Chestnut info?


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hi guys.Great site.I've been poking around for a while but have only just registered as I have a new acquisition.
The previous owner is about 60 yrs old and says it was bought by his grandfather-which should place it around the early 1900's I believe.
His father did the 'glas work and he put the motor mount on there-both will be coming off-the 'glas probably over the winter as I want to paddle it first.
The dimensions are: Length-18' . Width-30 1/2" between gunwales at center. Depth-13" measured between the ribs to top of gunwales at the center. The ribs are 2" apart.
I'll have to wait for the wife to get home to get a approx weight figure so she can look at the scale while I lift it.I'm not really looking forward to it as this is the second canoe to arrive home in the past 2 weeks to take up space in the basement-ma won't be happy.
On another note,I tried to get a membership but the link said invalid url.When I tried from the store,it worked until it tried to go to paypal then said-invalid merchant address or some such thing.Do I have to do it by phone?Thanks in advance guys.Any and all info or insights are greatly appreciated.
Ain't she pretty......

Wonderful boat in original condition (but for the fiberglass) Its twin is at the Canadian Canoe Museum, and it has the stem profile of a pre-fire boat much like a Morris. A great find, congrats!
Thanks Andre-I like it.Though heavier and bulkier than my fibreglass canoe,I can't stop poking at it and staring at it.Any idea exactly which model it might be or approx year?I weighed it and it comes in at 120lbs though I'm not sure of the weight differential between fibreglass and canvas.
Ok,so I tried to order "when the chestnut was in flower" and wood and canvas canoes but still got shipping address provided by merchant invalid(or something like that)when it went to paypal.I guess I'll have to try calling if I'm off work sometime during business hours. :(
A little more info.I went to the dragonfly site and got pre and post 1921 measuring specs.It's somewhat difficult to get an exact width from "canvas to canvas" being fibreglass and with sponsons so I guesstimated as if the sponsons weren't there.It should be pretty close.The specs then would be:
Pre 1921 method- 18'x33"x13"
Post 1921 method 18'x34"x14 1/2"

There are a couple models that could conceivably be close but not on the weight figure of 120 lbs.That should be accurate as the scale has always been accurate.Also my bro in laws cedar strip comes on at just over 100lbs and this one is noticeably heavier than that.I assume their specs are all without sponsons.Anyone care to hazard a guess as to the weight of sponsons and fiberglass?The fiberglass appears to be a reasonably thin mat.
BTW,what are the sponsons made of? Thanks,and sorry for all the stupid questions

I believe there is a note in some Chestnut catalogues that indicate you could get sponsons special order on most any canoe. Also, they were reported to range in weight from 20 to 30 additional pounds depending on the canoe they were installed on.
BTW,what are the sponsons made of?

Sponsons are usually thin strip wood planking fastened to small wooden bulkheads or forms, which are covered with canvas, filler, and paint just as with the hull of the canoe. As far as I know, most builders did them in basically this same way (except a very few who built fancy "invisible" sponson canoes -- there, the basic hull was much beamier, and the sponsons were built inside the hull).

Here are some photos from a canoe, maker unknown, presently listed on eBay, with sponsons detached from the hull. They show a sponson on the ground next to the canoe; two sponsons (next to canoe and in bottom of canoe) from the inside, showing the small bulkheads or forms to which the planking is nailed; another view of the interior of the one in the bottom of the canoe, again.

1.jpg 4.jpg 2.jpg
That's good info Fitz,thanks.If I allowed 20 lbs for the sponsons it matches me with nothing but if I allowed 30-35 lbs(reasonable I believe where it's an 18 footer) for the sponsons,and allowed myself a measuring error of 1" either way,(reasonable due to the difficulty of measuring with the sponsons on and depth variations possibly due to age/storage etc)that leaves me with exactly 3 possibilities:
1. Alpha first grade 18x32x12 1/2 "pleasure" 75lbs
2. Leader first grade 18x34x12 "cruiser" 75lbs
3. Moses second grade 18x34x12 "guides special" close ribbed 80lbs

The ribs are 1 7/8 -2" apart at the narrowest point(center)and the ribs themselves are 2 1/4 " wide at the same point.The ribs get narrower and of course,the spacing wider as you move from the center towards the gunwales.
Would this be considered"close ribbed" or would I be able to eliminate this one from the last.
I realize it doesn't really matter but once I redo it it will eventually be passed to my daughter so it would be great to be able to tell her,as closely as possible anyway,what it actually is.Thanks.

I appreciate that info as well Greg(I didn't see your reply on page 2 when I first posted),it certainly helps,I've been told before they were covered cork.Being able to look at them uncovered is great.
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That's good info on both counts,thanks Dan.
That should then eliminate the guide special and leave me with the likelihood of one of the others.
What differentiates a "pleasure" from a "cruiser" given that the specs are almost identical?
What differentiates a "pleasure" from a "cruiser" given that the specs are almost identical?

Hull shape mostly, though you should be able to differentiate between 2" difference in beam... You can measure inside the hull at it's widest point, and add the thickness of planking/canvas (and rib, if necessary). Or measure across the gunwales from plank to plank, and add about 1" tumblehome per side, which is typical of Chestnuts.

The Cruiser model can also be distinguished by the presence of carry thwarts, though this might apply only to post-fire canoes, I am not sure...

Thanks Dan,my measurement was halfway between at 33" but that was a guestimate of plank thickness,fibreglas etc where the sponsons cover it.I'll go remeasure.
Oops,that was stupid,my original measurements are still written on the paper sitting in the canoe-with a 36" width,and given Dans measurement method,I'd stick with that.I guess I lost something in the transcription.Regardless,it would appear that it most closely resembles the cruiser model "stoessel 2nd grade"(it doesn't have a yoke type center thwart though-all 3 are the same)
I guess I'll go with that for now unless I learn differently.Thanks all !
Hey - there is another example of the Chestnut deck decal on my cruiser. And the ribs, etc look the same too. Cool.


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