Stem band question for an OTCA


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Stem question for an OTCA

So I am fixing up an 18 ft. 1929 OTCA. I am a newbie to this so the work is going slow and more than a few stops to ask questions. I am now rethinking how I am replacing the deck tip.

Here's today's question - it appears that originally the stem was not extended into the top deck. Or, was the stem sandwiched in place by the gunwales?

How important is it to fix the stem to the deck? Or is the hull planking sufficient?

Thanks, John Hejmanowski


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Not sure exactly what you are asking, but I believe each of the old canoe companies used their own particular stem band-type (brass, copper, wider, thinner) and extended it from the keel on the bottom of the canoe, onto the surface of the deck. The amount that's actually on the deck varies---for instance, Morris canoes have 3/4" of stem band extending onto the deck. I'll attach pictures of a Kennebeck, with a copper stem band. As you can see, it follows the coutours along the outside of the stem and about an inch is affixed to the deck.



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Kathy, sorry, I said stem band but I meant 'Internal Stem', (newbie, right?).

In Stelmok's book he made a point of extending the Stem Top into the deck and fastening it to the deck. I guess I am trying to avoid the effort of scarfing on an extention to the original Internal Stem.... so I am wondering if the Planking plus the Outer Gunwale will be sufficient.

The OTCA does use the brass stem band. It wraps up onto the deck for about 3" so there is also that to tie the Internal Stem to the Deck.

John H.
stem tip

Hi, JOHN....... If you can discern exactly the manner it was done originally, I would do it in the same manner. Your work will probably last another 80 years too, and it will be there as the original , for your grandchildren to copy.
Good luck.and TAKE YOUR TIME ( remember Mr. Rogers little tune ? )Dave D.
Not sure

But I think for your canoe a small finish nail goes in at an angle from the side of each inwale downward into the stem. Not alot of strength. I've run a screw straight in from the outdside of the stem into the tip of the deck. But I don't think it's needed. Once it's all together it seems to be ok.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge will post how yours should go.