I finally brought the beast home..help ID?


LOVES Wooden Canoes
Six weeks ago or so I found an old 22ft wood and canvas canoe at a local swap shop. Being the impulsive person that I am (when it comes to vintage sporting goods), I decided to take a chance and slowly pay the man the non-negotiable $800 clams he was asking for it. Well I brought her home today. See attached pictures. The shop owner said it was a Richardson, and it is 22ft long, 40 inches wide, and 16 inches deep. It has a serial number stamped on the inside #80032. There is a tiny bit of rot at the tip of one of the inwales, and 3 of the ribs appear to be cracked. The canvas seems good, except for the obvious military themed paint job. Can anyone identify the canoe, and possibly tell me how I did on this purchase...do I get an "A" or an "F"? Regardless, I love the thing and look forward to many adventures on our local waterways and beyond. I'm looking forward to working on her and will need much advice in the future! :)


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I am curious about those bolts and inwale threaded nut clips...Were they a specialty item from some era? My "JO" is the standard model, wide seat amidships and standard screws...also the deck seems to be much longer on that model...An inquiring mind always looks at the subtle differences and needs them answered....LOL............Its in great shape and looks to be a great one to use!
I'm really surprised that it is a Chestnut Ogilvy. Is there any way to know for sure...will the serial number tell me anything? Does anyone have pictures of an Ogilvy for comparison?

The wide ribs in your canoe are typical of an Ogilvy. I've attached some photos of a 16 ft. Ogilvy and a 20 foot square stern Ogilvy Pool. The 16 footer has the same stem profile as yours. I may have some better photos on another computer that I can post later.


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Thanks so much, you folks are so helpful! I have so many questions! Now that you've determined that it's a Chestnut Ogilvy (Alex model according to the specs), I was wondering if it is considered to be rare...how many are in existence? Can it still be a "user"? Are the phillips style screws original? Can I paint over the olive drab, and if so, with what paint and method? What varnish to use to refinish the interior? Are those brass rings and plates original? Did it have one of those "Chestnut" decals, or other, originally? What species of wood were typically used in their construction? The old cataglogue shows a picture of one in some class II rapids....Is that recommended?
I own an 18 foot Ogilvy. I wasn’t sure Chestnut made a 22 footer until I checked. Dimensions given are an inch long for the specs given in Ken Solway’s book, but well within the range of likely error.

It’s a big heavy boat, so neither fast nor nimble. A great stable poling and fishing boat, tho. A moose and a half hauler.

Everything about it looks like a Chestnut from its high quality construction years. Stem profile is right.

Two points of difference from 18 footer are the decks, which are long and wide on yours, and the thwarts. The 18 footer has a big wide distinctive coffee table center thwart. But both your decks and thwarts may be that way because its so much longer than an 18 footer. The decks look just like those on a 22 foot Chestnut Salmo featured on another current thread.

One thing that looks a bit off is the hull shape. Ogilvy has a very flat bottom and your’s looks a little rounder bottomed than I would expect. That might be photo distortion.

I wouldn’t worry about 3 ribs cracked. Ribs are so thick and numerous an Ogilvy has rib power to spare.

Class II rapids?

Well it won’t nimble.
Giving you my thoughts on some of your questions--

"Can it still be a "user"?"

As is frequently stated in these Forums, "it's your canoe." I have no problem using our wonderfully restored old canoe, both because it's fun and because of what it teaches The Masses about old canoes. If you can use the canoe in the manner for which it was built, and you want to use it, do so!

"Can I paint over the olive drab, and if so, with what paint and method? What varnish to use to refinish the interior?"

There will be painting demonstrations at this year's Assembly (hint)... and if you're asking if it's okay to change the color... well, "it's your canoe" and it can be whatever you choose, not what a prior owner chose.

"The old cataglogue shows a picture of one in some class II rapids....Is that recommended?"

My feeling is that this depends on your paddling skills and your plans for use of this canoe. Check out Bill Mason's DVD of "Path of the Paddle" to see what can be done in a w/c canoe if you know how to read the river (although Bill's Chestnut is smaller than yours--- you can see it in Peterborough).

Kathy (who is thinking a lot about Assembly lately)
Thanks for the replies,

Regarding the paint, I was just wondering if it is a typical practice to simply paint over the old paint, and if there was a standard color for that model. I do want to repaint it, and want to use the best paint possible...same goes for the interior varnish. Is the canoe rare...or are lots of them out there? There is a small Chestnut on ebay currently that has decks similar to mine, except has the decal, and so I was wondering if a correct restoration would include the decal. It is my wish to restore the canoe to the same color etc it originally was when built...which raises another question...when was it built?...50's...60's...70's? Love to come to the asembly!