Wide Board

Bill P

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Wood is the new black!


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Hi Bill,
I see you have started the work on “Pladda”. :) All that paint seems to have protected the wood nicely. Have you found any numbers yet?

Dick Persson
Headwater Canoe Company
Ah Dick I knew you would ask!

No, no sign of any numbers on the combings, stems, yet. No decal on the deck. It looks in rather good condition.

Its quite heavy, I'm wondering if the timber is 'basswood" . The stem band appears to be aluminium and it has flat battens.

I'll keep you posted on the progress. I wasn't going to look at this one for a couple of years but curiosity got the better of me!


Bill Purcell
Found a Number!

Hi Dick,

I have a number!
It' s 7810.

Its stamped in 1/2" high numerals across ways on the hog up the bow.

expectantly yours!

Bill Purcell


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Hello Bill,

Fantastic, I’ve seen a similar number stamp once before on what was believed to be a Wm. English built canoe.

I went back and took a close look at all the pictures you have posted of “Pladda”. The vertical stems, the thwarts and the general shape of your canoe very much look like the canoe model #4 built by the William English Canoe Co. in Peterborough.
:) This is exiting, I am curiously awaiting more photos as you go ahead with this restoration.

Dick Persson
Headwater Canoe Company
Wm English

Hi Dick,

Thank you so much for your interest and help!

This boat is nicely constructed and in quite original condition. I measured it again, it is about 1" short of 16' 6" which the #4 length according to Dan's site.

The nails are thin and clenched deep, you can hardly see them on the inside.

I see Roger MacGregor has now redone the 1918 Wm. English catalogue.

Attached is an earlier photo I have of her about 60 years ago.

I will hopefully peel off the canvas this weekend.


Bill Purcell


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Wm. English #4

Hi Everyone,

I just peeled off the canvas. Thwart tags all gone. Only one patch. Nice boat.

I weighed the old canvas: 8.5kg.

Must be croc proof.


Bill Purcell


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That's a nice looking boat Bill. You must have done something really special in a previous life to be blessed with those old canoes. Did you ever get any old paddles with them?

Keep us posted on the research and progress.

Wm. English #4

I don't know about a previous life Jeff , but the previous owner passed away just a couple of weeks ago. He was happy knowing that his canoes were being well looked after.

I did get a few paddles. Heres a pic of one which had a snapped shaft. I stuck it together. I was going to cut it in half across the shaft and put some sort of tensile pin down the middle but it seems strong enough as is.

Love the copper shoe on the tip.

Cheers Bill Purcell.


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She's Done!

:) Ready to hit the water!


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Wow, Bill, she's looking good!
You have done a fantastic job.

Dick Persson
Headwater Canoe Company
Bill, What a pretty boat! It is wonderful that you have done such a fine job and brought it back. You deserve a great big " ATTA BOY" :D
Heres some pics of when I first brought her home.


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Nice looking boat Bill. Good job! Getting it on the water must be fun. Time to find another one to work on.