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Unkown manufacturer with brass tag in stem #3099

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by mattyp, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi all.

    I found a wood canvas boat with the only identification being a brass tag with #3099 on the floor of the stem. Top decks are split decks. Has keel. Past owner stated he bought it back in the sixties and he was told it was a very old canoe when he bought it. :confused:


    unkown canoe.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  2. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    Things are going to be a bit quiet around here, with the Assembly going on.

    Is the stem about 2 1/2" wide on the inboard end, and then tapers to about 3/4" at the far end?

    As always, pics are worth a thousand words!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Mark,

    Yes it does start wide and end up narrow. I just added a photo to my original post. Here are some more.

    unkowncanoe3.jpg brasstag.jpg unkowncanoe2.jpg
     
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    You're teasing us right????
    That's a pretty distinctive stem.

    Dan
     
  5. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    I am gonna go out on a limb here, and say you most likely have an early Morris. It is pretty ratty, but with a little (a lot) of loving, it will be a nice canoe.

    Another Morris signature is if the keel is screwed in through every ribn and if the stembands are riveted on, through the stem.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Um, I am pretty brand new... :)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Mark!

    What exactly are the stembands?
     
  8. H.E. Pennypacker

    H.E. Pennypacker LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Matty,

    Your canoe is definitely a B.N. Morris, built in Veazie, Maine. It's an open gunwale canoe, and looks to be 15' or 16' long. It is a Type 2 or Type 3 because it has the long-ish mahogany decking at each end. The wide flat stem end, the brass tag mounted to the stem with escutcheon pins, and the holes in every rib for keel screws are part of what identify it as a Morris. Morris canoes are highly sought-after, but yours is pretty rough, at least from the appearance in photos.

    See here for one in nice, original condition:

    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?10039-A-Morris-in-my-backyard

    And you can use the "search" function in the upper right of each page here to find MUCH more info about Morris. By the way, stem bands are the metal (usually brass) pieces that run around the circumference of each end of the canoe. The are usually screwed about every 6" of length into the wooden stem (the curved wooden piece inside each end), but Morris riveted his stem bands to the stem, perhaps because the soft cedar he used for stems wouldn't hold screws as well as the hardwood used by other builders.
     
  9. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi Matty,

    I've logged your canoe into our BN Morris database, which currently has about 250 known Morris and Veazie Canoe Co. canoes. I suggest you look closely at the serial number, however, as there may be a "1" in front of the "3", making the serial number 13099. Morris canoes prior to 8XXX have an oval plate on the left inwale above the first full rib... canoes after that time have the plate on the stem. A 3XXX Morris probably dates from 1905, which is about as early as any canoes were fashioned with open gunwales. Morris preferred closed gunwales, although open wales were offered and I'm not saying it's impossible to have an open wale Morris c. 1905... just more likely to be seen ten years later, especially with the tag on the stem.

    Another possibility would be that this canoe is one of the factory-direct Veazie Canoe Company canoes-- also made by Morris but placed into a separate serial number series. Where 3099 is a low number on a BN Morris, it is a higher number on a Veazie. Anyway... my opinion is that there may be that extra digit at the beginning... a "1" is often easily missed as it sometimes is way to the left. Your canoe is by a well-respected builder. There are many articles in the journal Wooden Canoe as well as discussions in these forums, as Mr. Pennypacker suggested. Our national assembly in 2015 will feature the Morris.

    Kathy
     
  10. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I can't tell you how excited I am! She does look pretty rough, but all the ribs are intact, the inwhales are in good shape, outwhales need to be replaced...plenty to do. I see by the serial number she was built circa 1905. I will post all of the pictures I have taken of her. Thanks so much for all of the information!
     
  11. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Waiting to see your pictures -- and the pictures you will take as you restore this canoe -- we all learn from each other here -- and I have a Morris awaiting restoration, so I am always particularly interested in how they get restored. You are lucky that your inwales are intact -- the rib pockets in Morris inwales create one of the trickier restoration tasks, one that you won't have to deal with it.

    You know that Morris canoes are the theme of the 2015 WCHA Assembly, don't you? I'm hoping to have mine restored by then; it would be great if you could show your restored Morris then.

    Greg
     
  12. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Matt,

    Welcome to the site. And congrates on finding a Morris, one of the more desired brands to collectors.

    And yes, keep the images and questions/comments coming, as was mentioned, we all learn from them.

    Dan
     
  13. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That would be really awesome! and a great goal to make for me and my dad. It would be really cool to make it to that. Where is it held?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dan! I am very excited and certainly will be asking questions :)
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I got that figured out :)
     
  16. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    While I do think this is likely a Morris, I also think it is worth mentioning that all canoes with a splayed stems are not all Morris canoes. Kennebec built many too. I think it is worth looking for pocketed ribs and other Morris traits too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  17. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

     
  18. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Have a great time Greg! Wish I was headed there now as well, but I am busy leading a canoe summer camp for some kids out here in Portland, Oregon! I have identified that it does have a 1 in front of the 3099...so the serial number is 13099. It has three pocket ribs and has screws every rib securing the keel. I will have lots of questions for sure!

    For instance...the canoe has light mold on it...inside and out. Is is ok to sand it? Is that what I do to the inside of the boat?
     
  19. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Matt,

    Remove the canvas, (which will require removal of the outer gunnels and outer stems if there are any and the stem bands.)
    clean with TSP, a couple times. Then bleach as required, starting with a mild bleach and on up to TE-AK (or similar) as needed.

    Then lightly sand after it is dry. At this point you are ready to inspect the canoe for broken wood and make replacements as required.

    This should keep you busy for a while. :)

    BTW, I have S/N 13050, just a bit older than yours.

    Dan
     
  20. OP
    OP
    mattyp

    mattyp Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok. That sounds great. I will do that right away. I have a younger Old Town from the sixties that needs some planks replaced and then re-canvased. I figure I will take care of her first, since she has way less damage, is a newer canoe, and so I have some experience before I embark on the Morris. Then I will be able to start on the Morris. Sound reasoning? morris&oldtown.jpg morris found.jpg
     

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