Bob's special restore, help !


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hi there,
I've just registered and am in the process of restoring a Bob's Special. I'm not sure if it is a pre or post fire model. I am interested in getting feedback from anyone who is interested in seeing how it's going and in providing advice on some problems I'm having.

I have replaced both stems and spliced the in rails onto new decks. I now have a misalignment in the stems and I have to confess that I don't know if it was there before I did the work :-(. When I put a line between the stems I am out 1.25 in.

Another problem ( that I should have noticed before) is that one rail has lost it's shape. Several ribs are broken off in the centre of the canoe along with a good size hole in the planking and it was left for some time resting on the damaged side. I have already done a lot of work , new stems, decks, spliced inrails and five replaced ribs so far. I am hoping that I don't have to redo the the work I've already done. Help!!!

thanks, Art

Hi Art.

Welcome to the Forum. I did a Bob's last year that is probably the same vintage. There is a photo album here showing a few pictures of the project.

I can't offer much help on your "shape of the canoe" issues, except that I doubt 1.25 inches stem alignment will affect performance and it is hard to say from the pictures, but maybe a new inwale is warranted. I didn't have to deal with that and this canoe was pretty fair. Maybe someone else can chime in.

PS: I went back and looked at your photos again, and I still could not see much, but is your center thwart too short or too long, thereby affecting the shape of the rail??
stems and thwarts

Dear Fitz,
Thanks for your reply. There seems to be a concensus that the stem misalignment is not a great concern. It's funny that I have been canoeing since a child but have never looked as closely at a canoe as when starting to work on one.
Your comment on the thwart possibly being not correct length is interesting. That's been on the back of my mind as well. I had checked the wood Canoe Identification Guide and there is specs there for post and pre fire chestnuts. This canoe fits all the specs of a post era canoe,(ie. wider cant ribs, less taper on in wales, semi-circle shaped decks rather than heartshape)except for possibly the beam. The Guide says earlier models have a 34"beam, the later ones 37". This canoe was out of shape with four broken ribs in the centre so I can't really measure the beam as described in the guide ( measure from outside to outside of canvas at widest point). When I measure the width at the thwart it is 34.75" ,including the inwales. It seems to me that this measurement should be greater. What do you think?
I have attached some pictures which will hopefully be clearer.

Thanks, Art


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I should have mentioned that the pictures are with both the original thwart(first two) and the others are with a longer piece as a thwart.
similar here

A Chestnut I did had a short thwart and the middle was hourglassed I installed a one inch longer yoke and removed most of the pinched in look.


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Hi Art:

Sorry, I have been away for a few days. I think the longer thwart could help, but then you might lose some tumblehome which I rather liked on my Bob's. I'm not sure how your might restore the tumblehome.

I think my Bob's is post-fire, but it does have a heart-shaped deck.

I will try and measure the thwart and get back to you.

My canoe also had two additional thwarts and no bow seat when I got it, but the additional thwarts were clearly added later, and I added a bow seat. No real evidence that it had a bow seat originally. There were hanger holes but no evidence of carriage bolts being installed.