chris pearson

Michigan Canoe Nut
OK, I'm an idiot. How many can resist stopping after a double take, I just saw a canoe in that field! Turn around, go back, see that it is in fact wooden and not aluminum, the inside painted light blue. It was sitting upright(not good) with a dummy in the back(not me) probably for halloween. Looked Old Townish to me, but only the decks looked so. Someone did alot of "work" to it. Fiberglass on the outside, "repaired" stems, spliced gunwales, looked not to be factory to begin with, pretty beefy. Seats dont look original at all. Ribs look spaced farther apart that OT's do. So, no serial numbers on either stem, I'm stumped. The thwarts are pretty wide and contoured on both sides. Seat posts are aluminum but could be way unoriginal too. So, how much did I pay for this fine specimin that has almost every rib broken? $20 and I think I got taken!!! Did anyone else use the figured deck shape that OT did? These have a wider grip area that OT's had. So does anyone have an idea what this canoe might be?


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34" beam, 17 feet long.


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Now, what to do with it?

Flip it over and crawl under it in the event of a nuclear blast and hope all that lead paint saves you?
I'm showing this to my better half immediately to prove my disorder is quite common.:D:
Nice stem profile though!
Andre, you should be ashamed of yourself, besides, you already knew I wasnt all there to begin with!!!! Go ahead, I dare anyone to tell me they woulda just left her sitting there in the rain!!!!! Even Gil woulda brought her home with him.:rolleyes:

I dunno, it has a lot of rocker and potential, but then again, I am a very sick man.:D

Closed gunwales?

Give it to Fred Capenos. He just finished one and needs a new project to keep him busy.;):D:p

Good Luck.

Chris --

Maybe a Detroit. Denis Kallery sent me these pictures of the decks of two of his Detroit Canoes – I also have a ufo with OT style decks.
I’m Sure Denis will chime in when he returns from his boat show.


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Hmmm, thats a possibility! Hard to tell about the closed gunwale question with all the crap on it still. It looks it, but there is alot of rot going on, how did Detroit end ribs at the gunwale?
Nice canoe Chris. Bring it down if you would like to double your money. It's definitely worth at least $50. The smaller deck looks like a Racine deck. The other deck looks like a later (after 1930 or so) Old town deck. It seems likely that the Old Town looking deck is a replacement. The thwart could be an early Old town thwart. The seats could be original with pressed cane pushed up from the bottom and fastened with wooden strips nailed to the inside of the seat rails. If it's a Racine, the shear plank is usually wider than the others and has a joint at the center. Racine rails would have been originally riveted, but they might have been removed before fiberglassing and the rivets not replaced.
If you don't want it, you know where I am. Gil
Look for any indication that it may have had a medallion on the deck in the position that is shown in the photo that Greg attached. It looks like closed gunnel. Does it have a side cap on the gunnel? Attach or send us more photos. I'll try to take photos of whatever you want after the Rec show this weekend.
Lots of action at our both today. Tired and heading to bed!
Ps. I directed a young lady your way who is really interested in making models. Her name is Jule.
Another thing we've noticed with Detroit canoes is that the seats are caned using the "canoe weave" instead of the usual seven-step, if there's any trace of original cane anywhere. Detroits were made from 1906-1916 and all are apparently closed gunwale. I filmed one (with sponsons) at the Canadian canoe museum:


Note there is a s/n on the bow stem, which is what we've seen on other Detroits. Sorry about the bad sound on this video-- the fault of a crappy program for ripping video to the computer.

It is closed gunwale. I see no evidence of medalians, not even holes. The "I" bolt on the deck is the same as the Detroit canoe photo. I just took a photo of one end, its walled off and looks more professional? I see no serial numbers on either stem, did Detroit number everything? The outwales are there, there is a small strip of wood showing in between the gunwales, perhaps the planking? There are modern philips screws holding the forward seats and were moved, the originals were steel slotted and domed like a carriage bolt and counterbored into the inwales.


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My Detroit

So as to compare deck profiles, I dragged my Detroit out of the barn and took the attached pictures. First the specs: 16' long, 32" wide, 12" deep, planking 3" wide, ribs 2.25" wide, 4"+/- apart, rounded edges (not champhered) tapered to gunwale, closed gunwales. The gunwale extends past the stem, like a White Canoe and early Old Towns. The deck is undercut leaving only about 1/4" thick trailing edge. Serial number on both stems 16 space X space 431. The "X" is clearly an X. The medalian is inlet into the bow deck the thickness of the brass. The canoe is their Hudson River model. It reads, Detroit Boat Co. "HUDSON" RIVER manufacturers of High Grade Canoes Detroit Mich. Not enough of the seat cane left to tell the pattern.

And because it's Palm Sunday - may the joy and peace of Christ be with all of you.

Jim Clearwater


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Thanks for doing that, I think I may have one, but no medalion od serial number, I'll strip some paint to narrow things down.
I started to do the Indian Girl the same day I put the decal on the OTCA. Damn Chris, what a deal, I wish I'd Known. Fred
In the first post, left-hand picture, there appears to be a circular area where a medallion may have been. These medallions are beautiful, and someone may have removed it before trashing the canoe.

We have two of the Hudson River model-- one with a medallion that isn't as deeply impressed as the others we've seen, so we've assumed the canoe is "later".

Inspired by Chris' latest find I set out to scour the woods for a suitable project, wanting to one-up him. I think I've done it. Luckly the fiberglass has stabilized the bow wonderfully, however the unprotected part may prove challenging. Couldnt find anyone to pay for it, so the price was right.:D:D


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