Floor Rack

Lew's Canoes

Canoe Builder
I need to build a new floor rack for a 17 foot HW that is being restored. Did Old Town have a "favored" wood for the long slats, or were many different materials used? Seems like rot resistance and straight grain might be the key factors.....Thanks, LEW

I have one hanging in my shop now but haven't stripped the paint off and the species of wood is undetermined but I believe it is spruce. Cedar could be used and would be light weight but will dent up easier...but thats why you have a floor rack. Any wood could be used, keeping weight and cost in mind. One idea...1/4" X 1 1/4" pre milled lattice at Home Depot, comes in 16' lengths.

I have two Old Town canoes from the 1930s with floor racks in the garage at the moment. My guess is that the long pieces parallel to the keel are spruce and the short ones parallel to the ribs that hold the rack together are white cedar half ribs. The grade doesn't seem to matter since one is an AA and the other is a CS.

I just stripped a 1943 floor rack and I believe Benson is correct, spruce (very clear spruce) lengthwise and cedar supports that do look like half rib material.
I believe the long floor rack material was made from leftover gunwale scrap. Spruce is the most common floor rack material, but I recall having refinished mahogany floor racks as well. But since my memory isn't as good as Gil's, don't hold me to that...