Salvage old boats for canoe wood?

Brad Fisher

Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
Anybody had luck with salvaging wood from old boats for canoe parts? I ran across this Thistle boat the other day ... free for the taking, like most old wooden racing boats that can't keep up. I'm thinking I could harvest some nice old spruce from the spars and rails. Also, the trailer!
Well, no one wants to live in this house. And the price of nails (ie wood) makes it an interesting thing to ponder. I expect there’s some beautiful usable spruce in those spars and rails and maybe bulkheads that you just can’t find it anywhere at any price. But then what do I know?
You are not totally off base. I often use reclaimed planking from a “donor” canoe. Brand new red cedar planks look out of place in a vintage canoe and staining to match is not always easy.
However I don’t really see any wood on the boat that you posted that would be useful for a canoe.
The real cost is the time spent removing what you want and getting rid of the remaining pieces once you take what you want.
Here, that trailer is junk, as is the boat. Not sure about your location.
I wouldn't touch it.
Personally, I'd give someone else a chance to own a potentially beautiful little boat. Chopping up the rig for salvage doesn't make sense. If all the wood in the mast is good it's worth far more whole than the wood you might get out of it.
I do hope someone steps up to rescue it, but in my experience there’s not a lot of love for old racing boats.
Sitting in front of The Lawson Center, a boat museum in Bemus Point, NY (Chautauqua Lake.) I can provide contact info to anyone interested.
Since the conversation came back, I'll throw in my 2c. I love wooden boats, and own several. I've built a couple too. They don't last forever, I have no trouble salvaging parts or materials for a boat that is still in use. If we don't recycle the parts they may end up in a landfill or sold for scrap.
Agree. First canoe I purchased for a few shillings may end up as a platform to learn the techniques etc and to try new techniques. There is some good wood left on her but would much rather fail catastrophically on a "common" canoe that is basically held together by cobwebs and hope than on a BN Morris.
I see nothing wrong with re-purposing old wood into something new. Honduras Mahogany is hard to come buy and expensive but old mahogany furniture is not. Sometimes you can find a solid mahogany table at a yard sale for a song and reuse the wood for seat frames, thwarts, decks etc. Just don't tell the seller you plan on running Grandmas heirloom dining room table through the table saw and planner.