ID cedar strip row boat


This is my new project for the winter.
She was pulled out of a fishing pond 25 years ago, where she was abandoned.
My friend did a lot of work getting the canvas off and removing a lot of tar from the hull.
He saved most of the pieces, but we have no idea who the builder was and when she was built.
I live in Ann Arbor, Mi. and the boat was used near Unidila.
We think she was bought in Detroit, Mi. and may have been made by Clyde boat works.
But we don't have a positive ID.
Pictures @ Row Boat/
I plan on restoring her as close to original as I can.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
I sure don't know what it is, but it reminds me of a little airplane... add wings, and a propeller on that nose. Cute. It'll be interesting to see restored!

We have joked that she was designed and built by aircraft builders that were laid off after WWII ended.
But we really don't know what year she was built.
An eye and teeth akin to that aircraft design might be cool, but not original. See was Mustard Yellow with Red trim according to the scraps still attached.
Reminds me of the Larson "Falls Flyer" - styled and named in honor of Charles Lindbergh (a one-time resident of Little Falls, MN, where Larson began building boats). If I understand it correctly, these essentially strip-built inboards were covered with canvas as well.


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That's neat, Nick.

This won't help ID James' boat at all, but it reminds me of Nick Schade's kit boat called the Micro Bootlegger. Similar bulbous nose, which blends seamlessly into the long deck. The Micro was inspired, according to the designer, by the 1924 speedboat Baby Bootlegger, and Rushton's double-paddle canoes.

Good luck with the identification, James. Really cool project and you're definitely in the right place as far as sound advice.


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Kind of looks like a chunk of a bigger boat, like a motor canoe that was cut and had a transom added, just by the lack of transom knee and supports - unless they've been removed too. Seems to have front seat hangers but none at the rear, but cant really see from the photos. I agree that it needs a propeller though...
Interesting hull shape and that front end planking - wow! I wonder if it could have been built as a duck hunting boat?

I thought duck boat, too. I saw something similar once that was a duck boat. I've since tried to find the photo, but to no avail....
I am fairly sure that the boat is not cut off.
The way the strips taper to the transom looks planed.
There are three seat in the boat, and oar locks.
Although I am not a motor fancier, i may put a small period authentic motor on her, now and then. But I'd rather row.
I found an Ad years ago, that called it a duck boat, just can't remember where I stored it. One day I will plow through my archive disk .... bla bla. might get lucky and find it.
I know it's an older post, but I found pictures of the Falls Flyer getting canvas - thought it was kind of interesting as they did it one side at a time...


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Thanks for the images.
I am still figuring out how to get this boat covered.
I think I have found wide enough cloth, but supporting the boat and being able to turn her over to get over the gunwales.
It might be a lot easier on her side, one at a time.
Good thoughts.
The pictures above of the Falls Flyer and application of canvas to that boat show that the canvas was applied, not half at a time, but a quarter at a time (at least to the deck area).

It appears that there are rub rails along the sides and a trim strip down the center of the decks which would cover and hide the seams on the Falls Flyer.

I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to cover your boat with one piece of canvas, even if you got one that was wide enough. I think you would at least have to do one half at a time.

The problem you have is with that wonderfully shaped nose, with the reverse curve at the stem below the nose. Unlike the Falls Flyer, there does not seem to be a natural belt line where a rub rail could be placed to hide a seam between the “deck” and the rest of the hull. For that reason, I do think that doing half at a time, with a center seam on the deck and along the keel, would be the way to go.

I would think you would stretch the canvas first from the widest point at the transom to the center of the nose, along the line that defines the greatest beam. Then stretch a second time along the length from the stem just below the nose to a point a bit lower on the transom.

Then you would stretch from the keel line to the top line, tacking or stapling as you go, perhaps starting somewhere in the middle (perhaps at the front of the “cockpit”). As you stretch from top to keel, the attachments at the transom and stem may have to be adjusted a bit, especially near the stem. This is a bit similar to how the old Trailcraft kit canoes were covered – without any attempt to stretch the whole canvas envelope at once, as most current techniques call for. Proceeding this way sometimes requires going back and restretching/resmoothing/retacking to remove loose folds that develop, but I think it might be the best way to attack that reverse curve at the stem under the nose. The seam at the center of the deck would be readily covered with a trim strip; the keel arrangement on your boat is not clear from the photos, but if there is no external keel (which could cover the seam), a small half-round metal bang strip or a thin shoe keel could be added to cover the seam.

Temporarily propping the boat at an angle for a short time to do this work should not be too difficult, unless the boat is very fragile and will not hold its shape.

My 2 cents.
Thanks Greg
This being my first attempt at canvas covering, I might have bit off quite a large bite.
The keel has several pieces that are not on the boat.
I think it will be easy to hide the seem under the keel.
My buddy who took off the canvas may remember if there were seams on the deck. He did not have any trim that "goes there".
As far as strength, with out the seats in she is quite flexible and creaks a lot.
I am thinking that I should get the inside fixed up before I start the canvas.
I am very open to advice on this.
She moves like an old wicker basket now.
I have been cleaning and sanding the pieces for the bench seats.
Not that much work.
But the inside needs to be scrubed and the whole boat needs oil.
She is very dry.
It will be a bit of gymnastics to get in to the bow to clean and sand.
If you haven't got it already, you would do well also to get, or at least look at, "The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance" by Jerry Stelmok and Rollin Thurlow -- often referred to as the "bible" by those doing work on old canoes.

Generally the interior of the canoe should be taken care of before a new canvas is applied, otherwise stripper, stain, varnish, glue, etc. are likely to find their way between the planks to goop up the canvas.

And check your PMs.
That Falls Flyer is a very cool boat.
It will influence some of the choices I will make when covering ans finishing my boat.
I have had a preliminary meeting with a metal fabricator (motorcycle guy) who think he can make what I want. We will see. He has a very nice English wheel and other tools.
It looks like the canvas was seamed down the center of the deck. It might have also been seamed under the keel. It looks like it would be a good candidate for a canvassing demo @ QWS in East Lansing the first Saturday in March 2011.
Thanks Nick,
I have a ways to go before covering .......

By looking at the tack holes. you are right about two pices.
There are also two rows of staple holes half way acrost the deck converging at the bow. So the bow deck may have had an overlap??
Still not sure cuz the thin center piece has a lot of tack holes in it.
The keel is still off the boat. It look like the canvas went over the center strip and tacked on the other side, sould be wrong here, then the keel covers the canvas. And then there is another piece that runs from the stern to midship. That has some depth 3 inches or so. I'll take som picts.
Great to be reminded about the quiet water meeting. I don't want to miss that. i would e open to some help with the canvasing. But I don't know anyone in that group yet.