Went out paddling

Jim et al

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I went out paddling tonight. I took a friend out on the canal to try out my new old canoe. It was fun but I felt a bit like a drunk behind the wheel. I was out of my element skidding all over the place. I did fine in the bow but when we switched the world went a bit sideways for awhile. My friend knows what he is doing and coached me along. He let me use his good bent paddle while he used his old aluminum shaft livery paddle. I will have to research what kind of paddle I would like to use.

I soon realized I would have to outfit this old boat if I was going to keep my wife comfortable in it. Read that as make her happy the first time or their might not be a second. C'est la vie, eh? Tips on outfitting for family time on the water are very welcome.

Now to the good part. While paddling my friend told me his neighbor had an old wooden canoe with three broken ribs, a broken inwhale and shot canvas that needs a home. When it rains it pours! If this second project boat seems viable I may take it on. Luckily I do know there is no such thing as a free boat. We shall see.

Welcome to the passion for wooden canoes!

You may have answered the question some people have, when they look at pictures from the early 20th Century, showing the inside of canoes filled with rugs, piled with pillows, and fitted with a Victrola, parasols, picnic basket... well, anything to "make the lady comfortable"!

I'll attach a couple scans of Belle Isle postcards circa the early 1900s. Note how comfortable the guys are... and how unafraid they are that the canoe will tip and dump all that stuff in the water (well, the stuff probably belonged to the canoe livery I suppose...). And then there's the lady... long dress and all.



  • Belle Isle canoes.JPG
    Belle Isle canoes.JPG
    467.4 KB · Views: 382
  • Belle Isle canoeist.JPG
    Belle Isle canoeist.JPG
    400.9 KB · Views: 378