1950. He had intended a full restoration but with advancing age he is unable to complete it. He has had this canoe for 15 years stored safely. He takes it out a couple of times a year and tell me it is usable and has used it with his wife many time. I have attached the documents which I know adds to the value. I have yet to see the boat and want to be prepared to say yes if all looks good. I've been told the wood is all in good condition but the canvas sould use replacing.

    He is asking $300
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    drbill likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I instantly thought it seemed like a good deal also so thank you Benson. I am thinking hobby project for me and the kids. I had to promise not to cut it half for bookshelves lol!!
     
  4. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Unless it has gobs of bondo and putty all over it, it sounds like a fair price. Do it with your kids they'll enjoy it.
     
    drbill likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you David. I am on my way now to look at it so fingers crossed!
     
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Welcome to the WCHA.

    Replacing a canvas is more-or-less routine maintenance on a w/c canoe -- like replacing old tires on a car. It is not as difficult a task as it may sometimes seem -- a good project with the kids. Lots of folks on these forums have done it.

    In addition to asking questions here, there are three good sources of information about canoe maintenance/repair/ restoration that you would do well to get, or at least look at before starting --

    The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance
    by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok

    Building the Maine Guide Canoe by Jerry Stelmok

    This Old Canoe: How To Restore Your Wood-Canvas Canoe, by Mike Elliott

    The first is often called the "bible" of canoe repair, restoration, and maintenance; the second is an excellent study of the wooden/canvas canoe and its construction. The third is the most recently published and has been well received.

    If you get the canoe, show us some pictures -- as bought, and as you do the canvas replacement and painting. We love pictures here.
     
    drbill likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So, here's the update. Pics attached. Small spliton the front edge of the keel in the one pick that seems easy to repair with some steam and epoxy. Some canvas decay around the gunwales. Canvas has enough life to repaint if I decided to hold off a year or two on recanvasing I think. Seats are gone. He cannot find them anymore. Ribs all look perfect from inside and I didn't notice any that had been broken. Still worth the $300??

    Thank again fellas!!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, it still seems like a good deal. A water test will quickly tell you if the canvas needs to be replaced immediately. Most of the canvas issues appear to be above the water line. You can make new seats or check with a local restorer from the list at http://www.wcha.org/builders-and-suppliers-directory to see if they have any extras to sell. Most restorers end up with spares from other canoes that couldn't be saved. Have fun,

    Benson
     
    drbill likes this.
  9. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    dr. I don't think the build sheet will add any value, and in fact it may well only document the boat is not very old. I think the boat really has not been stored well with no seats and it appears there are thwarts missing. I sound awful , already, but the boat does need a full resto and a good deal of woodwork with new stems, outwales probably a keel , probably some ribs, full canvas . I know 300 today is nothing to some but there are many choices of boats this age. That said, as the Politicians say, it is a good starter candidate and your passion deserves the earliest expression, me thinks.
    So, good luck and I wouldn't spend too much time readying it for some temporary excursions, rather get on with the resto. Dave
     
    drbill likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dtd....You don't sound awful at all. I appreciate the honest response. The boat was used last season so I know it floats well. The seller is a long time friend and mentor of mine whom I trust. If by stem you mean the leading edge of the keel then it is a single, full length piece. It does seem to me that some steaming will allow for the repair of it. I could be wrong of course. I've done woodworking but never a canoe.

    Ultimately, it seems from the responses that this is a reasonable deal but not a steal. What would you guys offer for this boat with the intention being a restoration for use and not to resell?
     
