Chestnut what?....


Chest Nut
At the risk of being kicked out of the house by my wife, I picked up another canoe to work on today. Initially I thought it was likely a 16' Pal but after getting it home I'm thinking it might actually be a Prospector. A few things are throwing me off tho...
Length is 15' 10" +/-
34" wide planking to planking at the gunwales
14" deep to the top of planking.
1 1/4" ribs

What bugs me is that there is only 1 thwart. It's a big one though. There are no other holes in the inwale to suggest any other previous thwarts.
The seats are not the typical slate seat you normally see on a prospector.
And there is a keel.

The canoe had been redone before with a deck replaced and some ribs and planking. It has an Oromocto factory sticker on the deck.. built there or redone there at some point. It almost looks like they used what ever parts were within arms reach to throw it together :).




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i spent an hour before the original post looking up info on the picturetrail site trying to find a 16' nut with only one thwart.

The best I could do was find a 16' Pal from 1957 that stated it had just one thwart.

I don't think the canoe is that old and I think it is a tad to rounded on the bottom to be a Pal.

But hey... I've been wrong before.


On page 145 of Bill Mason's book, Song of the Paddle, are dimensions taken from his own Prospector as well as several friends. These dimensions are a lot more detailed than normal. Unfortunately, I don't know of a similar set for the Pal. Also, remember that Chestnut had several different molds for the Prospector so dimensions might not be identical. He also mentions that sometimes the stern thwart might be omitted "by some manufacturers".
Good luck.
You have a winner!

I have restored 4 similar Chestnut canoes. A 14', 15' and two 16's . According to the information I have received these 1960's canoes were built for and sold through the Hudson Bay Company in Canada at a price to compete with other makes such as the $200+ Hurons which were sold by Simpson Sears. Red cedar ribs and planks were used along with other lower grade materials. Shoe keel seemed to be standard. The 16' models have all the dimensions of a Prospector. I think if you check the widest width of your canoe you will find it to be about 36". My favorite canoe, and I have many, is one of these 16' Chestnut Prospectors not only because it paddles so well but because of its' light weight. See pictures attached. PS. The hand thwarts are not factory.


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Thanks Dave

When I'm done with it it still won't look as nice as yours. Someday maybe.

The inner and outer gunwales were all scarfed and the joints are all pulling apart. I'll be replacing all the gunwales (inner/outer) and the decks.
I'll likely add the extra thwart and maybe some hand thwarts for added strength.

Hi Jamie

The inwales and outwales were scarfed from the factory. If they are otherwise okay just glue them up again. If the inwales are rotted at the ends short scarfed pieces can be installed. I have not found that my canoe needs to be reinforced but I don't run rapids. Lake paddling and light weight portaging suit my needs.


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The original scarfs could be glued back but the wales have lost a bit of their shape where the joints have split. The shape is not really a big issue but the previous restoration had an arrow head deck installed to avoid scarfing at the end. There's lots of little things including rot to make the decision to replace the entire gunwale easier.

I'm more concerned about function than originallity. I hope to use the canoe on a couple of rivers that don't typically see canvas canoes anymore.