Chestnut Prospector from Early Ninties


White Pine September Moon
I have run into (not literally) a 16 foot Chestnut Prospector made in the early nineties (says the owner). It's in excellent condition, looks like it's been stored inside and only out a few times.

I've searched the forum here but haven't found any threads about newer Chestnuts such as this. Are the newer ones as desirable as the older ones??

Can anyone give me an idea of what a good offering price would be on such a boat???

I have an old 16 foot Mohawk Nova in Royalite now, but I may be joining the ranks of wood and canvas if all works out.

I need to make a decision in a couple of days, so all help will be greatly, greatly appreciated.
Is there any indication as to who actually made the canoe? (Chestnut shut down in the 70s).
I should have added:

The later Chestnuts (60s, 70s) aren't as desirable as the older ones but can still make great canoes (I have 3 of them in fact). The 'newer' Chestnuts weren't built like the old ones. The quality went downhill.

Is there any chance you could get pictures from the owner and post them here?
Thanks for the response. I don't know about the pics, but I assumed the canoe was made by these people.

And that assumption may be wrong. If memory serves, the Chestnut sticker was on the side of the bow and about three inches in diameter.

Does anyone else here have experience with or knowledge of the canoes made by this company?

Thanks again.
Aren't there some small builders who reproduce this canoe? You're likely to see a bit more "quality" in such a craft! Perhaps this Prospector is one of those...
oh I see!

Well if it was in fact made by Kenneth and Susan, it's a top quality canoe.
I don't own one of these myself but I do know they are very well made. It's hard to find a small shop nowadays that doesn't build excellent canoes.

Do you know what he's asking for it?
No, I'm trying to figure out what to offer.

From their site:

Only our canoes are true Chestnuts, still built on the original Prospector forms!

So I assume they have the ability to duplicate the originals if they had the skill.

It appears to be a good company.....or was, as it appears they closed in 2006 upon the death of one partner.
Their canoes are great. Very nice work! Far, far better than the quality the original Chestnut company put out in their later years. I would not hesitate to purchase one if the price was right.

I guess one important question would be about the purpose of the canoe. If it's for canoe tripping (using it), great canoe. If it's for collectability, I would suggest waiting for an old canoe of your liking. There are a lot of them out there.
Offering price: that's difficult. You don't want to insult them by offering too low but you should keep in mind that you could find a similar canoe (same 'model'....reproduction or original) on the used canoe market in great shape for anywhere from $1000 to $2500 (maybe even lower if you're very lucky). I remember seeing a 16' Chestnut from the 1950s on Ebay recently and the starting bid was around $900. I don't know if it even sold. It wasn't a Prospector but a Pal (which is an excellent canoe). It all depends on who made it, how old it is, what kind of shape it's in.

I think it would be hard to suggest a price without knowing exactly who made it. I would be willing to pay more for a Kenneth/Susan early 90s Prospector than an early 70s Chestnut factory one....
Well, I'd like to keep and use it and care for it very well......assuming that it will hold an excellent value in the future.

So.....I guess it's a combination of the two things.

I just don't want to make an offer that's ridiculous in either direction.
I agree. That's difficult when they give you the old 'make me an offer'. Without anything to compare it to, it's tough to think of that first offer. And nobody likes making an offer on anything only to have the seller get all excited and say "Sure!!"....unless you know more about it than they do.

Did they mention buying it new in Ontario? Ask them to check the decal on the bow. I think Kenneth and Suan's decal said 'Cold Springs' on it (as opposed to 'Fredericton' or 'Oromocto' from the Chestnut factory)
That website is interesting. I'm looking at the pictures and I don't see any canoes with stickers on the side of the bow like I thought I saw on this one.

I really have to get back to the owner and see it again and find out more about it. I didn't look as well as I should have as I was sure that the cost would be WAY out of my price range was so beautiful.

But....after I left I thought ..... and thought....
oh it's on the side of the bow? Interesting.... I don't think I've ever come across one like that.

I have two Chestnuts (60s, 70s) that had the 'Chestnut' name in white letters in the middle of the canoe just under the gunwales.

If there is a decal on the bow itself, it may provide some clues (sort of like the picture I use for my username)
I'm not even sure it was on the side of the bow......looked at several canoes that night.

The other complication is that he is seriously talking about adding it to a local small estate auction of another person's stuff.

I'm guessing that because we are NOT in an area where people are much familiar with could go way cheaper than it should, so my chances would actually be BETTER if it went on the auction.

So I will be slow to make any offer because he knows what he's got and would probably want a pretty high price.
Do you mind if I ask in which area you live?

If you're getting the feeling he knows how much he wants for it, the auction may be your best bet. Unless he puts high minimum amount on it.

Some people are a little more willing to part with it for a decent price if they know it's going to a good home. An auction seems so impersonal to me. If he's still somewhat attached to it, he may prefer to sell it to you directly.
The more I look at the pictures on the website, the more I think it actually was on top of the bow, just like one of the pictures there shows it.

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Some builders have a very unique 'style' and do things a certain way which make their canoes easily identifiable. If you aren't taking pictures, make a note of anything unusual you notice about the canoe. What type of seats it has (slats or cane), if it's finished in a different type of wood (gunwales are maybe cherry or some other contrasting wood), is anything stamped in the stems (the stems are the long curved pieces on the inside of the canoe in either end - under the bow deck and stern deck. They run from the tip of the canoe to a few feet inside the canoe. Usually builders will stamp a number there). Anything that stands out to you when you look at it.

The owner may volunteer some other useful info while you chat with them. Something that may give away its builder or even original price.

Post your findings and hopefully we can help you out! You may be the proud owner of a canoe soon!

oh...and if you do buy it, it'll hold it's value.
Well, as to area, let's just say it's REAL farm country, not canoe country at all.

I will try to get some pics. I'm trying to contact him now. It seems this canoe has now taken over my life.

I suppose I better get used to that.

I do know that the seats were normal looking cane seats and there did appear to be different types of wood used. I'll have to search for a number.
I should have pictures by tomorrow afternoon.

I'll keep you posted right up to the end and inform you of the final outcome no matter what that may be.

Thanks for the help.