Canadian canoe corrected

Chuck Sauberlich

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm a bit embarrassed and hope I didn't cause anyone to do a lot of searching for something that did not exist. I posted an inquiry for a 14' 6" Canadian canoe. Where I got that measurement is beyond me. I think I measured the canoe from tip of the bow to tip of the stern, got 15' 6" and somehow transposed it to 14'6". Anyway I have since taken accurate measurements . The canoe in question is 16' in length. 35" wide and a strong 14 1/2" deep. The stern deck was the only one left and is heart shaped and deeply undercut. The end cant ribs are wider than the rest about 2 1/2 to 3" wide. In searching the WCHA research site along with Dragonfly Canoe works. I've come to the conclusion the canoe is a Chestnut. More than likely a Prospector, maybe a Fort or Fawn. The width measurement is a bit narrower than those shown on the Dragonfly site. I'm curious as to the age and if my conclusions are correct. The heart shaped deck would put it prior to 1922, but only the very first and last cant ribs are wider. Also there is no taper to the inwales, though the bow section had been repaired with short section of inwales scarfed on. That would put it later than 1922. The canoe has seen some hard use and spent it's working years on and around Lake Nipigon in Ontario Canada.


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16 foot Chestnuts were often a little shorter, and they did use heart shaped decks long after the fire. My 50's cruiser has them (with the 50's style decal and flat deck). Looks like you have the 16' pleasure canoe, that'll be a nice ride.

edit... just saw the 14.5 inch height, you're right, more like a prospector.
As I recall Prospectors were only developed in the 20s. So if one -- and the stem profile looks like one to me -- its an early Prospector too.
I'm waiting for Dick to stop in...

That bow looks pretty narrow and sharp to me, more of a Cruiser shape than Prospector, which I thought were pretty full.

the cruiser decks I have seen were conspicuously narrow. Look for an exceptionally wide plank midships, a bit below the sheerstrake. Also you might find that one side of the ribs is beveled.The beveled side is on the side of the rib nearest the tips of the canoe: that is, the pattern of beveled ribs reveres at the center.
Thanks for all the input. I checked for an exceptionally wide plank and did not find one. The planking is consistently 3 3/4". The ribs are beveled with the beveled side toward the tips of the canoe. The deck is 5" wide at the widest point 12" long and made of maple.