Feedback requested

Dave Wermuth

Who hid my paddle?

Item number: 130183125134

This looks like Trailcraft or similar canoe that just went for $400.00.

Was wondering your opinions on whether this was more or less than what you would have paid.

Or any comments for that matter. l'll start. It is worth what it sold for to the person who bought it. I did not bid.

It seems some real nice w/c canoe have trouble selling in the $1500.00 range. I think there is another econimic phenomenon at play.
I wouldn't have paid anything for it, but don't take that as a judgement on its value...

It seems some real nice w/c canoe have trouble selling in the $1500.00 range. I think there is another econimic phenomenon at play.

A big part of it is that in order to spend that kind of money, you want to first be able to inspect it firsthand and second get it to your home. For any given individual, meeting both of these requirements is a challenge. It is usually the rare and highly desirable ones that buck this trend, in other words, the ones worth taking a chance on, or driving halfway across the country to get...

I wouldn't have paid anything for it, but don't take that as a judgement on its value...
Dan, I think the real litmus test is if you would let someone leave it at your place and drive away without it...;)
I would not have paid $400 for the Trailcraft canoe and would not be happy if someone left it at my house. (I do admit to a having some bias in my canoe preferences though.) Two canoes were auctioned on eBay over Thanksgiving weekend and both sold for over $1500. I drove over a thousand miles to inspect and get one of them so it does happen occasionally.

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I own two Trailcraft. One is pictured with me in it. I researched the Trailcraft, visited Glasco Kansas and spoke with some former employees. I have a set of instructions for the 16 footer and various pictures of other. I have yet to contact the former factory owner/developer but I will give you this.
The Trailcraft was developed as a Boy Scout project boat. It was an inexpensive kit, $28.50 at the low end in December 1965 for what I presume was a 12 footer w/o seats. As with all kits, the skill of the builder is the real issue. The instructions are only 24 pages long and simple but not foolproof. If an Old Town craftsman helped a boy scout build a kit what would we say? My 14 footer pictured above is very well built and worth the $415 I paid. My 16 footer was very poorly built, missing parts and some parts wrongly put on (gunwales). It likely leaked from day one and still leaked after two coats of sloppily applied fiberglass. It was not worth the $101 I paid. The one just sold on Ebay was advertised misleadingly to say the least. If the owner had actually paddled it and swore it did not leak I might have bid. The bottom picture showed some problem but otherwise it did not look bad. Again, the owner wrongly advertised it. (leather hull covering!?) Trailcrafts are not antiques. I date the company's wood canoes from 1963 to late 1970's. One day I'll find better data. Since craftsmanship is such an issue with them I caution the buyer. A 12 footer sold around Thanksgiving for $154 I believe. I knew from the pictures it was a mess but at least the owner admitted it was a project boat. I have my 16 footer on the saw horses with the canvas off. I will see if I can correct the original builder's sloppy work and errors. But if canoe's have value based on ownership, suppose a celebrity did this sloppy work. Is it worth something then? I think in the end, the canoe is worth what it sells for. No more, no less. But let the seller be honest. It is a kit boat and easily recognized.
FWLIW, I have no interest in this or any other kit boats. (and have "passed" on several of them).

On the other hand, I also, at least now, have little interest in owning a birchbark canoe either. Not that they aren't nice and beautiful craft, I just don't have any interest in personally owning one.

Food for thought

And good food at that. Trailcraft canoes do not have the romance/wow factor of w/c in general it seems. But the history above is very interesting. I guess it is worth what the selling price is for the buyer. Almost an existentialist observation. For me, I think it was Gil that said any canoe is worth fifty bucks. The reality is that I also felt the canoe was described deceptively. btw, Skin-on-Frame seems very much more exciting than kit canoe.

My life goal to build a boat started when I was a youngster. I dreamed of building my own raft and floating down my river, the Shiawassee, Huck Finn style. I found a raft of sorts on a pond/swamp near home. Got most of it home somehow to the back yard where I practised my rafting/daydreaming skills. Left it there on the lawn when my family moved. Later cobbled up a plywood tender from plans in popular mechancs. Gave it away without floating it. Actually bought a trailcraft or similar s.o.f. set of plans. Then lost the plans in a move. Then dreamed of building the six hour canoe, or is it a 12 hour canoe? Then heard about stitch and glue. Then discovered strippers and decided to give it a try. But Instead, and a very nice instead at that, I came accross a w/c canoe. The canoe was not very nice at the time. I had it rebuilt and still have it. A 1926 18' HW. One thing led to another and I have really come to love the w/c canoe. For me, it's a wonderful hobby. I get to build them and restore/rebuild them. I get to paddle them. I get to read the history stories on this forum. It's all good.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Isn't this the truth. :)
" If you (Gil) don't see it, it is junk".


We also made rafts as kids, but nothing so adventuresome.

Usually they were either a few logs tied together or a couple 55 gallon barrels tied together, and they would only float 1 or maybe 2 kids. But they were fun on the small ponds around home. Maybe 20-25 years later I had the occasion to be walking near one old pond, long sense drained for a housing development and the 2 barrels we hauled there were still laying in the weeds, rusting away.