1928 17' Kennebec Sponson Canoe


A gentleman dropped this canoe off today for an estimate and as it is the first that I have seen, I thought I'd post some photos.

The sponsons are built on and feathered in. Apparently the canoe was covered with a thin fabric before the sponsons were attached. There are segments of the cloth left on the hull where they got stuck in varnish. The lower planks of the sponsons extend to the stems and are quite thick, 1/4 inch plus. These planks are screwed on about 4 ribs back from the stems.

The canoe is very heavy because of the double hull. I don't know the reason for the cloth other than cold Maine winters.


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Sponson re-canvas

013.jpgI have previously posted pictures of my Kennebec with invisible sponsons. Could you please tell me, did you remove these sponsons and canvas the canoe first, then attach canvas for the sponsons to the canoe and re-install them. Then finish wrapping the secondary canvas around the sponsons? This is how I've seen here to re-canvas a canoe with regular sponsons. This seems the only way to have the sponsons acting as an air chamber.I was thinking maybe I should remove the 'invisible' sponsons, canvas them and re-attach them, then canvas the whole canoe to achieve a seamless outer canvas. 018.jpg
Hi John,

The air chamber is or was achieved as Mark Adams said in his reply to your earlier post: "What you have there is a VERY nice Kennebec "Invisible Sponson" canoe. They are indeed sponsons, but are faired in, from about the turn of the bilge up to the gunnels. The "sealant" between the hull and the sponson is a layer of muslin or linen, that had varnish applied. (at least it did on the one I had) Fantastic looking canoe! Mark Adams WCHA #132"

So you do not need to remove the sponsons unless you need to make repairs to the ribs or planking underneath the sponsons or you wish to replace the cloth backing.

Hope this helps.