ID Help Needed

Kathryn Klos

squirrel whisperer
Denis and I bought this canoe (via eBay) from Dave and Peg Davidson of PA.

It's 16 feet long and was originally canvas covered. It was built with the sort of finesse that indicates the builder had woodworking skill... the mahogany decks are undercut, ribs (which are laminated using copper nails) fit into pockets, planking is inlet into rabbets on stems, and position of grommets on underside suggests canoe may have had bilge keels.

I've posted more pictures at

Denis may add more construction details after seeing what I've done here...

Any suggestions as to what it is or what the seats may have looked like, etc. are appreciated.



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Hi Kathy,

This looks like an experiment. The lamination of the ribs and their wide spacing are (as you well know) very unusual. However, I seem to recall another canoe like this being discussed here a year or two ago. Does that ring a bell? I haven't had a chance to search for it, but I sure remember this look.

The canoe looks like a hybrid among a wood-canvas, a Canadian strip canoe, and a guideboat! Planking attached edge-to-edge like w/c, ribs similar to a guideboat... vaguely similar in gross appearance at least, and planking attached as in a Canadian all-wood canoe. Very odd!

Thanks, Michael-- I've wondered if it could be something like that... it makes sense that canoe builders would experiment with what they see in other canoes. I'll search through the archives and see if I can find the other discussions... it does sound familiar.
Are you sure this canoe was meant to be canvas covered? It just may be in very poor condition. The scarf joints in the planking seem to indicate this. Are the out-wales riveted on? Are you gluttons for punishment?
I like the building in the background.

This boat looks like a collection of building techniques from several builders.

That scarfed plank looks like the plank I'm working on for a White Canoe. The deck has the same pattern as a long deck on a Rushton Indian Girl or the later St. Lawrence canoe. The stem profile I would say looks Rushton also, but goes to high. Rushton, Morris and some of the Charles River builders pocketed the ribs into the inwale and we know a lot of the Charles River builders rabbeted the stem tip to accept the planking.

Those ribs look like a combo of the flat type use by some builders and then maybe he or she realized they were not strong enough and added the round part on top?

You can a good idea of the planking pattern and that also looks a lot like the Charles River style we've been discussing on a different but current post here.