New member – old canoe

Rick L

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have been reading this forum on and off for a little over a year, watching the restoration efforts of others. It is finally time to join and post. Advice is welcome - actually sought, I am certain I will have many questions as I get going on this.

I have been l looking for a certain project of my own, a sailing canoe in reasonable condition and have finally found one. The previous owner bought this years ago with the canvas already stripped, intending to restore the canoe and never did anything with it, he did have a copy of the build sheet. (1st question-- WC is “white cedar” not “western cedar”?)

It’s a 1928 Old Town OTCA CS grade 18 foot sailing canoe, shipped to Macy’s. Originally dark green and gold trim, some of the gold still shows.

All the lose-able sailing parts have been lost – the stern still has the rudder mounts, and the forward seat has the mast ring. I will need to replace/make everything else. If there is anyone in the Finger Lakes or western NY who has a similar vintage Old Town with the original sailing rigging (I understand the rudder changed before 1928 and the lee boards just after so it was only a few years in this configuration) I would truly like to see one and get good pictures and measurements. And of course if someone has a source for proper metal parts – great.

So here she is - as found in a Finger Lakes barn yesterday. I think it is a good starting poject for a first timer’s restoration effort.

Full view from the bow

Full view from stern

Long view

Bow decking

A little bit of bow damage, but I think it looks worse that it is.

Stern decking (still a shadow of the Macy’s tag)

Forward seat with mast ring

Rear seat and the big hole with two ribs lost.

Little hole (looks cut but cannot figure out why)

Stern damage (seems to follow the discoloration line)

Over all, I don’t think it is too bad, some ribs and planking, lots of clean up and then canvas, I’ll be looking forward to seeing it back on the water.
Nice canoe--- I think you did well, finding such a worthwhile project that should be a lot of fun!

WC= red Western cedar; MC= white Maine cedar... there are some other wood species used for planking, but these are the most commonly-seen codes used to describe planking on OT build records.

I think the gold you are seeing on the outwales and outside stems was added later-- these parts would have been varnished wood originally. The gold was probably a stripe on the canvas, below the gunwales.

Glad you jumped into these waters.... it'll be fun watching your canoe come back to life and return to the water!

Heck, that'll buff right out!

Welcome to the asylum - watch out for the varnish sniffers. :)