Go big or go home... 18' Prospector

JPembleton

Chest Nut
On an earlier thread I was looking at purchasing a old canoe that was likely made in Quebec. I checked it out and for some odd reason it did not appeal to me, never thought it would be possible but I passed on it.
(It's available in Southern NB if anyone is driving thru....).

So I opted on a paddling buddies enormous 18' Chestnut Prospector to tackle as my 1st project. The size of this canoe is intimidating for a first timer.





Jamie
 
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Join the Big Honkin' Canoe Club

Hi Jamie:

Just thought I would co-miserate. I'm doing an 18 foot Prospector Voyageur for my tripping bud. The filler is nearly dry on it now. It will be Big and Green. See the "Godzilla" thread.

If all goes as planned it will get re-christened in the flowing waters of the Penobscot in about a month.

Keep us posted on your project.

Fitz.
 
Hey Fitz,

I've checked out you photo's before deciding on the 18' footer. It helps to see "what might be..." when I get it finished.

There are not too many other photos of 18' prospectors to see on the net to get an idea of what the finished project might look like.

For it's size, it's "relatively" light.

Jamie
 
16', 18'. Work is work. Its really not that much more work to do, just more wood to push around while you're doing it.

It's better to have a canoe that you believe in for your first rather than settle for whatever you can get. Congrats!
 
18 foot Prospector

These big 18 footers are out there. Here is a picture of the Voyageur that I recovered and refinished for one of my neighbors. We refer to this canoe as "The Moose Hauler". The carrying capacity is awesome! Good luck with your project.

SVL
 

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Did all Chestnuts have slat seats?

I just completed a canoe build class at Northouse Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. Built a 16' Prospector. Hanging in the garage curing - finish work mid to late May.

Dan Strootman, the instructor had a form which he bought off a guy and made some modifications on. He tells me it is based on the Peterbough Prospector with less rocker and a couple of minor changes from the Chestnut.

But I decided to make slat seats as I never liked caned seats.

Sorry if I highjacked this thread.

Howard
 
Seats

Howard:

Chestnut used both slat and cane seats.

Not to hijack the thread either, but I find that the slat seats get hard on the backside right around day three of a trip. Although, wet cane is not much of an improvement either.

Also, the slats extend across a long span in the bow seat of a Prospector. I have noticed quite a bit of flex in the seat and I broke one falling down on it in a rip once. As far as I know, they are usually constructed with ash strips reinforced underneath with a couple of hardwood strips secured with steel tacks and Robertson screws. I find the reinforcement strips underneath are prone to breaking. The bow seat on the Voyageur I am working on is broken there as well (too many fasteners may weaken it along with age).

Fitz
 
Howard Caplan said:
Did all Chestnuts have slat seats?

I just completed a canoe build class at Northouse Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. Built a 16' Prospector. Hanging in the garage curing - finish work mid to late May.

Dan Strootman, the instructor had a form which he bought off a guy and made some modifications on. He tells me it is based on the Peterbough Prospector with less rocker and a couple of minor changes from the Chestnut.

But I decided to make slat seats as I never liked caned seats.

Sorry if I highjacked this thread.

Howard

I believe all Prospector models had slat seats. Personally I do not mind the look of the slat seats but I think i'll try to lower them or depending on if I keep it I might change them out all together for something a little more comfortable.

Jamie
 
JPembleton said:
I believe all Prospector models had slat seats.

Chestnut catalogs from 1925 (when the Prospector was introduced) into the 1930s specify that the Prospector model had cane seats.
 
JPembleton said:
I believe all Prospector models had slat seats. Personally I do not mind the look of the slat seats but I think i'll try to lower them or depending on if I keep it I might change them out all together for something a little more comfortable.

I am going to use a 6" drop for the seats. Between the depth of the Prospector and my little hobbit sized legs and I am a kneeler, I want the seats to be as low as possible.

I was also thinking about shaping the slats to provide a bit more comfort. While kneeling, I make contact mainly with the leading edge of the seat and there, especially, the slats will be shaped with (maybe) a 1/2" roundover bit.

While at Northouse a couple weeks ago, a Chestnut camp boat came in for the restoration class that started when our build class ended and it had slat seats which I looked at. it had several cross slats to reinforce and the seats looked pretty original on this canoe which I have no idea of it's vintage or model - the lines were too gracefull with a recurve in it to be a Prospector - but I didn't measure it.

Thanks for the info
howard
 
Just waiting to paint...

My little Big project has just about been completed. I think it might actually float once I'm done.

Certainly not done to the standards that most here would settle for but I never intended to have the finished project to be perfect. This was my first attempt, just to get an idea of what was involved in trying to redo an old canoe.



Just waiting for the paint job in the middle of July.

Jamie
 
Nice Job!

My first project was a Peterborough Big Boy Freighter. We called it the Moose Canoe (canoers like Moose, non?), all my friends called it the War Canoe.

20+' x 54" x 20". Aside from just being so darn big and needing help to even tip it over it was a great learning experience. One of the best lessons learned was that a 20', close-ribbed, V-sterned freighter is too big for anything I wanted to do with it! I sold it to a guy in Texas with 14 grandchildren and found a smaller canoe that needed some love. This one isn't in as good of condition, but I'm much less intimidated by it.

They need to put warning labels on the keel of these things, "May be habit forming."
 
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