Shell Lake Canoe

fred capenos

Canoe Pilot
I am helping to repair a 17 feet Shell Lake canoe manufactured in 1951, dark green with the numbers 196 2889 stamped inside. I would like to know what the outer gunwales are made of and whether there would be a build record available.
The first part of the serial number is the serial number, but it should be 116 Deluxe or 1116 Guide (for a 16' canoe). They only offered two models in three lengths (plus the 12'6" Hunter and Trapper model), and they only differ in that the Deluxe model has half ribs. No records are known to survive, so nothing can be determined from the remainder of the serial number.

Outer gunwales were typically the same wood as the inwales, and could be mahogany (usually Phillipine, I believe), spruce or oak.
shell lake

Thanks Dan for the quick reply. I did give you some wrong info. The canoe is 16 ft. not 17. and after further review the number is more like 116, and it does have half ribs. The rails area very soft wood. The screws are all run way into the wood and the re-varnish jobs over the years is causing the wood to pull out with the screw. Plus--- the port out-rail is broken. The splintered wood is about the same color as red cedar

Happy Easter
I've been talking to a fella who has a Shell Lake for sale. I am looking for a canoe to gain more experience with and he assures me, this canoe needs a lot of work and I will gain much experience.
Then he told me in addition to everything else, it is also hogged. I am now hesitating.
This thread caught my eye because now we know of two Shell Lakes that are hogged.

Could you folks address this problem? Best ways of correcting?