Kennebec Row Boat, Wooden Ser. # 943

Liz

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Can anyone give me any information about a wooden row boat we have that has two sets of oarlocks (4 oars) which means there is the option of two people rowing at once. The serial number is 943. What year might this have been made? The front almost makes one think of a canoe, but the back is straight across. Looks to be a very good condition. Any idea of its worth?

Thanks, Liz
 
The Kennebec Canoe Company cleverly placed serial number 943 on two different 14 foot long boats. One was a Maine Coast rowboat from 1917 and the other was a Comet runabout model from 1930. My guess is that you have the rowboat since you mentioned oarlocks that were not commonly installed on the runabouts. The first serial number 943 is shown on pages 236 and 237 of volume one in the Kennebec ledgers. This was assigned to 14 foot long Kennebec Maine Coast rowboat model. It was planked by "Douc" (Doucette?) on October 12th, 1917. It was painted green on April 15th, 1918 and shipped to Louis Ramsey on May 16th, 1918. The original Kennebec records are stored at the Maine State Museum. I am unable to attach a scan of these records since their policies do not permit any electronic reproduction of their materials.

The microfilms of these records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA). I hope that you will join or contribute to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.html to join.

More information about these boats can be found in the Kennebec catalogs contained on the Historic Wood Canoe and Boat Company Catalog Collection CD available from http://merchandise.wcha.org/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

There is some good information at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=57 about how to value and sell old wooden canoes which may help. However, old wooden boats usually tend to sell for less than old wooden canoes.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your boat. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

Benson
 
Kennebec Rowboat 943

Thank you! Your response is wonderful. The boat measures the 14' and has a keel on the bottom. Would it help if I email a picture? This was given to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury VT for their benefit auction to be held Sunday, July 2. It is our understanding the previous owner had the boat refurbished and it looks to be in good floatable condition. We hope to make sure of that before the auction. I work at the Museum and am trying to find out all I can about the boat. My family is also interested in the boat as we are rowboat, canoe, and kayak people! No motors, thank you!
 
Kennebec Boat #943

We tried the rowboat this weekend and unfortunately it does leak! Hence the sad face! However, we hope it is fixable. Goes real smooth in the water with two rowers, but didn't dare go too far!
 
Many of these old wooden boats need to be left in the water for a few days before they become completely water tight. Wet wood expands so those leaks may stop over time. One of the Kennebec catalog pages for this boat from 1917 is attached below. Good luck with the auction.

Benson
 

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Kennebec Rowboat #943

Benson: Thank you so much for the catalog page. We thought it might swell also and I think it will some, but this leak seemed to let in an awful lot of water to be just that. However, it might be as it has been in a barn upstairs where it can be hot and cold depending on the time of year for years!

I will send you some pictures of the boat. Again, many thanks, Liz
 
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