Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hi all! --> i'm new to the site (its great). I just picked up an old freighter canoe - well the woman who owned it called it a K-boat.It is 16' long 17" deep in the center has a 25" high bow and a 30 inch wide transom. It is plank and rib construction but covered in fiberglass. Don't know if it used to be canvas or not. Anyway, I managed to strip off the glass and now I have discovered all sorts of interesting damage --> 8 ribs are broken (some are 66" long) I need a few planks, gunwales are shot, transom is rotten ,keel looks like a pretzel but other than that she is in good shape (hehe). I have many questions. Inwales and outwales hardwood or softwood (3/4 x 1 1/4)? Do you think this thing was glassed from original? I mean it is awful thin--> the planks are 1/8 thick and 2 11/16 wide --> the ribs are 1 3/4 wide and 3/16 - 1/4 thick and spaced approx. 2 1/2 inches apart. The keel tapers to 1" by 3" and then there is a wedge at the stern cause the bottom kicks up. This woman had 2 more of these and they appeared to be glass too. I have the fiberglass, well actually I have kevlar matt but I don't want to epoxy it if it was canvas. Ok thanks for listening I'll have more questions later

Glenn T.
K Boat

I doubt very much that it was other than canvas to begin with. Do you have some pics of it you could post? Shots of the deck would help. This web site has an Old Canoe Identification section which may help you narrow your search pertaining to the dimensions of the boat. Also knowing were the boat came from would help in figuring out who built it. Do you know what woods are used in it? I have a 19' Chestnut freighter that i have just about finished working on.

All the best with it,

David Hobden
Hi Glenn,

I belive what you describe is a freighter canoe/boat built by Jim or Carl Kay in the Muskokas of Ontario (often called a Kay-boat by the locals).
If so, originally built with canvas covering. The ones built after the late 1950’s were built with lighter ribs and planking and glassed.

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
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Pictures for interest sake

Sorry it took so long for the pictures--> camera bought the farm


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Hi Glenn,

Where are you located, and did you purchase the boat somewhere in the Muskokas?
Judging from the pictures, it sure looks like a Carl Kay boat from the 1960’s.

Dick Persson
Headwater Wooden Boat Shop
Buckhorn, Ontario
Phone: 705-657-2601
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