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Thread: Rhinelander Boats?

  1. #1

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    I rencently purchased a 14' wooden Row Boat for restoration in Northern WI. I've been told by the locals it might be a "Rhinelander" Boat. Its wood on wood lapstrack. It seems to be oak frame with fir striping.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of a Rhinelander yard? Whats the best way to strip the fiberglass to get down to the wood. Are there any good books to read on repair? Was this a stupid idea?

    I'm living in the Boulder Junction area and would like to talk to anyone with information.

    Thanks
    Nartker@AOL.com
    Nartker

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,974

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    As far as I've been able to find, there isn't any written info on Rhinelander boats. All of the boats that I've seen were what they call "Rhinelander Guideboats". They are fairly narrow, low-sided rowboats, smooth-skin planked over steam-bent ribs (half-round as I remember) and the stern end of the bottom has a funny little "humped-up" shape which leads to a small wine-glass-style transom. I don't know if the company also built other models of boats or if they all were guideboats.

    There was a small canoe and guideboat festival last fall at the big Boy Scout (I think) camp outside Boulder Junction. They had lousy weather and not much stuff, but there was a guy there with some guideboats that he was restoring and I imagine he was local. The festival was co-sponsored by Rutabaga in Madison and I believe that place on the corner of 51 and the main drag in Boulder that sells canoes and kayaks. They might be able to tell you who he is. Sorry this is so fuzzy. I guess I didn't file it in a critical section of my brain.

    There also used to be a guy at the Cardinal Lodge on the western shore of Trout Lake, just off of 51, who was building fiberglass-hulled, wood-trimmed replicas of Rhinelander Guideboats. It's been a while and I don't think he's still building them, but he might still be around and he might have some info on them. I've always been tempted to stop and find out what happened to his mold and/or if he wanted to sell it. This is one of his boats and the shape is pretty faithful to the original woodies:


    You might also check the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association's forum. If it's small, old and wood, somebody there usually knows what written stuff is available on it. (wcha.org)

    As far as removing fiberglass. A heat gun, combined with careful peeling and a scraper seems to be the method of choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    604

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    There was a gentleman that displayed three or four "Rhinelander" boats at the Minocqua Antique & Classic Boat Show last July. All were guide boat or row boat types. I wasn't aware Rhinelander made lapstrake hulls, but maybe they did. There also is a professional boat restorer in Crandon that may be able to assist you: www.northwoodsboats.com

    The strip built boats made by Rhinelander are similar to those made by Thompson, Larson, Chetek, Shell Lake, and any other number of builders.

    The Wooden Canoe forum is a good suggestion as Rhinelander also made canoes: www.wcha.org

    I have a Rhinelander ad from the early part of the 20th century, showing their launch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    N 54° 47, 595\' E 009° 25, 970\'
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    4,441

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    Hmm...



    ...there you have the "Rhine" native "Rhineländer" and a boat - does that help?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
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    In the Rhinelander over here, those birds would have been eaten a long time ago by the Hodag!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    N 54° 47, 595\' E 009° 25, 970\'
    Posts
    4,441

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    Hmm looks like one of those "Dragons" that the RINELÄNDER Siegfried used to kill and bath in (Nibelungen-Saga - remember - Wagner?).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    4

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    Having recently discovered this site...I come very late with a little information for you.

    According to the present owner of Arbor Vitae Marine, in Arbor Vitae, WI, Rhinelander guideboats were actually built in what now is their showroom--not in Rhinelander, WI--where you would assume they were built.

    They are still quite popular with the local fishing guides whose clients like to harken back and experience the romance of the good old days in fishing out of one of these wonderful boats.

    Willie Krychinski, a wooden boat restorer, who lives just east of Winchester, WI on CTH W, probably knows these boats better than any other living person...he restores about 10-12 of these each year and has for several decades.

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