Pal or Fort?

fjalt

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Ok, I have a chestnut canoe at least 45 years old, its 16 feet long, has a beam of 36 inches, depth of 14 inches and has slatted seats. So far sounds like a prospector, However, the ribs are 11/2 inches with 11/2 inch spacing, like a pal. It has two thwarts. Any suggestions or guesses as to what model it is.
 
It could be a deer except it has a beam of 36 and the deer had a beam of 34. This has a depth of 14 and the deer had a depth of 12.5. At least the specs I saw for the deer. I did read in the early chestnut catalogue that you could order the prospector with the narrow ribs. Has anyone come across a prospector with the 1.5 ribs?
 
My catalog (mid '70s) lists the beam of the Deer at 36", but it does list the depth at 12.5" and at that time, cane seats, so I don't know. The problem with the idea of a special-order Prospector with smaller, closer ribs is that they would most likely have to have made a special form for it with closer banding or have had to hand-clench the tacks.
 
Pal or Prospector

Maybe it is a deer! Very confusing. Thanks for your input.
 
I have restored quite a few of these. They tend to be a 1970's head scratcher but due to the 14" depth I consider them to be light weight Chestnut Prospectors. Due to their lighter weight and added depth they are an excellent canoe to own. Some also have hand caned seats rather than the slat seats.
 
Yea, I think you may be right on. It has the dimensions of a prospector but lighter built. However, I do know that it was built pre 1968 because that is when the previous owner picked it up. Thanks for you're input.
 
I suspect these Chestnuts were 3rd grade and sold mainly through the Hudson Bay Company here in Canada. These canoes usually have Chestnut serial numbers but no Chestnut decals. The ones I have seen all have Red Cedar planking. If one could find an old HBC catalogue it may have some interesting information. Alas, the catalogues were often recycled in the out house. Those were the good old days!
 
Pal or Prospector

This canoe does have the Chestnut decals both on the side and on the deck. I'm not sure about the wood whether it is white or red cedar. It has numerous layers of shellac or varnish on it and I have to strip it down to the bare wood. Also, two of the planks are broken and will have to be replaced. Any suggestions on where to get planking and ribs? I'm also curious as to whether the rot resistant canvas is as good as the original non-shrunk and untreated canvas? thanks Fred
 
Where are you located? Use the untreated, non-shrunk #10 canvas. Once the canoe has been re-canvased apply the same anti rot product that is used to treat lumber. It is available in green or clear, use the clear. As it dries it will shrink the canvas. You are now ready for the canvas filler.
 
I'm located in Washington State. Does any body know if it is possible to remove the old chestnut decals and reuse or are new decals available?
 
davelanthier said:
I suspect these Chestnuts were 3rd grade and sold mainly through the Hudson Bay Company here in Canada. These canoes usually have Chestnut serial numbers but no Chestnut decals. The ones I have seen all have Red Cedar planking. If one could find an old HBC catalogue it may have some interesting information. Alas, the catalogues were often recycled in the out house. Those were the good old days!

The HBC has extensive Archives located in Winnipeg as does The Beaver historical Magazine.
A phone call or web search may well supply HBC information. And of course all Chestnut Canoe Company products ceased in 1968 I think. Doubt very much that you are looking at Red Cedar. The Big Script logo can be aquired from the Ivy Lea Shirt Company, our friend Roger MaGregor.
John in the Woods, 38 F, Snow Pellets, Autumn Colours.
 
Thanks for the information. I'm certainly getting a lot of conflicting information but that's part of the fun. Some people are insisting that this cannot be a prospector because of the narrow ribs while others are convinced that it is a lighter version of a prospector. Some feel that it must be a deer model, however, the 14 inch depth would seem to rule that out.
I certainly will do more research in the Winnipeg archives, if I can locate them.
I do have another question, does anyone know of a source for the one and a half inch ribs, precut? Thanks everyone for all the help!
 
I've seen several Peterborough Prospectors with narrow ribs. Since it appears most, if not all, of the production of "Peternut" commercial canoe models was in New Brunswick, it only makes sense that an occasional narrow-ribbed Prospector left the factory with a Chestnut decal. Post some photos, it should be readily apparent from its appearance which model it is.

BTW John, last Chestnut catalog was issued in 1978. I had a Prospector that was shipped in January 1979. It had broken ribs when it left the factory - perhaps caused by the factory doors slamming shut as it was on its way out...
 
right, I'll try to get some pictures, however, I have it stripped at the moment with the inwales, seats and thwarts removed.
 
BTW John, last Chestnut catalog was issued in 1978. I had a Prospector that was shipped in January 1979. It had broken ribs when it left the factory - perhaps caused by the factory doors slamming shut as it was on its way out...[/QUOTE]

Tch tch. Sorry i was thinking Petes and forgot the more recent incarnations of chestnut who did make a pretty fibreglass canoe along with their new script logo and declining abilities at wood/canvas.
I've seen stories of the last Chestnut, inclusive of an unfinished one being carried out of the shop.

Check the builder section Monsiur Fjalt for a cedar part supplier.
Windy. 40 F. No sailing today.
John
 
Some picture to consider of a 16' Chestnut Prospector with narrow ribs. Note that it only has one thwart which is quite common. The hand thwarts are not factory.
 

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And another. Note 2 thwarts and the horrible factory babiche seats. The yoke of course is not factory. Both of these canoes have Chestnut factory serial numbers but did not have any factory decals.
 

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Windy. 40 F. No sailing today.

38 F, obscene wind, lots of tarps sailing around the yard. IC project got snowed on:mad:
 
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