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Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by mccloud, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I was driving north from Harrisburg, PA and saw an old canoe outdoors in the weather in front of an antique shop, so had to stop and look. It was a wreck. But it was built differently from anything I have seen. Narrow strip built with many 'half-round ribs' much in the style of a Peterborough all-wood canoe, decks very heavy, screwed onto the top of the gunwale with a hand-hold hole cut into the deck, a keel, 16' long, no decals, no seats, no thwarts, but to me the must unusual thing was that a wood strip about 1" wide by 2" deep with a groove cut into the narrow dimension was slipped over the top strake, serving as the gunwale. It had reminants of fiberglass on the outside, but I have no way of knowing if it left the factory that way, or was glassed later. Any guesses on who the builder might have been? Tom McCloud
     
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Difficult without photos.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Well, Dave, I only had to drive 300 miles to take a second look, but here it is. On closer examination, this canoe looks worse than I first thought. Someone has squirted foam or Gorilla glue under many ribs fore and aft, which would be nearly impossible to remove. Fastened with copper nails. It is 16' long, 30" wide. It has keelson and keel, and two additional strips on each side of the keelson, permanently mounted, like a floor rack. A number of ribs are rotten and broken, there are several poor patches to planking, the 'gunwales' are rotten and would have to be replaced. Gunwales are held on with round head slot screws going thru the top strip. Keel held on with large (maybe #12) Phillips head screws. The thwarts are broad and flat, and fit into typical thwart blocks, like a Peterborough would. All things considered, the best use of this one might be a weenie roast.
    Tom McCloud
     

    Attached Files:

  4. OP
    OP
    mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    It was a mistake for me to buy it, but I've started deconstructing it. I've concluded that what I initially thought was novel construction was really someone's misguided attempt to keep it afloat for one more summer. At least 5 types of adhesive have been found, not to mention the steel staples. I've removed a pound or so of Bondo. They had cut a deep groove into a 2 x 2 and crammed that over the top strake in place of a proper outwale. AS you would guess, top strake and rib tips have rotted. This is not going to be an authentic restoration, but I can make it float again.

    A couple observations regarding construction: 1" copper nails driven thru planking, thru ribs and into keelson, points showing on keelson, but only 1/2" copper nails thru planking in between ribs - tips not thru keelson. And with some planking removed at the stem, what I see is that ribs extend just about as far forward as possible, tacked onto a broad stem, and tapered forward. There seems to be a small stem, but then a much bigger, re-enforcing wedge attached to it. The planking extends all the way forward and does not sit in a groove in the stem. Do these construction features point toward any specific builder?

    There will be some planking replacement needed, but I haven't found a good way of removing the copper nails without doing a lot of damage to the rib. Is there a good method? Tom McCloud
     
  5. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    To quote our friend, Andre Cloutier...., "I'll get the weenies and be right over!!"
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    The narrow ribs a similar to those on a Richardson/Aquacraft.
    Check Dan's site.

    Dan
     
  7. OP
    OP
    mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    stem tip

    Dave & Andre are both right. This canoe doesn't deserve repair. I thought I had attached a photo to the previous message, but it didn't go thru. Will try again. TM..
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    i would strip it bleach and oil it and glass it. Unless the ribs are soft or rotted. Looks like an old Peterborough with squared ribs. Our environmental policy has bee updated to forego burning boats with more than two different types of adhesive; while most seem to enjoy the coloured flames inhaling them can cause things to appear that aren't really there.
     

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