LOVES Wooden Canoes
Some kind of bug spent some time chewing little tunnels on this canoe before it became my latest project. No fresh saw dust, so it is not an active infestation. Bug seemed to like decks, inwales, and red cedar planking. Did not show a taste for mahogany.

No serious structural damage, just a small patch of plank up at the stem had to be replaced, and a few tiny holes where the bugs came up for air.

Is this a common problem? Any thoughts on how to keep them from coming back? Suitable remediations?

The little tunnels did make nice git rot pathways.

Probably powder post beetles. Look for little piles of dust either on top of the wood or in a pile below. They like moist wood and will turn it into dust...hence the name. Make sure the surrounding wood is still good by poking it with an ice pick or knife blade and make necessary repairs or replacement. I learned this on the restoration of my 1827 home and they can really do some damage. The females keep laying the eggs and you get an infestation one after the other. Some pesticides work like boric acid or varnish will stop them.

Good luck,

Ric Altfather


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That looks a bit more severe than what I found. but the moist part fits, up where the stem and deck meet. They turned a thumb sized chunk of planking to sawdust, the rest seems pretty sound.

Nice to know that varnish will keep the critters in check.
:confused: havent seen any of this around here on any of the wooden projects lying around, but I have an uninformed's question??.....Are these critters prevalent throughout the States or limited to certain areas...Never saw anything like that yet here in New Hampshire!!!!!:eek:
What Ric said

Powder post beetles are everywhere in Vermont - barns, houses and probably boats - so I'll bet you have them in NH, too.

Don in Vermont
Read the link describing how these critters work...Now that I am more informed, I concede that they are in fact here in Hew Hampshire also. I live in the national forest and have seen may examples of this in the softwood trees that have been decimated by them...Never got the connection before but then thinking back, the only purpose wood had for me then was HEAT! Will keep an informed and trained eye out now for them now:rolleyes:
I almost bought a log house, but put on the brakes when an active powderpost infection was pointed out to me by a knowledgeable friend. The sellers had infected their whole house by bringing in firewood that was infected by the beetles.

Brakes must have worked during the trip - did the Morris make it back in one piece? Wheres the photos and evaluation? Sorry, I have a habit of photographing canoes on cars....:D
fun at the border (and other places)

A marvelous adventure, travelling from Upper Michigan into Canada, then down through Vermont to pick up the Morris at Ross Brothers in Massachusetts... then through NY state and into Canada again... and almost not getting the canoe across the border and back into Michigan because *learning point here* I'd paid for the canoe on-line and had no proof that I hadn't purchased it in Canada.

Imagine trying to explain to a stern border guard, "... this is a BN Morris canoe, from Veazie, Maine, and therefore is of a type that has never been produced in Canada..." Maybe it was the fact that Denis and I are so honest-looking (or old, perhaps?) or maybe it was the fifty-odd cars behind us, but after about ten minutes the guard waved us on.

From there, we attended an ACBS event at Ken and Mary Kelly's lake place in Lower Michigan... where those with more experience with old canoes than I agreed this 1903 Morris I'd bought for $410 on eBay was quite a good deal.

It was a magnificent fall day-- perfect for paddling-- perfect for meeting those I'd only spoken with in email or posted alongside in these forums or bid against on eBay.

Picture-- 16' Morris on my new car. Unfortunately, we hadn't tried to attach the Yakima racks from my old Subaru until we got to Massachusetts... where we discovered they don't fit the newer car. Fortunately, the canoe rode okay, especially after it rained and Denis was able to give the wet tie-downs a couple extra cranks. Still pretty scary when caught in the back-wash of big trucks, though.


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