What is this canoe anyway?

steve bennett

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Fiberglass 65 lbs
16' 2" x 30" beam
13 3/4 inches gunnel-to-floor at center
Large, Well crafted, bookmatched Mahogany decks
Gunnels are spruce or oak; seem soft for oak but looks it; I don't know spruce well
Bow deck is 17 1/2" x 7 1/2" Stern Deck is 17" x 7 1/8
Thwarts, I doubt are original
The Maroon is original gel-cote.
Seems to have a bit of rocker
White decal is a paean to the Northwest Territories, not a brand logo, but the canoe did come from there, enroute to me.

My not very educated guess is that it is a down river boat as it seems similar to my Jensen WWC1 in its shape, feel, and high sides. But then that is the only other solo I have paddled, so what else do I know?

And if it is I.D.ed, I hope to learn a bit of history as well.

Thanks for your help on this,



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Todd Bradshaw

Lets see.......
- 16' plus, deep hull, solo tripping boat.
-End grab loops through tube fittings.
-Bookmatched mahogany decks.
-Ash gunwales.
-Sliding seat (may have originally been cane, rather than webbing).
-Fiberglass cloth used for the float tank walls, instead of fiberglass mat (the hull interior is probably also cloth, rather than mat or roving).
-It doesn't sit flat on the saw horses, which would indicate a shallow V hull.
-Grey interior paint, burgundy gelcoat.
-It also has a pretty typical Jim Henry gunwale/stem shape profile.
-The snaps under the gunwale are for a spray cover and were probably added by a previous owner.

This would all add up to a mid to late 1980s Traveler model from the Mad River Canoe Company. It should also have phillips, flat-head stainless screws holding the gunwales on, stainless thwart bolts and most likely a serial number molded or scratched into the outside of the stern just below the gunwale on one side. If I remember correctly, their numbers started with "MRC" and the last two digits should be the year it was built.

That would be my guess.

steve bennett

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Well Todd, that's twice in two days you have made my day.

The screws are philips stainless. I can feel and move the interior cloth, which doesn't cover, but ends loosely under the bulkheads, can also feel the top of the closed-cell foam in the bow. (I'm betting this arrangement collects water and drips it back onto the bow points when it is stored upside down) And yes, the serial is molded on the right side of the stern. It was covered by the big "Canada's Northwest Territories: Within reach, but beyond belief" decal, which is a bit of its 90's history that I think I'll leave in place for a while.

Another question or two, please.

First, does this boat show enough wood to be discussing it here; that is, is it worthy of "Wooden Canoe Heritage"? I ask because my initial search brought up only this thread.

Second, Johns913 submitted the following statistics on paddling.net a few years back.

"It is difficult to find information on the Traveler, so here are some measurements:
Bow Depth 18.5"
Center Depth 13.5"
Stern Depth 17"
Width 27 3/4"
Length 16'2"

My o.s. gunnel width is about 27" or a little less. Could john's width be waterline? If so, is the standard at 3" or 4" depth?

And I noticed the sailmaker designation with your, name, where Wood Be Good were yesterday. This canoe has a mast base 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" with a 1 1/8" hole 46 inches back from the bow. also four jam cleats, under the gunnel and 6 holes neatly drilled through the inwale for stays? Probably not factory. Maybe in five years, I'll come back and ask you how to set it up

and thanks again, Steve

Todd Bradshaw

Catalog blurb below. They probably measured the beam at the 4" waterline for a touring canoe, but there aren't any official standards. You also never know what any previous owners might have done (replaced thwarts with different sizes, etc.)

It's very rare for a typical add-on canoe sail rig to use or need stays. The holes are probably for something else.

Normally over here it's generally pretty limited to boats with more wood in them than that one, though we do occasionally discuss boats containing other materials and as long as it doesn't get out of hand I doubt anyone would complain. Sometimes paddlers need info, and this is one of the best places on the net to get information on canoes - of any kind.


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