Cedar rib Peterborough

Dave Osborn

A local man asked me to help him identify this boat. He says it is a Peterborough and is 12' 4" in length.
He also asked for an approximate value. I just don't see these enough in my to know much about themCan anybody help in this regard?

. cedar rib pete.jpg
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Hi Dave,

I have just looked at every Peterborough catalog on the CD and they never show a square stern canoe that short. Plus most of the square stern had a wine glass transom.

Have you seen this one in person? Does it look like the back end is factory or did someone cut the back end off.

I don't think anyone but Peteborough did the Cedar Rib style of construction.

If the canoe has a tag on the front combing it will give a model number. That would be interesting to see.

Even Dan Miller's list of Peterborough canoes on the ID site does not mention a square stern cedar rib.

Value will drop considerably if this is a true cedar rib that someone converted.

Thanks for posting,

I have not seen it in person. I hope to at some point. I only know that the owner calls it a Peterborough, and at the time with the construction method it made sense. The seats look to be woven with the same method and material as the Walter Walker canoe I once had. It has a 40" beam and is 12' 4" in length. The transom photos and extreme with make me think it isn't a chop job and was intended to be a rowing boat. Here are more photos.....

cedar rib pete2.jpgcedar rib pete3.jpgcedar rib pete4.jpgcedar rib pete5.jpgcedar rib pete6.jpg
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Nice boat! There are only three likely builders; Ontario Canoe Co, Peterborough Canoe Co or Canadian Canoe Co. It is an early watercraft, most likely built before 1910 and my guess is that Peterborough Canoe Co is the builder.

Was it built as a rowing skiff or is it a cut-down canoe?
Both scenarios are possible. Picture #3 in Dave's second post shows what I think is screw holes from another thwart which would be in the right location for a center thwart in a model #9, 18 1/2ft cedar-rib canoe. However, a cedar-rib canoe or boat is known to open up and loosing its shape so a thwart might have been a necessity.

So, did Peterborough Canoe Co. build any cedar-rib boats?
Yes, they advertised double ended rowing skiffs in lengths from 17' to 19' although I've never seen one. Peterborough also heavily advertised at this time that they could build anything from a canoe to a steamboat..."If you cannot find what you want in our catalog, write us and we shall be glad to build you anything you may require, and furnish any information needed".

Without a thorough survey of the boat and especially the details around the transom I can't say for sure if this is a canoe that has been cut off or it was built like that. A Peterborough Canoe Co. custom made rowing skiff of this kind would be very rare and likely valuable if it could be determined and documented as being original.

Dick Persson
Buckhorn Canoe Company
Buckhorn, Ontario
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Thanks Dick, Peter, and Paul!
I hope to be able to view this boat sometime soon when I return from Quetico 2011#2. I'll assess the transom and take more photos....
Best Regards!!