Another Restored Canoe, Trailcraft


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
Here is a seldom seen sight, a restored 16' Trailcraft. Nine days ago it was just an accumulation of sticks on the scrap wood pile. Today a usable canoe. Trailcraft pits the restorer not against paid factory workers but unpaid and unknown woodworkers. I have a square back Trailcraft whose builders patience and skill I will never match. I this case, I am satisfied I did better than the first builder. As with all kit built, license is acceptable. The seats are old growth douglas fir. The floor rack was yesterday a cast off rafter from an 1893 house. Southern poplar. Original kits had all steel ring shank nails and screws. I replaced what I could with copper tacks and brass screws. Ron Overstreet, the innovator of Trailcraft is still alive and while no longer building kits is still selling plans for his Trailcrafts. His site has some interesting ictures of a 1970 canoe factory. See Decks are a challenge but the bang strip will cover errors. Canoe is hanging because the last coat of paint is still soft. DCFC0062.JPGIMG_2108.jpgIMG_2109.JPGIMG_2110.JPGIMG_2111.JPG
These Trailcraft and the geodesic designs have always intrigued me. As I age my favorite canoes seems to gain 5 pounds in weight every season. Is the 16' Trailcraft canoe any lighter than a conventional w/c 16' canoe? Their web sight is interesting but it doesn't give the dry weight.
Hello Dave,
No, really NO! Trailcraft have absolutely no cedar. The original kit was all mahogany with 3/4" Doug fir plywood on the ribs and stems. Duck boards add 10 lb alone. I have a 14 footer at 80lb all up. I expect this, and I'll weigh it tomorrow, to go over 80 lbs. Even without filler in the canvas, Trailcraft are all tough wood and heavy. Trailcraft literature weights, I have the old stuff, must have been w/o paint for sure.
The 16 ftTrailcraft weighs in at 85 lbs all up, floor racks in place. Factory literasture says it would weigh 75 lbs but that could be w/o floor racks or paint either one.