Winter projects

Scot MacDonald

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello all, I am new to this fourm so I may be asking a lot of questions and terminalogy/spelling may be a bit off.

I am starting some winter projects and will have a few questions:D .

Project 1 is a 14' Tremplay. Someone has started this one but gave-up and I have it to fix.

As you can see in the first photo the some planking needs replacing and in the second pic the ribs are pulling away from the inwale and whoever started this did a very poor job on the deck. I hope I can get away with just replacing the deck and inwale and reattaching the ribs.

This brings me to my first question. What material was originally used for the decks and gunwales?

In the third and forth pics the original deck and stem have a fair bit of rot. I am hoping I can splice the stem since it is on the straight portion and not in the bend. Is this a good idea or should I bend new stem?

In the last photo there is a noticable dent in the bottom of the canoe from being stored on something. How do I get it out?

Project 2 & 3 are 16' & 14' Hurons (Sears) but require much less work, but that is for another thread;) .


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Scott, the gunnels are mahogany, Honduras if you can get it. Big fat ones inside, and skinny tall ones outside. The inwales are heavily tapered from about the third rib back from the stem,to the inside face of the stem. The ends of the gunnels and the tip of the deck sit flush to the inside face of the stem, and the stem is screwed into the end of the deck from the outside face of the stem. Crude but effective.

The stem is usually Ash. I think that I've seem some in Birch.

The decks, thwarts and seat frames are Birch. Keep the thwarts straight with only slight shaping to round the edges if you want to stay authentic.

The seats are mounted on mahogany risers, and are woven with rawhide.

The Tremblays were covered with Verolite, but its pretty well not available anymore.

I'm in the middle of working on a 16' Tremblay that got smashed in half by a tree. The canoe lost that fight.
Douglas Ingram said:
Which visual, what your canoe should look like? or smashed in half canoe?

The proper setup of the deck and wales. I would like to do a proper restoration.

No disrespect, but that much honduran mahogany would likely exceed the value of a new Tremblay;)
Mine had cherry inners, might have been replaced by the time I got it,but sure looked nice against the ash outers.
Wow do i miss that boat...
Get the bump out

Just some thoughts about the hollow spot on the canoe where it was apparently stored on a saw horse or something. You could try soaking it and using a weight like a cinder block or a big stone to get it to flex back out. You'd have to keep it wet for a few days I think and be careful to support the surrounding areas. Is the dent flexible enough that simply attaching a new keel to the outside could pull it out? You could screw temporary battens to the ouside of the canoe to regenerate a fair shape and then remove the warped ribs and steam in 4 or five new ones but this is risky since you'd be removing 4 or five ribs in a row.
what are the ribs and planking made from?

The circa 1967 Tremblay catalog says "No. 1 B.C. cedar." Presumably this means British Columbia, and thus could mean western red cedar or Alaska yellow cedar. Western red cedar was shipped to the east in huge quantities. Given that Tremblay was located in Quebec, one might expect to find northern white cedar in their canoes. You should be able to differentiate between red and white cedar by looking at it.