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A Thames Treasure in the UK

Discussion in 'Birchbarks, Dugouts and Primitive Craft' started by Blott, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    We had a WCHA-UK paddle day on the Thames and backwaters last Sunday. We started from a glorious old boathouse owned by one of our members. Hanging from the rafters , where it had been for decades was a birchbark canoe which had been commissioned decades ago but not used for some time. Some with plenty of helping hands it saw day light again, the dust washed off and it was paddled.

    Research shows its a Henri Vaillancourt but canoe in being a 16' St Lawrence Malecite model.

    Now its out it will be repaired and used as it should be; the only difficulty in the Thames valley is the purchase of some bear grease :)

    The boat house


    The treasure

    Slight damage at the stem which leaked
    Beautiful planking & ribs

    C1B50E7F-D8A9-4DDE-A494-9EE49C121671_1_201_a.jpeg EE90BD34-BC59-49F5-9E86-D81BA8437E21_1_201_a.jpeg

    The makers mark.

    Any advice on how to treat and refurbish a birchbark canoe which has been stored for many years would be appreciated.



    Attached Files:

    Rob Stevens likes this.
  2. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    Treat it gentle…very dry and brittle; especially the roots…spray with water to revive flexibility. Do not drop canoe! The pitch can be smoothed out by ironing with a hot file.
  3. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    You should also contact the builder to get the final answer.
  4. OP

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thank you Ferdy. I will pass your advice onto the current custodians of this beautiful canoe.
    They didn’t know who the builder was as the records had been lost but through the WCHA they now know.

    Keep well and keep building your glorious canoes.


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