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Thread: Vintage canoe ID?

  1. #1
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    Default Vintage canoe ID?

    Advertised on local craigslist as "home-built" but it does not look home made to me

    Any ideas as to possible builder / origin? (thinking maybe Peterborough?)

    Owner not sure if fg covered or canvas or ?

    Looks like a hole in deck for mast / sailing as well.....

    https://akroncanton.craigslist.org/s...382512453.html




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    wcha.org

    Wooden Canoe Heritage Association is your best site for information about wooden canoes. It sure looks like a Canadian manufactured canoe.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Looks interesting, and unusual. Let us know if you go see it.

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    That is a great deal. $300 will usually get you a crappy Coleman or a banged up Grumman.

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Happen to have just read Canoes: A Natural History in North America (Neuzil and Simms, University of Minn. Press, 2016). From that, this looks like a John Stephenson design, perhaps, which apparently could have been built by a few companies. The history of such canoes is a bit murky as the idea seems to have been adopted and shared among different Peterborough builders. If you can get hold of the book (I highly recommend it.), see pages 124 - 128 including the below Rice lake Canoe Company ad from 1900 which is reproduced on page 127. A lot of similarities.
    From Page 126 "Stephenson patented a design for a "cedar rib" canoe, a unique construction in which tongue and groove ribs ran vertically from gunwale to gunwale and were supplemented with strips of wood called battens than ran lengthwise"
    Beautiful boat. Seems like a real find.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I think these canoes are commonly referred to as "longitudinal strip canoes". You can definitely find out more on the WCHA website. Note that this canoe does not have ribs, like the Stephenson. There was a common manufacturer that built canoes this way. The name is escaping my foggy noggin - "Richardson Aquacraft". Maybe it is one of theirs.

    Edit - the ones I am finding on the internet have ribs, so I am not sure of the manufacturer. Canadian probably.

    Cheers,

    Fitz
    Last edited by Fitz; 09-21-2021 at 09:37 AM.
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    "tongue and groove ribs". no space in between. That's what it looks like to me. The canoe in the ad does have ribs that stand proud, unlike this one. I got the impression that the Rice Lake boat is just one variation on construction, and not exactly true to Stephenson's idea though in the family. Anyway, I'm amazed to learn they are commonly referred to as anything. Seem very exotic and rare to me, but I'm far from traditional canoe country. And I just popped up to regurgitate what I'd read the other day, so, yes, the WCHA by all means. Hope you'll share what you learn about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    This appears to be a Peterborough Cedar Rib model. The patent for this style of construction at https://www.woodencanoemuseum.org/si...Stephenson.pdf was issued in 1883. They were listed in the Peterborough catalogs from about 1909 to 1943. This particular one seems to have been covered with fiberglass which can make a full restoration difficult so the $300 price was not unreasonable.

    Benson

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Thanks for all the tips, guys.....am familiar with WCHA, was a past member, etc

    Going to go look at and likely buy it this week.....seems like too good to pass up! (story of my boating life!)

    Will keep you all posted......

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I think there is an old canoe built this way hanging from the ceiling on the first floor of the LL Bean Flagship store in Freeport, Maine. I’m up North this week but will try to get a pic next time I’m down that way.

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    I think there is an old canoe built this way hanging from the ceiling on the first floor of the LL Bean Flagship store in Freeport, Maine.
    Yes, this model is on display over the Main Street entrance to L. L. Bean's original store in Freeport as shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...chments/33301/ and https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...chments/33302/ is the catalog description from the 1914 Peterborough catalog.

    Benson

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I can see why the canoe might have been glassed. A friend had a wonderful fast twitchy 16' x 30 English that he rescued from the dump. A wide board and batten boat. He ended up glassing it as it was the only way he could get it tight. A great paddler.

    I suspect that the t&g have shrunk over time and there isn't a real way to repair it. The glass could be removed using heat, but I think you'd need some kind of cover to keep the canoe usable. It occurs that canvas might be better, allow the wood to move.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Todd Bradshaw ought to have something to add to this thread. Maybe we can keep it live until he sees it….

