Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have a 1969 or 70 chestnut has only one being a little on the heavy side , I would like any apinions . on to add 1 more thart or leave my canoe alone .thanks for any help on this subject


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Nice looking canoe!...........I have a 65 with 2 thwarts....To me,anyway, they are nothing more than "carrying handles" If you dont plan on 2 people everytime you used it, I dont see any reason to add another one....thats just my opinion!...My favorite is a little 13 Stowe with one center thwart that is is at the balance point and is my carrying yoke... I am restoring my Chestnut as it has 3 broken ribs right in the center and that was a shame because the canvas was all good and still water-tight!..Is that one all still original ...Looks it!....Oh!...Did I see a little tear by the back seat on the right side?
PS:....Forgot to mention............If your not comfortable becasue of your size....try the reverse....use the front seat as the back seat and see if that gives you better balance and action...Good luck!
thanks for the replythere will be two people in the canoe weight aprox 400 lbs

Without seeing your canoe closer, this is only a guess, but I suspect that you will be OK with just the 2 center thwart.

This opinion makes 2 assumptions, 1) that your model is 16 ft or shorter, and 2) that is has the usual "robust" Chestnut gunwales.

The thwarts and gunwales are what gives the canoe shape and rigidity, longer canoes with "thinner" gunwales need more thwarts, and shorter canoes with "thicker" gunwales need fewer.

17 and 18 ft'ers usually have 3 thwarts/yokes, the 2 quarter thwarts and the center thwart or yoke. 16 ft'ers often only have the 2 quarter thwarts , or 1 and a yoke. 15 ft'ers may only have a center thwart/yoke.

On a 16 ft Thompson I did, I put in only a center yoke and left the 2 quarter thwarts off, BUT I used slightly larger gunwales to offset the reduced support from less thwarts, it's doing just fiine.

Just another quick little input!....Why dont you try it out first and then see how the weight distribution affects your stability and the soundness of the framework...Then if you feel it is acting "spongy" you could make some kind of a decsion on adding a second thwart... I am about to take out the three broken ribs today and will take a mesaurement of where the 2 thwarts on mine are placed.....Mine is also a 16' with 2 thwarts...Just for kicks, what is the serial number on yours?....wanna see if it is anywhere near mine.
thanks for the reply dan my canoe only has one thwart . it is in the center at the ballance point my canoe is a 16' canoe with white oak gunwales the i beleive it is a deer model. all the information i thave see suggest that most have two thwarts
Those thwarts!

OK!....Hope this makes sense:confused:
Measuring from the center end of the rear deck behind the rear seat to the first thwart on mine it is approximately 54" I say this because they only installed one bolt on each side!..........Then from this same starting point to the center of the second thwart is 80"...This is almost the exact center from deck to deck....... By saying "center end" I mean from the center of the curve in the rear deck facing to the middle of the canoe and the same way from the "center" of the front deck. Overall from deck to deck it is 160" Hope this makes sense to you!

My serial" is 016240 which is preceded with the numbers 16