Help ID a big old prospector type canoe


New Member
I have a wood & canvass canoe with the following dimensions: LOA: 17'3", width: 35+" and depth 15" excluding the keel. It has 58 closely spaced ribs that are 2 1/4" wide and tapered plus a thinner and wider flat rib in each end under the decks. There isn't much rocker and it has the low, Canadian style ends. The seats are filled with marline, but probably were caned. It has three thwarts that are nicely shaped and heart-shaped decks that are quite thick. I haven't weighed it but it's a beast. It probably goes 85 to 100 pounds and can carry two men plus camping gear for a week. I can't find any obvious clues like numbers or decals. My Dad thought it was a Chestnut when he bought it in the Adirondacks thirty years ago, but that was on hearsay.

I'd sure appreciate any insights.



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Looks like a Chestnut to me...I hav and 18 Ogilvy...Go to and they show all the Chestuts...there are many mdoels and saizes and there are charts there that if you look at them closely you will find the same dimensions and the model name of yours ..If you cant date when it was purchased new, the serial number on the bow stem band could help narrow it down for others trying to date theirs....Looks in godd restorable condition/B]
OOPS!..didnt check my spelling before posting the above...If you CAN date when it was purchased new it will help others date theirs if you post the serial number.
Check out the Prospectors in the 1935 edition on the left side (after you click on the top right frame)...See if that one resembles will note that they charged extra for "close rib" and "keels"
I'm not the sharpest tack in the can, but I can't find a group called canoes or Chestnut. What group am I looking for here?
Don't worry Canerodz, you're not alone. I searched for a couple hours trying to find that page. That is one of the most difficult sites I've ever tried to navigate through. I felt pretty uninformed after that! I think it's for all those beautiful young poeple to post their photos and block us weathered, seasoned (old) types out...

Anyways, thanks Martin for helping out. Lots of good stuff there.
Though I only knew him slightly I knew John and have been to his fishing camp.
Also hung out with his daughter when I was in college- geez that was a long time ago! :)
NOW....back to the original poster of this discussion...Hey..."Rightbrainer"...Did you ever decide which model yours is? and....serial numbers are usually located on the end of the stem just before the front seat...If you can "detect" any semblance of some numbers, be very careful not to sand the wood to clear up the mumbers...What most generally will happen is you might sand them off forever!...just clean it up the best you can,get a magniying glass and a flashlight and become and acrobat and get your head down in there to read them! :p

"Love many,trust few, always paddle your own canoe." .....Native Maine belief!/B]
Looks like a 1922-1942 Prospector Garry Model to me.

Thanks for the tip on that website with all the catalogs. That was great.

Well, I'm pretty sure I have a post-fire/pre-war prospector Garry model with close ribs and keel. The thwarts pictured are exactly right and so are the decks. My measurements may be a bit off, and the canoe may have changed shape slightly over the years. The original seat frames are for caned seats and the trim looks to be mahogany. There's a little rot in the planks under the front inside stem and the stem is punky too in the same area. You can cover all the problems with a 9" paper plate. The canoe has been used like this for years and seems as strong as an ox. The rot came from one of the screws holding the keel on because it wasn't bedded right. It leaked from the first year my old man had it recovered.

I'm going to sell it because I just can't keep everything and this one needs to go to a good home. It got recovered in Dynel or some such thing about 30 years ago, so it was never filled like a proper canvass job. I think you could tear of the Dynel, replace or repair the stem and replace the rotten spots in the planks and be right in business with a real classy canoe with some interesting special order features.

Or, you could not worry about it and keep paddling it like it is.

Thanks, Marty