cedar rib no 4 canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello all, greetings from France. I just drove 500 miles down South to take a dip into the Mediterranean, and collect a very nice 16' Peterborough Canoe Company cedar rib canoe found on Ebay. The varnish seems to be original, dark and cracked with age, but the boat is in excellent condition, just a couple of small dings. The floorboards hardly show any sign of wear. The boat has two decals, front and rear, and all 6 Peterborough thwart plates. I could not find any serial number, but there's a couple of nails holes on the center of the rear deck, between the coaming and the Peterborough decal, so maybe a plate is missing. (See picture attached)
Apparently there was a seat in front, just before the front thwart, there's still a screw and a couple of rubber pads against the side (Picture). If anybody can help me with an indication as to when the boat was built, and show me a picture of the missing front seat from another canoe, many thanks. I will restore the boat myself - not a big deal since it's in such a good condition - and use it for flyfishing, and exploring the rivers of my native Brittany.
Pat aka Paddy Brittany
Ohh, that is VERY nice! The bilge keels don't look to be original though. I have one as well, and mine isn't in nearly as nice a condition.
Nice find Pat,

The nail holes on the deck are most likely from the missing model/serial number tag. You might still find a stamped serial number. Peterborough Canoe Co shipped most of their canoes to France nested, with the decks, thwarts and seats removed. Those components were marked with the serial number for ease of re-assembly. Check the underside of the thwarts, decks and seats for a written or stamped serial/model number.
Your canoe has the so called "trademark thwart tags" which came in use after the company got their trademark in 1911. This tag style was used from 1911 to about 1923.
The bilge keels were very common on wood canoes in Europe and especially in France, those were sometimes installed by the Peterborough factory, but mostly an add-on installed by the importing agent.

Dick Persson
Buckhorn Canoe Company
Buckhorn, Ontario
Last edited:
Thanks Dick, you're quite right, I found a number painted in black under the rear seat when I took it off.
I am nearly done stripping the old varnish and as I thought, no bad suprise, the boat is in very good condition throughout. Just missing the front seat.