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Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have a Kennebec canoe which I acquired in the early 1960's which sports an oval name plate and serial number 3139. Any information regarding this boat would be greatly appreciated. I can be e-mailed at

The Kennebec serial number 3139 was assigned three times. One went on a 14 foot long Fisherman model boat, one went on a 15 foot long Kennebec model canoe, and one went on a 16 foot long Kineo Special model canoe. This last one was actually recorded as serial number 103139 although they usually omitted the first two digits since there wasn't enough room for all six digits on the metal name plates. Please let me know the length of your canoe or boat and I can provide the appropriate build record information. Thanks,

My Kennebec

Hi Benson, thanks for the reply. My Kennebec is a 16 ft boat with closed gunwales, splayed inner stem bands (about 4 inches), inwale notched to accept the ribs and the stem to keel fastening was with a copper or brass like rivet through both. The brass? outer stem band was also fastened this way with rivets. It was varnished inside but the wood was not really fine quality as to its not being clear grain but rather with some small knots and other grain "blems" here and there throughout. The boat is not with me right now so I can't be specific about any other identifing marks. When I got it in the 1960's the canvas was in bad shape and I'm not sure of the original color.

Thanks, Robert
My Kennebec (#2)

Hi again Benson,

Actually I'm not sure of exactly how to measure the boat for length. As I recall the LOA is greater than 15 but I don't recall it being greater than 16. Do you measure from maximum curve at bow to maximum curve at the stern. Or along the gunwale length?? If the choice was 14 ft or 16 ft I'd go with the 16. But throw the 15 in and I'm not sure. I will be back to the Lake after this weekend and can get an accurate measurment and any oyher details you might need to get the factory information.

Thanks again, Robert
Measure maximum-to-maximum but you can avoid including any of the curves on the outside of the canoe by placing a board vertically against bow and stern and measuring in-between.

In your description of your canoe, you appear to be describing a hull that may have originated at the B.N. Morris factory... if I'm reading your description accurately. Kennebec canoes have a narrow inner stem with no splay-- Morris canoes have a splayed cedar stem (about 3" at max) and ribs that fit into pockets in the inwale and riveted stem bands. Morris built a number of hulls that were finished at the Kennebec factory--- presumably as a favor when Kennebec couldn't keep up with their orders.

Check and scroll to "B.N. Morris" on the left to get a picture of Morris details... or watch the thrilling two-part Morris i.d. video at and

There's also a video comparing the Morris with a Morris/Kennebec hybrid:

My Kennebec/Morris?

Hi Kathy, Thanks for your reply. But, what does your reply tell me about the build date. Any information there??

Thanks again, Robert
Hi Robert--

Your canoe is a Kennebec--- was purchased and shipped as a Kennebec even if the hull began at the Morris factory. The Morris connection is simply "possible added history". The Kennebec records are among the very few that still exist, so that a connection can be made between the serial number on your canoe and original build-information. Benson will provide that information for you.