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Found Boat! need information

Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by Unregistered, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Dear W.C.H.A. members
    I have recently decided to re-furbish an older fabric/wood, canoe/kayak-boat and thought that I needed to do some research first.
    Some background !
    I had been given the boat during a chance meeting with a person that was, I'm guessing, tired of looking at it sitting there taking up space!
    I recieved this boat from a lady in St. Clair Shores MI. in the summer of 2000.
    Like the lady I too have become tired of looking at it sitting there doing nothing except taking up space. Except, that I have an affinity for anything old and especially anything "sporting" and have stored the craft behind my shed since then, now going on 6 years!
    While doing some yard work this past weekend I decided that I may as well get this boat up on some blocks and asked my son to help me lift it out of its resting place and set it up on saw horses, so as to allow me to rake the debris that had gathered around it.
    After finishing my work, I though that I would take a better look at what I had there, as I had not paid much attention to the boat except to store it, up to this time.
    To make a long story even longer! Shortly after I recieved the craft I ran across an article in the "Detroit News" outdoor section in March 2001
    about a man who refurbished canvas canoes. His name is Charles "Skip" Gibson a W.C.H.A. member. I had also purchased a book on the subject on the internet " The Wood and Canvas Canoe" by Stelmok & Thurlow. After looking through the book I hadn't come across much pertaining to the type of craft except that it looks very similur to the pitures in their book on pages 18, 19 of J.H. Rushton's American Traveling Canoe/Rob Roy!
    So I decided to clip the acticle and slipped into the book and placed it in a drawer in my bureau where it has been safely stored from that time on!
    That is until Saturday afternoon 6/10/06
    I decided that I would strip the fabric off the frame and see what kind of project I would be encountering. After exposing the wood frame and cleaning all exposed ribs and materials I was surprised to find that the boat was in remarkable shape considering that it probally hasn't seen any water except rain, in the past ten, maybe twenty years and neglected for the same!
    I dug out the news paper article and called local telephone information and got a hold of "Skip" Gibson.
    I meet Mr. Gibson at his home in Grosse Point Farms and had a glorious meeting with him! he is such a affable gentelman to spend the time that he did with me. Showing me the boats he has and the tools that he uses, so much so that I have become smitten with the idea of re-creating this semi-historical watercraft. One that I can use for fishing and coursing around my lake were I live and use for general pourpose!
    I am going to take this project slow and at "Skips" urging request information from your society's membership on what kind of boat it is, who made it, and approx. year/period.
    The boat is similur in fashion to a kayak 17' long has a beam width 36'
    it has 7 main frames and (2) 1"x1" longitudinal strips running the length on both sides not including the gunwales. It uses a flat tapered lenghtwise plywood plate running the entire lenght of the keel fixed to the bow and stern boards where all side strips and gunwales are joined. It has a deck and an open 8' cockpit and looks like seating space for two. The center most frame is solid across the top and supports a tilting seat/backrest. the boat also has foot pedals for steering and cast aluminum bow and stern caps, with the stern cap fitted for a rudder.
    If anyone thinks they may know anything about this watercraft, I can forward digital pics of the frame assembly to further help in ID.
    Thank you

    Chris Venticinque
    West Bloomfield MI
    email -
  2. IthacaBill

    IthacaBill WCHA Member #7902

    Boat identification

    :) You may want to post this with the digital pictures in the research and history section of the forums...I know someone can help you there.
  3. zutefisk

    zutefisk LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Sounds like a Folbot super. Some fold, some do not, some were factory built, some were built from kits. Frames are baltic birch plywood, longerons are cypress.

    Check out the pre 1990's section of the folbot forum.

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