Thompson ID info

Dan Lindberg

Ex Wood Hoarder
Hey Dave, Dan and others who have seen a few Thompsons.

I got the latest project home yesterday, sorry Wisc guys, I poached it from you.
Anyway, the down is that it was supposed to be a 15 ft'er, but it's not, it's a 16.

But the ribs and planking do look nice, with few if any broken ribs. It is glassed however, and 3 rails are gone, only 1 inner is remaining.

Anyway, it looks very much like an Indian, (and may very well be) but width is about 32 at the outside of the planking at the rails, and about 12 3/4 deep. (I haven't got it pulled in far enough yet so am not sure of the width,)

And the decks, thwarts and remaining inner rail are mahogany, not usual for an Indian.

And the seat and thwart bolts are countersunk and filled/bunged.

Any thoughts as to model and year? ( I'm not sure if it will get pulled in far enough to have the 3" tumblehome of the Camp canoe, but maybe.)

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Pictures? I don't feel bad....I "pouched"(sic) a couple from under your nose in the land of 10,000 lakes!
I didn't think it was a 15'er when I saw it on E-Bay.....
Many(most) of the Thompsons that I've known were trimmed in mahogany. My Indian is, my Hiawatha is, and the two Ranger's in the shop are.....
I'll get some pics tomorrow.

Ya, I should have looked harder, maybe I just wanted a 15 ft'er too bad, along with the "detailed" length measurement.

You have Indian's with Mahogany trim? I didn't see many or any years in the catalog that listed M for trim on Indians, just 1942, but then maybe I'm/we're being to literal about that they say in the catalogs vs what they acually use in a given build.

What about the recessed and bunged holes, do your's also have that? any idea when they might have done this?

I don't believe my other T's have this (or the Mahogany trim).

As for this canoe, it's starting to get pulled back into shape now, after a day with the ropes on, and it's looking like it will be about 32 at the outside of the planking at the center rails, and about 12 3/4 or 13 deep.

As for it not being a 15, oh well, having another 16 isn't all that bad, and I may pass it on to another guy who is looking for a smaller canoe.

So far as I know all seat/thwarts bolts were bunged. The exception is a very late model Ranger that I'm doing now. It had steel "pan-washer" head bolts that appear to be original. I plan to replace them w/ nice bronze carraige bolts.
If I recall, catalog pages for Thompson had a "disclaimer" for lack of a better term, that mahogany trim was available.
Hey Dave,

I may have been wrong about my other Thompsons, I just checked the other 16 and it's also "bunged", couldn't tell the wood species.

And I just sent you some pics of another project I just got.

OK Guys,

Keep the laughter down.

For your enjoyment.


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Thanks for posting Dan!
I can't tell what model it is without seeing the stem profile.
I'm glad you won the auction!
Thanks I think. :)

It has the usual Thompson "long nose" end profile.

And actually, after seeing it wet, the ribs and planking really are in nice condition, it was painted inside and that projected them well.
The biggest problem is the rib tips and rails. And there are no seat frames with it.


And another interesting piece, it's not glass, it's canvas, but it is filled with a resin of some type. And somewhat adhered to the wood, at least after casual inspection and poking.

Ya, thanks guys.
And I drove 12 hours to get this thing. :)

But hey, it might be in better shape than old White I hauled home some years ago.
And about the same as an old Shell Lake I paid too much for.

I was thinking that even I would not tackle that one. Perhaps the 'derelict' monaker should go to Dan. Derelict Dan. has a nice ring to it.
Hi Dave,

Well, I do tend to like the bad ones, taking something that was headed to the burn pile and putting it back on the water is satisfying to me.

But, this is does look better in person, and the ribs and planking really are good, I haven't seen a broken rib yet, (other then the one attached to the thwart that broke in tranport). If I wanted to be cheap/quick about it, it could just have the stripping finished, repair the tips, new innner rail and outers and sand and paint the existing skin.

Excuse me for making light of your Thompson. It is a perfectly restorable craft. I have to remember that my viewpoint is different that the hobby restorer. I'm trying to squeak an existance out of this passion of mine, so I tend to look at canoes from a profitability standpoint. That is exactly the reason that I tend to not buy many canoes....
Another Dave Responds: Hi Dan, saving one from being lost is a quest. And I agree, pretty satisfiying. And thompsons are especially save-worthy. Keep posting photos.

No need for excuses, I'm making light of it too.
If I had been paying attention, and asked the guy to re-measure, and determined it was a 16 ft, I'd of passed, as I already have another 16, but on the other hand, the drive is done and the canoe is in the back yard.

And we did have a nice drive across Wisc, and we stopped and looked at a nice Vette a friend of my buddy had for sale. (way too much for both of us)