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I suspect that the t&g have shrunk over time and there isn't a real way to repair it. The glass could be removed using heat, but I think you'd need some kind of cover to keep the canoe usable. It occurs that canvas might be better, allow the wood to move.
    Ironically, the earlier Canadian version of John Stephenson's patent (number 10063 from 1879) shown at https://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/p...ectNameDIS.gif includes the mention of a "textile fabric fastened on with water-proof glue forming a water-proof skin to the wooden hull." These canoes didn't commonly ship with canvas coverings but often had them added later after a few years of use. Liberal and frequent applications of 'boat soup' or varnish are the other common solutions. See Leakproofing Your All Wood Canoe by Geoffrey Burke at https://youtu.be/6gV58W_1dps for more on this topic.

    Benson
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 09-21-2021 at 06:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Gray View Post
    Ironically, the earlier Canadian version of John Stephenson's patent (number 10063 from 1879) shown at https://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/p...ectNameDIS.gif includes the mention of a "textile fabric fastened on with water-proof glue forming a water-proof skin to the wooden hull." These canoes didn't commonly ship with canvas coverings but often had them added later after a few years of use. Liberal and frequent applications of 'boat soup' or varnish are the other common solutions. See Leakproofing Your All Wood Canoe by Geoffrey Burke at https://youtu.be/6gV58W_1dps for more on this topic.

    Benson
    Reminds me of the drawings I've seen of Swedish and German sailing and paddling canoes of the early 20th. Very light carvel construction, too light for any kind of caulking, covered with a light cover of painted / varnished canvas. See for example a book by Artur Tiller, Kanubau und Seglen
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Thanks again - Benson....from what the owner mentioned, dimension-wise it looks possibly to be a #24 Peterborough Cedar Rib model....would that be stamped on the stem up front? Owner looked and said he did not see any numbers / markings stamped anywhere that he could see.
    I am driving to his location Friday after work to probably get it....have always admired Peterborough canoes, and would love to re-create the sail rig etc....
    Does anyone make reproduction brass / bronze mast ferrules for the hole in the front deck?
    And, yes - looks very very similar to the canoe hanging up in LL Bean in Freeport! Except this one does not have the caned seats, just 3 thwarts for kneeling....

    ll-bean.jpg

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    The locations and types of Peterborough serial numbers changed over time and some were not numbered at all. See https://www.woodencanoemuseum.org/in...-canoe-company for more details. The most likely source for a ferrule would be Bob Lavertue at the Springfield Fan Centerboard Company. The page at https://www.woodencanoe.org/builders...rboard-company has his contact information. Good luck,

    Benson
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 09-22-2021 at 07:16 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I may have an original Old Town brass ferrule or escutcheon in my "junk box"

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    The Old Town ferrules are quite different from the Peterborough styles, if that matters to you. See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/27212/ for an example of a flat Old Town one and http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/19040/ for the raised Peterborough style. Good luck,

    Benson
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 09-23-2021 at 12:43 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I may have an original Old Town brass ferrule or escutcheon in my "junk box"
    Let me know if you do - and the diameter etc - thanks!

    I do not know the dimension of the hole in the deck yet - but I will know that come Friday when I go see it

    00R0R_haYyYkNELHIz_0t20CI_1200x900.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Gray View Post
    The Old Town ferrules are quite different from the Peterborough styles, if that matters to you. See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/27212/ for an example of a flat Old Town one and https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid...58743418423983 for the raised Peterborough style. Good luck,

    Benson
    I will get in contact with the guy at Springfield Fan Centerboard co that you mentioned, this weekend - I would like to have as original replacement parts as possible, etc

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    The shape of the morticed thwart cleats are a Peterborough design, but I'm not sure if they are unique to them.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Well, quick update - I made the 40 minute drive south last evening, and picked this up for $100....too nice to pass up!

