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Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by troubleshooter, Dec 28, 2014.
Thank you Mr. Miller.
Got 'em.. Thanks Dan'l...
I measured the canoe by putting the stern against a wall and measuring to the front of the bow with the tape measure laying on the floor.
If you're interested in information about the Kennebec Company, there's an article in issue 166 of Wooden Canoe, available through the WCHA Store... and Kennebec will be the featured canoe at the 2016 Assembly. Morris is the featured canoe this year (2015), and your canoe is certainly appropriate for both! (We do see canoes of all flavors at a WCHA assembly).
That is certainly a reasonable way to measure the extreme overall length in a straight line. Your 17 foot result indicates that either this is an error in the Kennebec records or the Kennebec tag with number 5016 is not the correct one for this canoe. The decks and bolt through the stem do not appear to be original so it has probably had some modifications over the years. The "2nd square plate located between 13th and 12th rib" is probably an old repair. I once owned a canoe with a round metal can lid as a repair in a similar location. The list of restorers at http://www.wcha.org/buildsupply/ may be helpful if you have not found this already. Good luck with the restoration,
You are correct about the modifications. My friend, who is now in his late 80's and now in a retirement home started to fix up this canoe back in the late 70s.' He was known for reusing lumber from things that were discarded. I will be visiting him soon and try to see what information he can share. I have a few questions. Does this canoe fit the profile of the Kennebek? What would be a ballpark figure for restoration and value of the boat afterwards. Thank you for the link to the restorers. I was going to ask about that. Weather permitting, I hope to take the canoe to Blue Mountain Outfitters this weekend to have them look at it. They have had some really nice restored canoes there. Happy New Year to all at WCHA.
The question RE: value is discussed in some detail here:
It might not be the answer you were hoping for, but it's an honest assessment!
Fix it up to use and enjoy-- my guess is that your friend would love to hear stories of how it's being used and see pictures!
Yes, the general profile of this canoe could be consistent with an early Kennebec based on the limited pictures and information provided so far. A detailed analysis would be necessary to confirm this or to provide any estimate of the restoration costs. If your goal is to make money on this canoe then the best approach will be to sell it unrestored and be happy if you can get a few hundred dollars. Restored canoes sell for more but the costs of a good restoration are often much higher than the increase in value as described in the messages at the link that Paul provided. This can be a great investment if you like the canoe or it has a sentimental attachment but it usually isn't financially profitable. Good luck,
Again thanks to all that replied. I am just trying to determine if I want to spend the money to have it professionally redone or to do it myself. Just trying to be smart about my decision. Like all of you, I love the looks of these old canoes and am not looking to make money on it. One way or another, this canoe is going to be back on the water someday. Hopefully with me in it.
I'd suggest getting in touch with a WCHA Chapter near you. WCHA folks are the best, and love inspecting old canoes. You'd get several opinions on what to do, help doing it, and a group of folks to paddle with.
Great idea. I have sent an email to Mr. Naylor of the Susquehanna Chapter. Looking forward to hearing from him.
My 1916 17' Kennebec model SN 9470 has ash splayed stems. It makes some sense that these "hybrids" may be entirely Kennebec built, unless someone has definite proof that they were partially built with Morris components. The splayed stem differs from the Morris profile, so why would anyone go to the trouble of reshaping the stem, or if the hull was already planked, redoing the planking to match the new profile. Mine had riveted stem bands, done late in the process. With these differences, it begs the question of what anything brought in from Morris might have looked like, or even why, since so much must have remained to do. Where were the savings in time or money? How were the parts were held together? Did Morris bend the stems in the Kennebec profile and just send them that way? Either a Kennebec form that was modified to accept the different components must have been used at Kennebec some point, or Morris had such a good supplier relationship that they had a Kennebec profile form and the Kennebec build records were filled in as each batch of hulls arrived. We may never know.
One more thing. The oval tag on my Kennebec Model doesn't look like it would fit on anything or anywhere except a splayed stem or the deck, even if it was turned sideways:
It is a very nicely made piece, stamped and with black background, obviously later than the one shown in this thread, but similar in shape. Certainly not a makeshift afterthought. Why spend money on making and stocking these tags unless this was very common? Without going back and looking for picture evidence in the forums, (and I don't have the catalogs) are there any Kennebec "Kennebec Model" canoes from this early period, (about 1910 to 1916), documented that are not of this type of construction? It might have been pretty standard for a number of years, defining the type, and only changed later in the Model run.
Another piece of evidence to consider: I have the Bob Speltz book A Real Runabouts Review of Canoes and on page two he has a picture taken from the 1915 Kennebec catalogue showing how Kennebec canoes are built. While the details are hard to see, there is a picture of a Kennebec canoe off the form less planking with ribs, rails and stems in place and it sure looks like it has splayed stems. Earlier pictures are of the form alone and the canoe skeleton on the form after ribs and stems are added, indicating that this entire sequence has a single origin and that the form is a Kennebec proprietary form and the stems most likely were put on there. maybe someone with access to the original 1915 catalogue can verify this.
Hard to say for sure. There is a batten nailed along the keel line to hold the ribs in place, and it obfuscates things.
The hybrid that I have here in my shop has an additional number, different from the Kennebec SN, stamped into the inwale under the cap rail.
Makes me wonder if it was a Morris shop number for the canoe as it passed through the Morris factory.
Is (was) it a sponson canoe?
Thanks Dan, for getting us the better scan of the frame. I blew it up 300% and it is obvious that it has had a 1915 version of photoshop retouching to make it suitable for the catalogue. This allowed the artist to simplify and stylize things and I guess they did not always understand the object they were working on, so details may not be correct. Still, the artist was working from either a photo or real life and I do see that the stems seem to splay out wider as they get into the cant ribs, and that the batten may be just a bit smaller than the stem where they meet. It will still be interesting if any pre-1915/16 Kennebec Model Kennebecs are out there built in a different way or if the non splayed style, shorter rail caps, open gunwales, and other associated changes were phased in toward the end of that period as tastes and practicality changed. All speculation I guess, and the Morris hybrid theory may still probably be the correct one.
Dan-- the Kennebec that Dave Osborn is restoring is a sponson canoe. How might the 4-digit number tamped into the inwale under the top-cap relate to this?
Ron-- I appreciate your thoughts here. While working on a book on Morris, I became more convinced than ever that Kennebec hired former Morris workers and I'd like to follow-up on your thoughts that these "hybrids" occur early in Kennebec's production. I've also wondered if this is the reason some Morris and Kennebec canoe chairs and backrests are the same. This occurred to me because one of Charlie Morris's descendants has sent me pictures of other things made at the Morris factory-- toboggans and such... leading me to believe the Morris canoe chairs, etc., were made in-house rather than purchased from a supplier. I have 1912-era Morris receipts for the materials used to make cushions and the cane for use on seats, so unless Morris handed this material over to someone outside the factory, these things were made in-house. And if Kennebec hired Morris workers, things at Kennebec might have been handled the same way, and the men would have known how to build a backrest in the Morris fashion... and build a canoe with a splayed stem.
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