Bell Seliga Tripper


I only know/heard pieces of the story so take it for what it's worth.

I believe/think that a few years ago, possibly at one of the spring "paddle a canoe events" that Steve Piragis puts on, he, Ted Bell and possibly Cliff Jacobson (I'm unsure of the exact membership of the "meeting") got to talking and thought that a modern construction version of Joe's design would make a good product.

With that established, I think that Steve then introduced Ted to Joe, and over the course of the summer, Ted tried to convince Joe to allow him to make/market a canoe of Joe's design and with his name on it. Joe was originally against the idea. Eventually he came around and they started talking about fee. I don't remember what Joe said he would get but I believe he was won over by the thought of creating a fund to pass to to his grandkids. (whether this ever happened or if it was significant I don't know.)

Anyway, with Joe on board, they had to decide on how to get the design.
I think Joe said he wanted Bell to "copy" a prefire canoe and he was looking for a new unused canoe for Bell to use. I am unsure, but I don't think he found a prefire doner and had to settle for a post fire canoe. (His belief was that the form changed some due to the fire and he prefered the earlier shape.)

This is unconfirmed but, I heard that Bell then removed the outer rails and keel and made a female mold over the doner canoe, right over the canvas.

I don't know whether they modified the mold or not.

I do know that the specs on the web site is interesting, in that the Bell site lists a differential rocker for the Seliga, ie, 2.5 ft, 1.5 rear. I don't Know if this is misprint or ??? But Joe's design/canoe is completely symetrical, ie, the front is the same as the rear.

Another piece of trivia for you, I have a 1958 version that I restored and a new 2001. I very carefully took the lines off them and plotted them in Excel.
Dan Miller also had the oppertunity to take the lines off a earlier like new canoe which he passed on to me. The result is that I have the lines plotted for an "early like new" version, a "late new" version and a "older well used and restored" version.

All three are different in at least in several areas.

As for the Bell Seliga, I know a guy who has a W/C Seliga with many years/miles paddlied in it and who test paddlied the Bell version.
He claimed that they paddlied the same.