Mullins Canoe

John Greer

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Wow this finally worked! For those who haven't heard of Mullins: WH Mullins Co. of Salem, Ohio was originally a mfgr of stamped steel boats. By 1910 they offered two WC canoes; the 16' Yale and 18' Harvard (mine is the Harvard). Around 1916-17 a third model the 17' Princeton was added. The last year WC were offered was 1923. I picked this canoe up off ebay after no one bid on it outside Sacremento CA and hauled it to Montana. The seats are unique in that they are no hand woven thru drilled holes but rather the seat frame had four "clamps" screwed to the seat opening.(I still have the originals but have not repaired them). Stem bands are also unique in that they were copper half rounds. Again I did not replace them but replaced with standard stem bands. Replaced a few ribs, stems, inside/outside rails. Great old canoe but heavy.


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Good work John,

How does it paddle and move through the water?

I'm curious as I also have a 18' Mullins, that to date I haven't done anything to. I "think" it's in original condition and I'm in actuality the 2ed owner. (The original owner (family) donated it to an orginization and I bought it from the orginization.)

Mine doesn't have the combing on the deck like your's does, but a think (IIRC) it has the odd seat design.

Mine looks nice except that vertually every rib is either cracked or broken. :)

Thanks Dan. I didn't have too many ribs which were broken but did have a terrible job of fiberglassing to remove plus layer upon layer of old varnish. Both stems had to be spliced and both inside/outside rails were in bad shape so I replaced all four.

It handles really well in the water. Very stable but as I said earlier it is a heavy canoe.

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you with yours if you have that many ribs to replace.

I'm currently working on a 1909 closed gunnel OT where I'm replacing at least two dozen or more ribs. Plankings not too bad but I have some in need of replacing. Fortunately I have a good supply of western red cedar to match the original. Also have to replace both decks. Good winter project since we've been in the - 20 degrees. Think it's supposed to be -22 tonight. Here it is 10 in the morning and it's still -8.
I picked up a "Yale" model quite a few years ago just because it had the Mullins logo on it. whats kind of neat is that it appears to be one of their "seconds" or "thirds" because the ribs are made of pine. While the shape of the ribs are in tact, you can pinch almost any rib and it will just crumble with rot. Its the only surviving canoe with pine ribs that I have come across so it interesting on that point, but as a boat it does not have much to recommend it!