shrinking canoes

Gil Cramer

The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.
Hey, I'm on a roll. Since March, all 18 ,yes that's right 18, decorator canoes have been varnished/ shellacked, canvassed, filled, painted, etc.and ready to go away. None have been bookcase units, but all are to be hangers in a major midwestern outfitter's stores. Decorators want small canoes, and one Old Town yankee was in such bad condition that I agreed to cut it down from 16'-12'.It had been fiberglassed, needed inwales, outwales, many ribs in the center of the canoe, decks,planking, and I don't remember what else. The center was cut out and the ensuing 12' canoe really faired in quite nicely. It would really make a great solo canoe.I know that some purists won't like the thought of "destroying" a canoe,but it is possible to make a nice solo canoe from that unmanageable 18'er. It's easy to say that "I'd never do anything like that", but when the house needs painted and a new roof, the transmission on the van goes out in Pittsburgh, and your daughter is going to grad school in Boston, reality sets in.
Now you tell me!!

The restoration of the 16' OTCA is progressing well. Down to last coats of varnish and paint. Un fortunately I have a recurring sacro lumbar sprain the makes throwing a 70# canoe around a real adventure. Sanding and varnishing the inside has been a real pain in the back too. That is unavoidable but cutting it down to 13', which is whated I want anyway, would have been real possible when it was almost totally disassembled. Anything over 40# is not practical for this 65 year old carcass to use on a regular basis. Unfortunately that limits me to plastic and skin on frame boats. They arent bad but not W/C either. Was thinking about building a boat with Alex Comb as he has a 40# solo but travel and lodging for a week add big bucks to the equation. Still thinking.
Ron, I recently came into possession of a Loonworks 'Mistral' (one of Tom MacKenie's W/C canoes). This one, a 15' solo version, weighs in at around 40 pounds and is a pleasure to paddle, and beautiful, too! I'm fairly sure that Tom has some other models with similar light-weightedness. Tom