Quite a few years ago I bought a Gerrish canoe from a very nice older man in Eastern NY. While he was raising his family it had been the canoe that they used for fishing, paddling, camping. He had quite a few memories tied to it, but unfortunately no provenance. When he bought it in the 60's it had already been fiberglassed and painted. It didn't get any special care. It was stored on the ground outside his shed, or at least it was when I bought it. I had always sworn I would never, ever, ever, ever do another canoe that was glassed...but this was a Gerrish and a bit unusual one at that. I brought it home and stored it away with all of the other boats in que. I promised the owner (Maurice) that I would keep him posted and send him pictures once it was done. A few years went by and I heard from him. There had been some unfortunate events in his family. He was wondering if I was working on the canoe. I wasn't but I promised him I was going to get to it as soon as I could. Long story short, two years ago the Gerrish finally made it to the top of the pile. I removed the glass and the resin. I pulled off the faux rail covers and stripped it. The paint was a nightmare...red oil paint that had penetrated every surface was covered by grey porch paint. Under the paint were lot's of cracked ribs. There was an extra thwart added in the middle. The stern seat had been moved and widened. There was some typical deck, stem and rail rot.... but as I worked on it it revealed some interesting things. The massive decks (26 x 10) were quite attractive. Hidden under the paint I could see where long since gone decorative cane had been wrapped There were details throughout that suggested that a very skilled hand had built it. There was the chamfering on the inside rails that located the seats and thwarts. There were the simple but gorgeous seats with their bent rails. There were the carefully shaped stem tips that someone took the time to round over. And most of all, there was a hull that was very nicely shaped and carefully planked, copper tacks properly spaced and staggered. My wife and I discussed what to do with the boat. I was certainly capable of restoring it and 99% of the folks that looked at it would have thought that I did a good job on it. I've done enough of them to accomplish that. What I was not "feeling" was the knowledge to get it 100% right and that was what I wanted. There are not a lot of these boats around and this one seemed like it was special enough that it needed to be done right. I gave Rollin a call about having him do the work for me. He was working about two years out but he was interested in working on it. I finished stripping it and loaded it up and we drove it to Atkinson. I gave him a tough job to do. I wanted every piece of wood preserved. I wanted the original rails, seats, ribs, planking, everything to be properly sorted, not replaced. I knew he could do that since he had been similarly tasked by Benson Gray when he restored his Indian Canoe Company boat. That was two years ago. Last fall he re-stripped the hull and this spring they got it into the shop. My guilty pleasure for months has been watching him or Elisa on the shop cam. Every now and then I'd call or shoot them an email but for the most part, I watched. It's been very hard to do...I never allowed anyone else to work on my boats and as most of us do, I have my ways. What I eventually learned was that my instinct to turn it over to Rollin was spot on...so after 55 years of working on boats I finally learned that sometimes you need to let an expert do the job. You be the judge...I think it looks pretty darned good for a boat that is over 120 years old...it looks ready to go another 120 years and believe me, I will not be putting glass on it. The color will grow on you...It's Kirby Green Grey #1. The wood is matt finished as per my request. I don't like old boats that look real shiny.