chestnut id


Curious about Wooden Canoes
this canoe is 16' long 13 1/2 deep 35 1/2 wide
any help in iding this canoe would be helpfull
one of the gunwale has a scarf joint that has let go iwas wondering if it was a good plan to replace with mahogany , any thoughts on this would be apperecated thanks


  • canoe 005.jpg
    canoe 005.jpg
    785.9 KB · Views: 367
  • canoe 001.jpg
    canoe 001.jpg
    883 KB · Views: 386
  • canoe 004.jpg
    canoe 004.jpg
    863 KB · Views: 401
Probably a late 1970's Chestnut Deer except for the single thwart. I have seen single thwart light weight models which were sold through department stores such as the HBC.
Thanks for the pics

Thanks for posting those pics....It is the same as the one I just bought that has 3 broken ribs...same dimensions except mine is the 2 thwart version. Guess mine was from that same era....Cant figure out why this one has the serial number of #01 preceded with the 16' identification in front of it...Wonder what that's all about!
With Chestnut, it seems the more we know the less we understand...

As for mahogany gunwales, that is not a wood that would be found in Chestnuts very often, if at all. The scarphed gunwales are quite common, though.
I don't think the scarf is original as the Chestnut factory scarfs are much longer than shown in your in the picture. Chestnut did have mahogany outwales on their 16' Indian model with a 12" depth and a 33" beam. The Indian model only had one center thwart.
Last edited:
I don't see the scarf in those photos, the gunwales appear original to me.

Yes, the Indian had mahogany gunwales, at least the earlier incarnation, but John's canoe isn't even close to being an Indian.
Hi Dan M. John mentions a gunwale [outwale?] scarf which [if I am right] can be seen as a 45 degree joint, starboard side, 3rd. picture, forward of the bow seat. Since his canoe doesn't appear to have mahagany outwales I am assuming he is asking if Chestnut ever used mahagany on any of their 16' canoes which they did on the Indian. From the information he has supplied my information indicates he has a Deer model.
the gunwales are original ,what would the apropreate mateial be
how is the rocker measured. i did not metion that the canoe also has a keel ,dont know if that makes a differaence
thanks for the input .
Last edited:
Chestnut typically used ash, white oak, and sometimes spruce for gunwales. If you are restoring the boat, you should use what was used originally. If you are not experienced in identifying wood, see if you know someone who is, or look for one of the identification books at the library. If you are just repairing the canoe, and don't care about originality, then any of the typical gunwale woods would be acceptible (including ash, white oak, mahogany, cherry, spruce, and even walnut). Folks typically use harder woods for outwales, reserving spruce for inwales (though spruce can be found as outwales as well).

From the photos, it does not appear that the outwales are that bad... If it were my boat, and barring damage or rot I can't see, I'd probably just work some epoxy into the loose scarf, clamp it, and call it done.

Rocker is a descriptive term that is supposed to describe the curvature of the hull along the keel line. For ballpark purposes, I measure it as the difference between the baseline that intersects the hull at the center station and the station as measured at 1 foot aft of the stem. It's a pretty meaningless descriptive though, because it doesn't tell you how the curvature is distributed along the length of the hull: some canoes are evenly curved along their length, others are flat for some distance, then curved, etc. There are better measures of hull shape (like block coefficient and prismatic coefficient), but they involve considerable work to derive. You'll see some descriptions like "no rocker", "moderate" rocker" and "high rocker" which can be helpful, just a little, if you've looked at a lot of canoes. In the absence of anything better, so you have something to compare, just give the height of the bottom of the hull (excluding the keel) off the baseline at 12" aft of the stem...