That was then, this is now!


New Member
My neighbour (in picture) found this 16' canoe abandoned on his daughter's property near Wakefield, Québec. The whole topside was rotten. We proceeded to it's restoration in Nov2010. Fortunately no ribs were broken but practically everything else was gone. Someone at one time had covered it with fiberglass, so this may have protected it somewhat while lying upside down in the forest until we found it. Here's what we did: removed fiberglass sheating (never again), new cherry decks, new twarts, rebuilt inner keel, rebuilt tops of every rib, replaced lots of planking, new canvas/filler/paint, new ash inner and outer gunnels, new caned seats, new brass stem band.
The lines tell me it's of the prospector family but the builder is unknown so it's anyone's guess. My neighbour is blown away that we brought it back to life. He only saw it as a set shelving units for his sunporch. Paddle-on...


  • 20101201_001.jpg
    264.4 KB · Views: 840
  • 20110724_050.jpg
    273.2 KB · Views: 862
Beautiful. Inspires me for my less daunting refurbishment of 1930 OT Guide.

I like the bottle of Heineken in your neighbor's hand. A good beer always helps when surveying a "project".

Great job!
Thanks all for your comments. I have to admit that I'm not a complete novice at this. As a Venturer Scout in the 60's, friends and I built a form (rickaty at best)and built one canoe on it. With hindsight it was the worst canoe I have ever seen. We weren't coached very well.
In 1997 another attempt was made and this time things worked out much better. I built a form for a cedar/canvas canoe based on offsets of the Prospector canoe found in Ted Moore's book. ( I know that he builds strippers, but I adapted it for a c/d canoe). I proceeded to build two canoes, sold one and that paid for evreything. I still have my first Prospector which, as turned out, cost me nothing. I've repaired a few others since but haven't found anyone interested enough to build another one. :(
I'm working on a canoe that also has damaged rib ends. How did you repair the rib ends on your canoe? The rib ends on my canoe have small pieces of wood missing and the wood is very fragile.
Irene really set us back on our projects and communications, we were without for several weeks. I just caught your message. We were able to repair the rib tips on the Double Gunnel using West System Epoxy & Filler. I don't know how to attach the thread, it's one on Double Gunnel, we posted pics. It worked great for that type damage, filling rot & nail holes. You need to drill a pilot hole in the repaired rib when nailing to gunnel or epoxy may crack, same as you would new ribs.
Dave Davidson
Sorry I haven't replied sooner, computer was down. you're probably done by now, anyway, I wrapped the rotten rib ends with masking tape to the required heigth and filled these with slow setting epoxy (colored with brown acryllic paint). I was worried that the epoxy wouldn't soak into the old cedar, but it did. I did predrill when attaching the new gunnel in order not to split the epoxy. Many ribs were simply totally gone, so I scarf-jointed to where I could and added a new rib end, (same with rotten stem) . Good luck. I'm attaching a few pictures. (please don't mind the mess my shop is in, (wish I could blurr that out) I've resolved to mend my ways)


  • 20101201_004.jpg
    225.6 KB · Views: 494
  • 20101211_007.jpg
    234.6 KB · Views: 495
  • 20101211_008.jpg
    217 KB · Views: 499
  • 20101211_010.jpg
    194.2 KB · Views: 482
Nice work, you have inspired me to get going on my canoe. I have used the west system on many projects in the past, but haven't had the occasion to work on a canoe as bad as my current one. I have to build a steam box to repair broken ribs then it will be onto the rib ends. Thanks again for the pictures.