1924 H. B. Arnold


LOVES Wooden Canoes
My dad and I recently found an ad on Craigslist for a 1924 HB Arnold. We contacted the owner who provided pictures of the canoe. We were very excited as the pictures downloaded and revealed this canoe. Appears to be all original. The decks have some cracks in them, but will not know the extent until it is delivered in a couple of weeks. Will post up some more photos when we can. I love the one taken in 1949.


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Oof, is that pretty. Wow, do I ever love that original canvas. PLEASE don't ever replace it, it's just too gorgeous all crackly like that. :)
We are excited to get this one delivered in a week or two. We stumbled across it and never expected it to be as nice as it is. Apparently it has spent a great deal of its life in a barn, but has been in the water as recently as last year.

I wouldn't know the first thing about making accurate measurements for reproduction. I do know its a 16 foot canoe. Dad and I will take lots of photos once it is safe and sound with us and will post them up for your viewing pleasure :)
I will check it for identification once we receive it as well as post up photos of any indentifying characteristics we can find. The owner seemed fairly confident in his stating it was an Arnold, and in not overly into canoes so I am inclined to think he has some way of knowing, but we will have to see.
Why is that young fellow sitting in the bow seat? To trim the canoe? Maybe he is reacting against too many orders from adults on how to paddle a canoe.

We got the canoe this weekend and I had a chance to take some photos. More will follow soon.

The run down is: decks are pretty badly damaged, but appear to be easily replaceable. There is a curved frame under the deck that shows repairable damage as if something fell on the canoe at some time. There is a nameplate (makers badge) which is shown in the photos and a serial number was located on one stem. I will have to post the sn later. One of the outside stems will need replacing at some point and there is what appears to be a very small fiberglass patch in an area that was punctured at one time. All in all the canoe is in excellent condition. Note the custom made canoe rack it currently rests on.


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So nice. Thanks for posting the update.
Hopefully you can somehow remove the busted deck and repair it, vs. replacing it.. There's something about knowing it's all original that I just adore.

Have fun with it - so cool! :cool:
A couple more


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We probably won't be able to repair the decks. They are a sort of veneer over plywood and they are busted. We have a local woodcraft store with a bunch of old wood guys nearby so we will take one in and see what they think it is.
The decks are seriously damaged as are the kingplanks. I'm all for saving what can be saved, but I agree that these should be replaced. They shouldn't be veneer over plywood (and they really look like the original mahogany in your photos). Resawing these mahogany panels will be serious work- they'll probably require a minimum of 12" wide stock.

We have a courting canoe essentially identical to yours- peaked coaming and kingplanks- and would be happy to compare notes/photos/construction details with you.

You should know that your backrest is Charles River-style, so it may well be original to the canoe.

Question- how was the canoe dated to 1924?

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Thanks for the thoughts. I would love to compare notes/photos/ ideas etc. I believe you have my email and possibly phone number.

As far as the dating, No real evidence. The person we purchased the canoe from was the child of the second owner. His father bought it used back in the 40's. Dad found a serial number and compared it to a serial number of someone else's arnold on the forum and it is a later serial number.

I will post that serial number this evening.

Regarding the decks, we happen to have some friends who are in the cabinet/furniture making business and are hoping they can help us reconstruct the decks.


Congratulations on finding this beautiful old canoe! I was struck by the pictures you posted, because I am currently restoring a courting canoe for a customer, and up until now we have not been able to ID it. We knew it was from the Charles River area, but the builder was unknown. It appears to be identical to your Arnold in every way, so perhaps we have a good clue to follow up on. Our canoe was in much worse shape than yours - serious rib, plank, stem, and inwale repairs were required. The big decks were original solid mahogany, but they and all of the topside mahogany were in such bad shape that we made the decision to replace them all. We ended up using a built up panel for the decks - two very thin mahogany veneer layers (top and bottom) over a solid mahogany core - total thickness of about 0.20 inch. We used a beautifully figured and bookmatched veneer for the top of each panel. The nice part about this aproach is that the cut edges look and act like solid mahogany, not plywood. Solid mahogany was used for all rail caps,kingplanks, and coaming pieces, and we were able to rehabilitate the original outwale strips. We are now in the final varnishing stages - I will try to post a few pictures in the next day or so - perhaps someone can help with a positive ID. I would be happy to discuss any of this in more detail, as you start to think about planning your restoration project. LEW
Follow up photos

Here are a few photos, as noted in my previous post. Hope you can see the decks clearly. Seats and kingplanks are being varnished separately. The blue line under the rail is masking - the Owner will apply gold leaf graphics when all other work is completed. Can anyone offer a positive ID? LEW


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Does your canoe have a serial number on the stem? How about nail holes where the tag would have gone?

It looks like you did a great job with the restoration and once we get into this one, we will definitely touch base with your for thoughts and details about what you have done.

Thank you for posting your photos here.