    It is pretty nice - no documentation at all - I noticed some numbers stamped around the forward deck coaming while doing some preliminary clean up.....looks like " 127" with another number to the right of that - maybe a "2" or ? not sure

    Anyone have any idea of age of this from that number series? I looked on www.woodencanoemuseum.org website, but did not see any that looked like these numbers for a "cedar rib" model - just under 16 ft long....!
    Nice boat - am now thinking I will refurbish it and give it as a wedding gift to my daugher and future son in law - they got engaged last Saturday....they have plastic kayaks, but no tandem canoe - this may make a nice wedding gift once restored!

    20210925_133949.jpg

    20210925_133949.jpg

    20210924_191508.jpg

    20210925_133741.jpg

    20210924_191354.jpg

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Nice find that! And lucky daughter & prospective SIL to have a dad who shares their interests.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    https://www.woodencanoemuseum.org/in...-canoe-company

    I found this information at this link.
    Patented in 1883 by J.S. Stephenson as a cedar rib canoe

    Built by the Ontario Canoe Co. Peterborough ON.

    On the coaming appears to be stamped 1272. Also to the right of the round head screw appears to be a #4 stamped.

    Model 4 of the OCC is an open canoe, cedar rib construction, dimensions:16 x 31 x 12 1/4. I assume L,W,D.
    1272 would be the serial number, most likely numbered consecutively.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    https://www.woodencanoemuseum.org/in...-canoe-company

    I found this information at this link.
    Patented in 1883 by J.S. Stephenson as a cedar rib canoe

    Built by the Ontario Canoe Co. Peterborough ON.

    On the coaming appears to be stamped 1272. Also to the right of the round head screw appears to be a #4 stamped.

    Model 4 of the OCC is an open canoe, cedar rib construction, dimensions:16 x 31 x 12 1/4. I assume L,W,D.
    1272 would be the serial number, most likely numbered consecutively.
    Thanks for that! I had been looking on the woodencanoemuseum site, and saw there was a number to the right of the other set of numbers - but did not make the connection....

    So, this canoe is likely from the 1880's-early 1890's?? I knew it was old, but not that old! Are these canoes fairly rare? I have been around canoes all my life and never seen one like this before.
    Very cool indeed!

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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I'll have to look and see but I may still have a clamp on thwart and leeboards that might fit your canoe.
    I had a sail rig for one too, but let it go with my gunning dory when I sold it recently.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by timo4352 View Post
    I'll have to look and see but I may still have a clamp on thwart and leeboards that might fit your canoe.
    I had a sail rig for one too, but let it go with my gunning dory when I sold it recently.
    Thanks, Tim - that would be awesome! Let me know!
    Esp. so since we are both in NE Ohio!
    Cheers

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Yeah, we a practically neighbors!
    I'll message you with my findings.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Thanks Tim - great pics of those leeboards......I replied to your private message....appreciate it!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    These are Old Town Canoe Company leeboards and bracket.
    __________
    Daniel Miller
    Thousand Islands, New York

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    So, apparently, the Peterborough Canoe co also made a "#4" model canoe, after the Ontario Canoe co burned down in 1892 - same dimensions etc as the OCC #4 model
    I guess there is no way for sure to know how old this canoe is, or which builder made it - from the serial # 1272?

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    Quote Originally Posted by WBViking View Post
    I guess there is no way for sure to know how old this canoe is, or which builder made it - from the serial # 1272?
    This is correct. There are no known detailed serial number records available for Peterborough, Ontario, or any other Canadian canoe companies. You may find some tags under the fiberglass on the outside opposite the ends of the thwarts (or the shadow from some missing ones). See https://www.woodencanoemuseum.org/index.php/decals for some examples.


    The Old Town leeboards shown here probably date from before 1932 as described at http://forums.wcha.org/index.php?threads/4107/ in more detail. Good luck,

    Benson
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 09-30-2021 at 09:29 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Vintage canoe ID?

    I reached out to the Canadian Canoe Museum as well - and sent them pics of this canoe - perhaps they may have some additional info that may be relevant to this # 4 model cedar rib canoe....we shall see what they say!

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