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Sailing Canoe Identification Help - No Serial Found (Yet)

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Some Broken Ribs, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Some Broken Ribs

    Some Broken Ribs New Member

    I feel very fortunate to have been given a wood and canvas sailing canoe by an older neighbor whose grandparents bought it new and sailed it many summers in the lakes of Wisconsin-Michigan. She felt reasonably confident that it was a 1930s Old Town, but didn't have any documentation.

    This is my first canoe restoration and I was thrilled to get underway that I jumped right in, only to realize that I hadn't yet confirmed what exactly I had started tearing apart. So I found WCHA and have read through many threads in recent weeks trying to identify this thing, and it's reached the point where I have to join the forum or else never know for sure.

    The canoe is 15' long. The planks are 3" wide. The sailing rig wood seems to be mahogany maybe, the mast is metal and the sail is blue and white (though mostly destroyed). The bow deck has a heart shape and shows signs of maybe a missing sticker. The seat and thwart carriage bolts have round heads and square bolts beneath. The sailing rig mast step has a round hole.

    Any guesses? Other places I should look for a serial number or better pics I can provide?

    Profile and bottom(ish):


    Bow deck (stern deck identical):

    Bow seat:

    Seat hardware:

    Bow stem (partially stripped, stern identical -- neither has serial number I can see even after first pass with stripper)

    Here it is once I got the canvas off and started stripping:

    Leeboard (other identical):


    Center Thwart:

    Rudder pins:

    Stern stem and rudder mount:
  2. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Wide cant ribs, double thwart bolts, white cedar planking, and deck shape all indicate a Canadian built canoe. Somebody with more expertise on Canadian built canoes than I can probably tell the builder.
    MGC likes this.
  3. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Looks like maybe the remnants of a chestnut decal on the bow deck.
  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Probably a Chestnut Bob’s Special.
  5. OP
    Some Broken Ribs

    Some Broken Ribs New Member

    My endless thanks! I have Mike Elliot's This Old Canoe, which has some great detail and even many of the specific dimensions for the Bob's Special, so this gives me some solid reference to follow.

    Maybe if I'm feeling brave I'll start a restoration progress thread once I've made some actual, you know, progress.

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