Me and my new HW


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm Ben Carlson. I've been lurking here for a couple of months (since I got this canoe) and it's time I introduce myself and my boat and start asking questions.
I made myself a website years ago, sometimes it still works. It's got a bunch of good boat pictures;
I've done a lot of work on bigger boats and I've had a couple of skin on frame boats but I left them all behind when we moved last summer. I was feeling a little naked without a boat in the yard and spotted this little gem on the Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation Website,
It's a 1927 Old town HW 16', CS grade, closed gunnels, #93085. OT sent me the build sheet. They're such nice folks. I'll post it when I remember where I stashed the file.
Surprise, the tips need work. One of the rails is rotten and there are several broken planks. Most of the ribs seem ok, except for the ends being kind of busted up where they meet the rails.
I've built a cradle to try to get it back to the right shape. Especially where the side has fallen away from the rotten rail. This picture shows the beginings of it, it's gotten a little more obsesive since I took it.
Which brings me to my first question. How much rocker should a 16' HW have at the keel? I measured one inch and built my frame to match that but now I'm not convinced that it origionally had any rocker. What do you all think?


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Hi Ben

looks pretty nice. My HW is a '26. Looks like the side let go of the inwale because the ribs were fastened with tacks instead of bronze ring nails at a restore some years ago. Is that the case? As far as rocker, the catalogues may tell (or the Book), but I wouldn't worry too much over an inch of rocker. I would worry more if it were hogged. I'd eyeball it so that everything looked fair. My HW is 18' and although the canoe looks fair, I've never really measured for rocker. I think there may be a little. Perhaps an inch. Just a guess. If I am correct, HW's had a slightly more rounded bottom and softer bilge. That roundness, i think is structrually better to my way of thinking.
I'll attach the build record here, as I looked it up. 93085 is a 16 foot CS grade HW model, completed from December of 1926 to May of 1927. It has red Western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, and birch decks, thwarts, and seat frames. It was fitted with a keel and painted cadet blue, then shipped to Denville, NJ, on May 21, 1927.



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Well, there are a lot of rusty little nails in these rails. When it's light out I should look at where exactly where they all are. That particular rail is also rotted through amidships, as if it sat on the ground on that side or something.
The catologue for '27 doesn't say anything about rocker but it does say some interesting things. The kind folks at Old Town shared a few pages with me;
Thanks for posting the build sheet, Kathryn. I found where I saved it but I didn't save it in an easily postable format. The boat was still in Denville when I picked it up. Does anyone know what Cadet Blue looks like?
Rusty little nails would indicate a prior restoration/rebuild. Iron really attracts oxidation and that attracts wood rot. And it likely did lay with that rail to the ground. And that's probably why the sides separated from the inwale.