Sponsons or No?


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I just acquired a 1942 16' Old Town Carleton Model canoe which I intend to fully restore.. I did not know that it was originally outfitted with sponsons until I picked it up and the owner gave me one of the detached sponsons. Both had been removed at some point and one was gone completely and this one was damaged but useable as a pattern if I chose to redo them. I am totally unfamiliar with sponsons but have heard that they most often were removed by owners who found them awkward and easily damaged with use. I have looked carefully at how this damaged unit fits on the canoe and am of the opinion that it would significantly restrict my personal paddling stroke as being 6' 6" tall I have a very long reach. This canoe is other wise in great condition and should be relatively easy to restore. The rebuild of the sponsons will take hours and hours of time and am afraid they may in fact deter interest from a potential buyer rather than add value to the canoe... So am looking for help and/or advice in making a decision... Should I redo the sponsons or simply leave them off.... The original factory invoice from 1942 indicates that this unit was shipped with sponsons, yet a great many of this same model did not have them which tells me this was an extra, or accessory item.

I'm sure I can do a good job building duplicate sponsons so that isn't an issue... no doubt they can be painted to enhance the canoes appearance as well. But I wonder if doing so is going to detract from the value in the eyes of a potential buyer.... This canoe isn't old enough to warrant a permanent hang in a museum and I will be restoring it with the intent of adding many years to its useful life. Would appreciate some reactions from WCHA members... Thanks. Harold
I'd suggest that if you don't put the sponsons back on, and some future owner wants to add them , he or she can add them. If you DO put the sponsons back on, the next owner is stuck with them, whether they want them or not...

It's YOUR boat, do what's right for YOU.
If it were me, I'd chose not to recreate the sponson. Sponson canoes are available....intact, if you really want one.
You will be left with screw holes in the ribs where the sponsons were attached. In past restorations, sans sponsons, I've glued in the screws and washers that were used for mounting. Gotta cut them off, of course, but it kinda dresses up the holes that are left.
Ps: Glad to see that you are still poking around with canoes! Come see us at Canoecopia in March..AND the Upper Great Lakes Regional Assembly in August!!
Dave and Paul... Thanks for the input... Have decided not to restore the sponsons... will turn over the one I have to the museum if they want it... would be a nice pattern for someone in the future if they have room to store it. Dave... good to hear from you again... I like your idea of filling the screw holes with cut off screws and washers... would never have thought of that. I should send you a picture of the Penn Yan you sold me to restore... It is a real beauty... love it... almost too much to sell it.. Thanks. Harold