Winter 2012 Project: Chestnut Cronje

70 140

Curious about Wooden Canoes
After a successful thanksgiving weekend thread, I was able to identify my recent find:

I figure its a mid 1960's boat, likely a special order for the camp. #61 was retired from the fleet at camp Keewaydin, and made its way to me a few weeks ago. Its not in terrible condition overall, and with a little work over the winter, it should be back on the water come spring.

Some of this boats interesting features are the wannigan ribs, and the odd dimensions - its an inch and a half deeper than the specs for a regular Cronje.

The canvas has rotted away from the gunwales, there are 9 broken and/or cracked ribs. There is also some planking I will replace due to splitting and unusual previous repairs. The positives are that the stems are nice and straight, and decks are decent, and overall the boat is pretty tight. Despite the condition of the canvas, I did paddle it a few times with only minor leakage. Like most things, I'm sure I will find more when I dig into it.

I have attached some photos of the boat below:





I see a 2 and a 5, the rest I can't make out. Insignificant anyhow...

I pulled off the canvas this past weekend:



Some rot on the outer gunwale

I saved these in case I decide to re-number it.

Thats all for now. I'm in the process of tracking down some white cedar to mill the planking and ribs from. Its also still paddling season herefor another few weeks.
10 Picture max, and I wanted to add this 11th for feedback from the experts:

The boat must have sat on the starboard side for a while, the gunwale has flattened out. I was hoping I could steam the inner and re-shape it, the wood is still in nice shape.

Hello 70 140,
that is a very nice canoe. I have one also, but yours looks to be in better shape than mine was before restoration. Mine came with cane seats. Do you know if yours had cane seats originally? This will be a great project. Good luck.
There was some discussion of the seats in the other thread I referenced at the top.

This canoe has the hide (babiche) seats. They appear to be the original seats. I also have another Chestnut with the same strips of hide for the seating.

I actually need to figure out where to get a few feet of the material to make some repairs, you might be able to see a few broken pieces in the photos.
Several sources are listed online for supplies of babiche (also used in snowshoes)….but here are a few:

Near Sudbury is IBead,

Or near Brantford, Iroquafts,

Chichester Inc.,,, and

For more info on babiche seats also see the WCHA forum link,

Babiche Seat Lacing

For instructions on babiche seat lacing, check out this great article from Mike Elliot of Kettle River Canoes,!/note.php?note_id=10150116672517696. This is a very informative article on how to lace these seats.

Also check out this online article on Canoe Seat Lacing,
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Thanks for the feedback, and I am looking forward to paddling it in the spring.

WoodNCanvas, thanks for the information on babiche, and weaving styles. I have driven past that I-Bead place on the way into Sudbury before. 15 meters should be enough for the repairs I need to make.