C.P. Nutting


New Member
I am new to this site and I am looking for some information on C.P. Nutting Manufacture. I have a C.P. Nutting canoe and am seeking more information on it. The C.P. Nutting Co. was located in Waltham, Mass. My canoe is wood (not sure what kindof wood) 17' long 33" wide.
Until someone steps forward, you might try using the "search" function (above to the right) with searches for Nutting and also for "courting canoe" or "Charles River" (although you'll get a lot of Old Town Charles River model canoes with that search). I know there are those here who know something of the Nutting canoes and will jump in eventually.

Our annual Assembly a few years back was on the canoes of the Charles River and back issues of the journal "Wooden Canoe" would be worth looking into. The builders of the Charles River are often looked at as a whole, although some information specific to Nutting is possibly available.

In general, wood and canvas canoes have a cedar hull-- most often red Western cedar but could be white cedar. Ribs are white cedar. Trim (decks, thwarts and seats) is hardwood, and on the Charles River canoes was commonly mahogany or something with a fancy grain, such as birdseye maple. Generally, lots of mahogany is involved, and the canoes were painted with several colors and with fancy designs.

If you'd like to post pictures of your canoe, we'd enjoy seeing them.

Welcome to the WCHA Forums!
The following is a bit from my presentation about Charles River builders given at the 2007 WCHA Assembly:

C.P. Nutting & Company was established in 1884, but did not start building boats and canoes until 1890. By 1905, between 6 and 10 canoe builders were employed at Nutting’s, and it was reported that on average, Nutting built 150 canoes per year. In contrast, the fledgling Old Town Canoe Company was producing about 10 times that many by 1906. James Burgin, who later became General Manager of the Waltham Boat and Canoe Company, worked for Nutting for 6 years. Nutting’s specialty was canvas canoes, and they had a reputation of being finely constructed. The profile used on Nutting short-decked canoes is unique as well.

Attached is a scan of a postcard showing the Nutting boat house.


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Nutting Boathouse

The Nutting Boathouse was located directly across the river from the Waltham Watch Factory. It was immediately upstream from the Prospect Street Bridge in Waltham. The boathouse eventually had a dance hall etc. that was popular with the watch factory workers after a long day of watch making. It burned to the waterline - I can't recall the date (1970's?), but search the forum for it. The piles for the boathouse remain visible in the river today.
C.P. Nutting made nice canoes. They were often trimmed in either birdseye maple (decks, thwarts, seat frames) and spruce rails and railcaps, or mahogany all around. Yours looks like it might be maple and spruce, but it looks like maybe yours is tiger maple- that would be pretty. Nutting's canoes have some nice details similar to Brodbeck- things like relief to the underside edge of the gunwales to make it look more delicate. Short decks were either a simple curve or a more complex ogee-sort-of cutout. I've seen more than one in original paint- solid color with a simple stripe an inch or two below the gunwale, just running out at the ends. Don't see many Nuttings, but if you're in MA, there at least was one in the Waltham Museum, 25 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA.

Here are some pics of one with the simpler deck (looks like your canoe has this deck style):


Maybe I can get some pics of one with the more complicated deck cutout.
canoe pictures 095.jpgcanoe pictures 093.jpg Heres a C.P. nutting from what there telling me and its still in mass lol. question do nutting all have the pictures of the indian with the head dress or no.
Hi "nickoftime",

The design may have been added later. Your canoe shows evidence of serious work at some point - the interior paint, the upholstered seats, the exterior covering (has in been 'glassed?), and the missing gunwale caps. Highly restoreable, though. Hopefully there's varnish under that paint - if so, the paint will come off much more cleanly and easily.

From my other reply:
"You've posted all over the place so it's hard to know where to respond, but yes, this is a C.P. Nutting. The decks are one of the diagnostic features, but Nutting used multiple styles of deck. This is one of several. Nutting canoes are similar to those of other Charles River-area builders, including the un-tapered ribs (same with in the floor as at their ends). Another feature of Nutting and some of the other area builders is the use of a chamfer on the bottom inside of the inwale that tapers out to nothing at each of the locations of the thwarts and seats frames. You may see in some photos in Nutting threads a 1/2" or so gold stripe just under the sheer line that follows the sheer to the ends - this is a typical paint scheme from Nuttings (at least it occurs on a number of them but not, to my recollection, on others."

Hope this is of interest.
yes sorry about the post all over the place im kinda new to internet. well its definatly been painted on inside and out but the original seat covers are under the upholstery not sure what your mean bye glassed but if i had to say it would be yes it is glassed. i would love nothing more then to restore it for my uncle that gave it to me cause he passed is year. Then i could pass it down to my kids iv had alot of great times with him in that canoe. i talked to some guy from b.n morris on facebook and he told me it was a nutting and that it would cost 2,000 to 3,000 to restore professialy. im from lowell ma so it kind make sence that it from close to here.whats funny is my uncle was in the navy 40 plus years taking care of every kind of navy ship there was and he thought it was an old town from what my cousin said lol to funny. Anywho thanks for all the info your a good guy. Hey what year do you know did they stop making nutting's
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