A first (and last) paddle

Roger Young

display sample collector
Had a wonderful visit from Dick Persson today, when he delivered my long-awaited, newly refurbished (much rebuilt) J R Robertson torpedo-nosed courting canoe. We gave it its first bath and test paddle, then put it away for the winter. A two year plus project involving extensive rib replacement and new planking throughout the mid-section; the ends and decks are original. Dick tells me he has a complete photographic record of the rebuilding process, and I should probably leave it to him to describe the task in detail. However, I couldn't resist sharing some photos showing the master putting her through her 'sea trials'. Thanks, Dick, for all your hard work in overcoming the re-fit problems along the way. I know it wasn't easy.
Roger P1000135.jpgP1000130.JPGP1000132.jpgP1000137.jpg
Great to see it wet, after watching it evolve over the last couple of years. Looks really good!
IMG_0987.jpgIMG_0988.jpgThanks Roger,

It was good to finally put her trough a test paddle. More about her and her restoration later, maybe as a little article for the Journal. In the meantime here is a couple of pics of the owner checking her out.

Dick Persson
Buckhorn Canoe Company
Buckhorn, Ontario
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Very nice canoe. Thank you for sharing the pictures. How does she ride??
In answer to your question, she rides well, and moves very easily and quietly through the water, even when burdened with a larger cargo such as me. She is now tight and dry but, most of all, a safer and sounder boat. Prior to Dick's handiwork, she floated, but had 28 fractured ribs (with 61 separate cracks), some unsightly splits to decks and other damage due to being dropped from a hoist. There were also indications of a very poorly done previous restoration. She was an eBay purchase, though I was badly misled as to the extent of her actual condition at the time, and the photos used then did not fully depict her true state. I over-paid and learned a lesson about the necessity of more thoroughly checking out condition, pre-sale. However, I loved her lines and the way she moved in the water, so committed myself to the re-build. I'm happy and pleased to have preserved a bit of history, no matter the eventual cost and likelihood that the financial input will never be recouped. There are some pleasures that one can't ever quantify in $$ terms, and enjoying this canoe is one of them.

There is only one question left: since the canoe's make-up is now pretty much equal parts of original creator and current restorer, should I describe her as being a 'Robertson with Persson repairs', or a 'Persson with Robertson influence' ? Can't wait for next spring. I would have paddled more, but the weather is turning bad and the water is quite chilly, soon to become hard. Of course, that could be an excuse to car-top and go south over the winter.

Thanks to all for the kind comments on the result.

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Wow, really, really nice! Dick, beautiful job as usual, great craftsmanship! Love the colors and the frog!!!!!!!
envious yes

Roger, Dick, and Greg,
What a great result! She is beautiful. The lines, the color, quality of the paint work, and I'm sure many other great detail work that the photos don't show.
Roger, this is extra special since she needed enough work that many would not have done it at all, let alone professionally restored to this high standard. I appreciate that you knew she was worth it.
Greg, I am envious and hope Roger will bring her to Assembly so I can ask to take her out...
Thanks for sharing photos and hope to see the story in the WCJ.
Can't wait to see this beauty next year at the Assembly. Someone needs to post some "before" shots to really bring home Dick's craftsmanship in the restoration.