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What can it be?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by davelanthier, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Standard 1960's + style 16' wood/canvas canoe , 1.5" wide untapered ribs spaced 1.5" apart , 13" depth , 36" beam , Robertson screws , shoe keel , no serial #'s or decals , very tight planking , short Peterborough style decks . The owner says it's an untouched Peterborough but dimentions seem wrong though they do match a 1970's Chestnut Deer . To further baffle me are babiche seats rather than cane or slats and the bow seat is mounted with the 2 wood spacers [ rather than 4 dowels ] exactly the same as found on the Huron canoes . The rear seat is also mounted Huron style , high and close to the stern . The center thwart is mounted with only 2 carriage bolts where the Chestnuts I've seen are mounted with 4 . Both thwarts are crude and without contours . Any one know what it is ? Thanks
  2. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer


    Your description fit some of the “Huron” builders, Northland Canoe, Langford Canoe, Nor-west Canoes and another 10 or so smaller Canadian builders. :)

    In order to assist you please post a couple of photographs. Try to record the bow shape, decks, an interior shot of the canoe showing a seat, thwart and ribs and an overall shot of the canoes side view.

    Dick Persson
    Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
  3. dboles

    dboles LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Howdy Dave
    Bet your on to a Tremblay.Hows the end profile?Whats on it for canvas.
    Ive seen ones with canvas but most wear that pvc stuff or some kind of impregnated vinyl which name escapes me right this momemt.
    Are the Thwarts a very simple design?
  4. OP

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    To update everyone on this mystery canoe I had a phone conversation with Dick Perrson . As always Dick was most helpful and informative . Further , the owner of the canoe bought it in Manitoba about 20 years ago as a used [yet as new] canoe . He said that the paper work [which he is trying to find] that came with it indicated it was a "Peterborough" made in Quebec . This didn't make any sense . Note that with the seats and thwarts removed everything about this canoe is a Chestnut Deer and Pal blend . Dick , please correct me if I am mistaken about the following information . I seems that the company name of "Peterborough" was purchased from Chestnut by a Quebec aluminium boat building company . They in turn would aquire w/c canoes from small Quebec and Ontario builders and market them under the "Peterborough" name .
    In conclusion , due to the location and style of the seats in this canoe it was probably built in Quebec by some yet unknown builder . It is a well constructed canoe with nice Chestnut lines . It very possibly could have been sold under the "Peterborough" name but we may never know unless the owner can find the paper work. Many thanks again to Dick Perrson for his help .
  5. Jack Wagner

    Jack Wagner WCHA Member

    1969 "Peterborough" Spec's

    Dave, here's the spec's listed in the 1969 "Peterborough" Catalogue.
    The company was located in Princeville, QC.

    Length: 16'2"
    Width: 38"
    Max Depth: 14 1/2"
    Weight: 65 lbs.

    The canoe pictured in the catalogue, a 14-footer, has slat seats but that probably wouldn't rule out the canoe you have there if they farmed out their canvas-covered work, which is what I suspect they did.
    Their canoes more than likely had some varieation when it comes to thwarts, seats, etc. if they used different builders.

    Does it look as if there was ever a large decal on either side of the bow. They used an Indian Head emblem in this area.
    I'll try to attach an image of it...........

    You can find further information on this company by going here and looking in the album entitled Peterborough.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2005
  6. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    :) Hi again Dave,

    After the bankruptcy of Peterborough Canoe Co and Canadian Canoe Co in 1961, Chestnut were on their own. During 1962 and part of 1963 Chestnut sold canoes and boats under their own name as well as under the name Peterborough Clipper Craft and Canadian Fleet Craft.

    However the Peterborough Canoe Co name was purchased from the bankruptcy trustees by Les Bateaux & Canots Aluminium Inc. in Princeville Quebec. This company mainly produced and sold aluminum and fiberglass boats and canoes under the brands Princecraft as well as Peterborough after 1963. This company also sold a small line of “Peterborough” canvas covered canoes. Those canoes seem to have been produced on contract by various smaller builders in Quebec.
    In 1964 they list two models; the Portage 14ft and the Apache 16ft. In their 1965 catalogue they only list the model Portage in four lengths 12ft, 14ft, 16ft and 18ft.
    As far as I know most of those canoes had babiche seats and two long wood spacers instead of the common practice of dowel spacers. At least during the years 1963,1964,and 1965 they sported a vinyl decal on the side saying Peterborough.

    It is possible that your canoe could be a Quebec built “Peterborough” but could just as likely have been produced by any of the others I mentioned in my earlier posting.

    Dick Persson
    Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
  7. OP

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Thanks again fellas

    There are no apparent side decals but the canoe has been painted at least once . Jack , your pictures also show the small decks and straight plank style twart which fit . The picture trail was great but I wasn't able to make any conclusions . A digital camera and new computer are getting closer to the top of the my priority list so I can post some pictures .

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