Nice article on Dave Wermuth

Kathryn Klos

squirrel whisperer
Denis and I were manning a WCHA booth at the "Boat, Sports and RV" show in Marquette, Michigan this past weekend. Yesterday, several people who came to our booth exclaimed, "oh, you do the same thing as that guy from down-state", explaining that there was an article in the Sunday paper on the restoration of an Old Town. Denis replied, "it's probably another WCHA member"... and sure enough, it was a story about a restoration Dave and his wife took on.

Congratulations, Dave! You made the Marquette Mining Journal!
You've arrived!

Well that's it! Your 15 minutes of fame. I've been trying to get noticed by the Michigan Mining Journal for years now but,;) some how I only make the police reports...... So give us all the good dirt. Find any cool canoes, new members, etc? Fill us in. Splinter
Nice little blurb about Dave on the front page of the outdoor section. Even had a photo of he and his wife. It was suprising how many folks mentioned it to us.
As for the show it went quite well I thought. We were given a space in the lobby right at the front entrance. Kathy's wonderfully restored [by Dave McDaniel] Kennebec was positioned so that folks got a broadside view of it as they entered. Got lots of oohs and aws. Since we only found out on Monday last that we were going to be in this show I didn't have time to get any nice forms made up for folks to express interest. Sticking my finger in my circular saw on a job didn't help either! So what I did is just ask folks if they would be interested in getting a copy of our chapter newsletter. We got 29 people that signed up for that. Don't know how many might eventually join Wcha but at least we got the word out. We also had Craig Kitchen's unrestored but in great shape 15' Racine there. Kathy had to work on Friday for part of the time and was sick on Saturday but was there on Sunday. Craig bopped in and out so I was there for most of the show alone and I know I missed talking to several folks. All in all though I thought it went well for the first try. Did talk to a few folks that have W/C canoes. We have another on April 13-15.
Denis :)
It was fun

It was fun to get to show folks about w/c canoes. But check Benson's poll. Last I saw, no one claimed to have joined because of an article in the paper. So, I remain humble, hehehe.

We really enjoyed working on Emory's canoe together. One day as I was working on it Emory stopped by with a '47 old Penn Yan Hunter in the back of the truck. My daughter is visiting from Florida. She and I milled and bent the needed ten ribs over it yesterday.

Emory's canoe was a big job. We replaced everything but 12 ribs and the center thwart. Everything. He's says he has another on the plantation that he may bring up here for me to take a look.

Another man recently talked to me after seeing the article. He has a mahogany canoe he bought in Europe. Wants me to take a look. No idea what it could be other than old. Molded plywood? Mahog? From Europe? Any ideas?
Dave-- Your article triggered several discussions at the WCHA booth Denis and I manned this past weekend. I can't help thinking that such newspaper coverage-- along with exposure at shows like the "Boat, Sports, and RV" here in Marquette-- helps to bring canoes out of cobwebby corners and into a place where they can be appreciated again.

Splinter-- At this boat show in Marquette, one thing that surprised me was how clueless many people are regarding W/C canoes. When I was a kid, a canoe had wood on the inside and canvas on the outside... and there were also "those aluminum ones".

Granted, the "Boat, Sports, and RV Show" --unlike Canoecopia-- was an event where most vendors hawked huge outboard motorboats and ATVs and RVs... there were a few plastic canoes, but the general mind-set was one of "power" and lots of noise.

Our canoes made a statement that people were drawn to. I saw folks who were briskly walking suddenly stop short-- as if to catch their breath-- and slowly approach my boat... extend an arm... and run a hand along the length of the gunwale-- with a smile that grew ever-broader all the while. Maybe they'd ask a question-- maybe only nod and say "nice!"

A couple hours into the first day of the show, we realized we needed to bring a piece of canvas, a rib, and a sample of planking. "Yes-- it really IS canvas on the outside of this boat-- not fiberglass" was a frequently-spoken reply... along with, "this boat really IS used for paddling, not hung for display"... and we wowed them with, "it weighs about seventy pounds." It also helped having a copy of Bill Mason's "Path of the Paddle", demonstrating that W/C canoes aren't limited to quiet waters.

I took pictures.... and when I find the cord that allows me to connect the camera to the computer I'll share them!


Kathryn, a good writer like Elizabeth Shaw is the key. She is the outdoor writer for the Flint Journal. then it got picked up by the rest.

Michael, Thanks for the good info on molded plywood. A great start. Apparently this canoe survived a close encounter with a Pre-bridge fery boat in th eStraits of Mackinac only to get damage from exposure and negligence. A few inches on one end got chpped and a, er, uh transom was added.

Anyone ever make this type of repair to that type of canoe?

With apologies for sniping the thread,