Canoe ID- Peterborough? European???

Michael Grace

Lifetime Member
I'm curious about the 16' canoe shown in the attached photo. It looks much like a Peterborough-area canoe, but carries a tag that reads:

Kayak Sport
87,Quai de la Marne,87
Grav: 22-47
Joinville-le pont

Joineville-le pont is an area on the eastern side of Paris; presumably, Kayak Sport was a business on Quai de la Marne, which runs along the river in Joinville. Some features of the canoe are unusual (to me)- the angular edges of the thwarts, the splayed end of the stemband where it comes over onto the deck... The canoe also has rub rails. No serial number visible (yet). Any thoughts?



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I can’t identify your canoe, but France had many builders of Peterborough style cedar-strip canoes. To mention a few of the most wellknown: Pierre Matonnat, H. Lawrence (actually a licensed builder of Peterborough’s), Rocca, G. Seyler, Chauvierre, Dossunet, F. Lecler, River, Bocciarelli and many others.
See pic. below of a "Seyler" built canoe advertised this summer. :)

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop


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funny, if you hit Matonnat and do a google images search lots comes up, a web search brings up this post first. Of course they spelled Matonnat wrong in the listing. Why let facts ruin a good story, i suppose. Neat looking boat though, but at 10k perhaps not the best value..
What I find most surprising in some eBay sellers (aside from greed) is rudeness. An example is found in the current listing of a modern Old Town Molitor, which has a single picture showing the center of the side of the canoe as it hangs upside-down. In other words, you don't get to see the general shape of the canoe, or the shape that it is in... you simply have to trust the seller when he says it's worth ten grand. Somebody asked for the serial number and a report on the canoe's condition, and the seller didn't answer... other than to say, once again, that his canoe is worth ten grand.
Hey guys:

I have been trying to get this message through for an hour, but what with power going out, and now living on stand-by generator, hopefully this works. We've had nearly 4' of snow in past day and a half. I'm slowly working my way up to periscope depth.

I did some Internet exploring and found a web site for Pierre Matonnat boats and canoes. In fact, if you check it out, there is a photo of one of his canoes sold to the US. A pic of it is posted below, afloat. Looks to me like it could be the same one as is presently for sale on eBay, shown below in the snow. If I understand the french text well enough, Pierre joined his father Georges in business in 1939, and built boats until 1960 or 63. Seems he was located in Joinville around 1945. Makes it rather unlikely the eBay piece is built in 1850-99.

Here's the site:

I think I'll pass it along to the eBay seller.

EDIT NOTE: I did just that, and the seller has responded. Turns out he is our newest WCHA member, and very pleasant to chat with at that. It is the same canoe in both photos. However, David explains that the pic of the canoe afloat was actually misappropriated from an earlier eBay listing and used by the Matonnat web site without his permission. It seems the Matonnat folks wish to claim it was made by them because of the thwart tags, whereas David has opinions from a number of others that the canoe is much older and more likely to be by Bastien. Seems it has been viewed by a number of WCHA folk as well as museum staff, or so he says. He offers to show it to anyone truly interested, so perhaps there are some knowledgeable types out there who can help discern its actual age and heritage.



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So how did these early strippers make them water tight without using fiberglass mat like all the new home made strippers?
I have just bought what looks like a Peterborough canoe I live in France can anyone help by telling me where to look for more info on the canoe, the stamped number is on the stern coaming into the wood, it's 1-92 but it may be a 4 not 1 any help would be appreciated, thank you kind regards mark
Hope these can help, it is a 4 mtr or 12 ft the is a mast ring but no plate nore any sign of one, regards mark
No idea what it is, I presume there are no thwart tags? The stripes of different wood are distinctive. It will look great when cleaned up.
Its nice being a 12' boat. Not to heavy and you won't have to share it!

Thank you Sam, I will keep asking and looking while I renovate, I will post update pictures as I go, thank you kind regards mark