Morris Canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I was wondering if any body can help me with dating a Mooris canoe I just picked up, gingerly.

Canoe lengtrh is 17ft by 35 1/2 in by 12 1/2 in.

The canoe fits all the description of the Morris identification specification. However what is different is:

1. Type 1 mahogany deck on stern seems to be original;
2. Enclosed mahogany deck on stem seems to be original;
3. Three thwarts with no seats (there are no drilled holes either for or aft. The one remaing side of mahogany covered in/outwhales seem to be ogininal;
4. There appears to be a place on the splayed stem where there once was an oval tag (1 1/2 x 1).

I have an estimate on repairs of about $450 before canvas/finish, and was wondering if this is canoe is worth going forward.

Sorry I don't have a picture at this time.

Any help is appreciated.

shartman said:
canoe is worth going forward

I expect that most people in this forum would agree that it is worth going forward but that is really a personal decision. If your intent is to just sell it then it is usually best to do so before making any significant repairs. The message at has some good information about how to value and sell an old canoe like this. The classifieds at is a great place to advertise it.

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Canoe companies would do custom work- from modifying little things (it's not uncommon to find canoes built with no seats) to completely new designs (Rushton is famous for this). I just finished restoring an Old Town that was built with seats, but then the seats were removed and replaced by thwarts before it left the factory- certainly to satisfy a custom order.

About the decks, do you mean that there is a standard short solid deck at one end, and a longer deck of mahogany panels on horizontal supports at the other end? I recently saw a Morris built this way. It was very odd, but sure looked original. I'll post some photos later.


The answer to your questions on decks is yes. It seems very unusal to me, but then angain maybe it was the designer's sense of art rather than form's function.

Here are some photos of the recent Morris find: short heart-shaped bow deck, long stern deck.

Also, photos of 11' Old Town 50# model showing cut-off diamond-head bolts that fill gunwale bolt holes for seats. Restored photo shows three thwarts and no seats (as opposed to typical two seats and one thwart).


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