  11. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Still seems like a good deal. I'd put some seats in it, new or used, a thwart if it needs one, through some life jackets on and give it a paddle:). It would be cool to take some photos of it before restoring it. If you have little kids they'll think it's cool.
    I restored a canoe for a man who had a photo of himself as a two year old in the canoe on his fathers knee. when we delivered the same canoe to him, restored, he put it in the water and took the same photo know with his two year old son on his knee. That's the best.
     
    drbill likes this.
  12. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    This is basically a nice boat that needs a fair amount of work -- mostly cosmetic, probably, but the interior finish work is not just for looks. Varnish is needed to protect the wood from physical wear and from sunlight -- ultra-violet light deteriorates wood fairly rapidly. From the pictures, it looks like at least four ribs have been replaced in the past, so it is likely that some planking has also been replaced. The interior really needs complete refinishing -- which means stripping and probably bleaching the interior wood once the current canvas is off, and repairing any wood (planking, ribs, gunwales, thwarts, seats) that need repair/replacement at that time, then revarnishing with a few coats of a good marine varnish.

    The exterior stems are nice -- they provide some protection and strength but are generally considered mostly an aesthetic feature these days, and most folks finish them bright.

    Seats are easily made -- basically four sticks. In the 1920's, Old Town used simple dowel joinery for the frame. I don't know what they were doing by 1950. And if you don't want to build them, there are various sources for replacement seats -- either in authentic style, or in a variety of newer styles and materials.
    Three of the four rails in the seat below are original; one replaces a broken rail. The second picture shows the dowel joinery (new dowels in old holes). By 1950, Old Town was using machine-woven cane, so instead of lots of holes to weave the cane into, there would be one long grove around the rails to hold a long spline holding the cane in place.
    sss cr IMG_0038.JPG
    sss IMG_0018.JPG

    Replacement thwarts are basically just sticks, but shaped nicely for appearance and so they are comfortable to grab when carrying.

    Steaming wood and working with planking, stems, and gunwales is a bit more involved -- but not really difficult. As I suggested above, get one of the books that gives good guidance and pictures on how to proceed.

    I would do the restoration work -- new canvas, repair/replace wood, new seats and thwarts -- sooner rather than later. especially with the interior needing varnish, you would want to use the boat very gently if you used it before restoration. If you do want to use it for a season before undertaking the needed work (it really is needed), take a look at some of these links --
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=5790 see pp. 2-3 of this thread
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7769-Painting-over-existing-paint&p=41339#post41339
    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.p...t-Restoration-advice-please&p=32358#post32358

    But again, if you do paint and use the boat before restoration, be careful with that interior.

    With all that said, I think you have a nice project boat that will reward good restoration work with a really nice canoe. And I think the $300 is probably a fair price.

    Greg
     
    drbill likes this.
  13. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thinking full restoration too. But for $300 that is priced about right IMHO. I would pay that if I was in the market for a project.

    I'm of the mind that if you're the handy sort and want to spend the next 3 months learning and working there are definitely worse ways to spend your money and time.

    BTW- I have a cane kit, yoke (32") & thwarts (28") that might work for this. I bought them for my Charles River restoration but didn't use them. The cane kit should work. If the thwarts are long enough I can pop them in a box and send them to you.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  14. OP
    OP
    drbill

    drbill Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I really appreciate the replies especially the time and details you guys are putting in. I don't intend to use it prior to a resto aside from maybe grabbing my kids and pup for a before pic as suggested (great idea!). Given that its a fair price and the personal connection to this particular one I am going to move ahead on it. It will be stored until winter and hopefully I can begin some work then. I'll keep you guys posted and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. The books will definitely get ordered and give me some reading this summer so win-win! Thank you again!!!
     
  15. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    dr...And yes, the honoring of the Mentor is more than correct ....I have done this myself...and I have found that there cannot be an over abundance of immediate documentation with pics and narratives. I would not have offered more than the amount as the boat is a young example and needs a lot of work. There is , however, no way for another to value how you feel about your friend. We await the momentous launch.
    Have fun !
     
  16. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Don't worry too much about the $300, it's a fair price for a project. When you are done, you will have another 5-6-700 into it, depending.
    So you will have something close to 1000 into it and it will be worth about that assuming you do a good job.
    Count the time as spent on it with your kids as priceless, plus you'll have something else to do with them when it's done.

    And post pics as you progress.
     

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