Identification help for a newbie


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I've been a paddler and woodworker for quite a few years, and I now have the opportunity to put them together. I have acquired a wood/canvas canoe for $40.00, and I was hoping someone might help me identify it. If all goes according to plan, there will be four pictures attached to this post.

16' Overall Length
32" Width (gunnel to gunnel)
38 1/2" Overall width (including the floatation outside below the gunnels)
Ribs are 2 1/4" wide in the centre, and 1 1/2" wide at the gunnels (3/8" thick). The spaces between the ribs correspond to the ribs: 1 1/2" in the centre, and 2 1/4" at the gunnels. The edges of the ribs are rounded over

The canoe has been in a friend's family in Ontario since at least 1939. There is a mount for a sail in the bow, and I suspect that is the reason for the floatation along the gunnels.

Any help would be really appreciated. This is my first refinishing job, and I've found these forums to be very informative so far.



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I suspect your canoe is either a Canadian Canoe Co or a Peterborough Canoe Co built Sponson canoe.
The decks and their hardware somewhat indicates a Chestnut Canoe Co, but the paint scheme and several other details points toward Canadian Canoe Co or Peterborough Canoe Co.

Early Canadian Canoe Co as well as early Chestnut Canoe Co sponson canoes had s very similar heartshaped decks.

Attached below is a page from Peterborough Canoe Co's 1930 catalogue.

You seem to have a gem of a canoe, especially at that purchase price.

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
Buckhorn, Ontario


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After taking a closer look at your posted photos, I am almost convinced that your canoe is a Canadian Canoe Co "Sponson canoe".
Check the inside stem for a model/serial number and the bow deck for the outlines of a shield shaped decal. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Please see the attached catalogue page for Canadian Canoe Co sponson canoe.

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
Buckhorn, Ontario


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Hi Steve,

I thought I saw a post that pointed out the splayed stem and said your canoe was most likely a Morris.

Now the post is gone.

I vote Morris. Your second picture shows the splayed stem. And the deck is a perfect match for a Morris. Morris did make Sponson canoes.

Your Morris happens to be a newer open gunnel model. Most of the Morris canoes found are closed gunnel.

I have attached a picture of a closed gunnel Morris with the same deck and stem.




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Wow, thanks for the quick replies.

Dick, I checked for any heart-shaped discolouration of the bow deck and found nothing. However, the entire inside of the canoe (including the decks) are covered in flaking shallac. I removed a newer piece of pine coarsely screwed into the bow stem to hold the base of the sail, but still found no numbers or markings. Maybe when I get into the refinishing I will find something.

I see you're located in Buckhorn. I grew up in Bancroft, and spent last week paddling Big Hawk and Nunikani around Dorset. I had the thrill of navigating through the remnants of lake ice at 2 a.m. in the rain :)

Paul, I rechecked the canoe, and the stem isn't splayed--unless I'm misunderstanding what the stem is (which is quite possible). The second picture I posted had some snow on the end of the stem which probably made it look splayed.

From the catalogue pages, it appears that the sponsons were add-ons. Does that mean I can leave them off when I refinish (or is that sacriligious?). I was also wondering about the sail mount. Is there any way to tell whether this was an original feature or not?

Oh yeah, one more thing. Family tradition states that the canoe is a Peterborough. However, since the Canadian Canoe Co. was located there, that would make sense as well.

Thanks again guys.