Gil Cramer

The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.
The Struer mahogany veneer racing kayak shown in the canoe photo index is on its way to its new home. It will hang as a decorator in the rafters of a cabin in the Les Cheneaux area of Northern Michigan. The kayak was built in the 1950's and its owner was using it to practice for the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, he was in an auto accident and was never able to competitively kayak again.

The kayak spent some time outdoors in the Portage Lakes area south of Akron and for the last twenty years or so resting in a garage in Cleveland. When the garage owner decided to move, the kayak had to go somewhere. The owner was actually going to throw it in the trash. Ric Anderson, a longtime WCHA member in Cleveland, help direct the canoe to The Wooden Canoe Shop,Inc.

After contacting Benson, the Struer Company, and the main Struer dealer in North America, it became obvious that the damage and alterations the kayak had endured made the kayak unsuitable for any racing. Even with the stern interior reinforced with 1 oz. fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin, I was hesitant for anyone to paddle the kayak. The decision was made to "restore" the kayak as a decorator or "hanger", for which it is perfectly suited. In recognition of its original intended use, the cotton deck was painted red, white, and blue.

I know some people don't like wooden canoes to be used for decorators, and obviously, I don't have a problem with it.
Hi Gil

Heading to Cabela's in the a.m.. Any of those hangers your work? They have several hanging around. I think they even have a BB overhead. got to spend the gift card I got for my retirement.
Hi Gil

Yep, retirement. End of this month. So, I walked all around Cabela's. Only saw one w/c rowboat. A thompson I think. I must have been confused. the w/c canoes I saw must have been at Great Lakes Crossing's Bass Pro Shop.
I worked with Cabelas when they were designing the posters and selecting the canoes for display in their Maine store. They didn't buy anything from me or pay me though. Several of the display canoes there still don't appear to be correctly identified but I haven't pushed the issue. I did not get the impression that they were paying a premium for their canoes.

Are we going to get a chance to see a picture of how this red, white, and blue covering looked on the Struer when it was done?