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I need help Identifying this boat

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by sleddude, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. sleddude

    sleddude New Member

    I recently aquired an old wooden rowboat and would like to Identify it. I posted it on Woodenboat.com and the users there said that I might have better luck on this site since the manufacturer might have been a canoe builder.

    Here is the history that I know. The boat has been on an Island on Lake Winnipesaukee NH. The Island has been owned by the same family since 1912. The oldest of the current generation said his memories go back to the 50's, and as far as he can remember, the boat has always been there. In the 60's, the Grandfater had all the then teenagers do a weekend project and fiberglass the exterior of the hull. It has two sets of oarlocks on it, however I don't believe either of them are original. I can't find any identifying information, possibly there will be something under the fiberglass.

    The boat is 13' 6" from bow to stern (topside). It is a beautiful boat and my plans are to strip the fiberglass and try to restore the original wood look. I am a total beginner, and although I have always had an affinity for wood boats, this will be my first project.

    Here are some pictures
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    [URL=http://s986.photobucket.com/albums/ae345/sleddude72/?
     
  2. OP
    OP
    sleddude

    sleddude New Member

    here are more of the hull

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. john hupfield

    john hupfield fire starter/wood burner

    It is a Car-topper; maybe Penn-yann. These were originally canvas covered and lightly built, hence the canoe ribs. It is not a Canadian built boat, though most canoe companies constructed similar boats as does Headwater Canoe Company in Buckhorn Ontario.
    John
     
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    It isn't a Penn Yan Cartopper. I have one in the shop right now. Penn Yan typically stamped a model number on the stem. If it is there, it could be another PY model.....
     
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Check the transom edge and brace for numbers. Old Town puts them there, and some other companies may too.

    Nice boat!

    Kathy
     
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Stripper

    Notice that it is a stripper. I don't know what it is but that should narrow the field.
     
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Looks kinda like a Peterson that I repaired for a row troller last fall. The Peterson had a small deck on it. Pretty doubtful that a Peterson, made in Shell Lake Wisconsin made it all the way to Lake Winne in the Northeast. My guess is that it was from a local builder to the northeast somewhere.

    Smoothin it in the Northwoods!
    Dave
     
  8. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    Looks just like a Thompson I went and evaluated last week. Same planking style.
     
  9. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Everything about it looks like Thompson- the ribs, the gunwales, the planking all are in the manner of Thompson all-wood strip-built boats. Even the painter ring and the stem look like Thompsons we have or have worked on, and the seats are mounted on cleats just as in a Thompson we have. I think this is a Thompson Take-Along, which was built light to be easily carried as a car-topper (but this is definitely NOT a Penn Yan Cartopper). The "open" brackets at the top of the transom are typical of the Thompson Take-Along.

    The deck, or breasthook, is missing from your boat, but you can see where it was once attached. That's where a metal tag would have been mounted.

    Michael
     
  10. john hupfield

    john hupfield fire starter/wood burner

    After Marks response I thought Thompson made sense. Mike nailed the Transom back on.Pretty Clear interpretation. Mostly Thomsons up here are lapstrake runabouts. I guessed Penn yan on location.
    John
     
  11. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My guess is she is NOT a Thompson. No breast hook. And a number of other details just don't add up to Thompson.

    Andreas
    Founder & President
    Thompson Antique & Classic Boat Rally, Inc.
    a non-profit corporation
     
  12. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Here's an image from the 1948 4-page Thompson catalog. This is a quick photo, but I think it shows good detail (the horizontal line down the boat is actually a crease in the paper of the catalog).

    You can see the shape of the breasthook here, and I or others could provide a tracing of a typical Thompson breasthook if you plan to replace the one that was removed from your boat. You can see the screw holes and the patina change along the inwales on your boat, so that will show you the size it was.

    In the photo here, note that there are two half ribs between each pair of ribs, and the rear seat is like yours (though part of your seat appears to have been replaced). The corner braces between transom and gunwales of your boat are like the ones in the catalog image also. Finally, your boat has two pairs of oarlocks- the rear ones match the appearance of those in this catalog, but the forward ones match another style used by Thompson, so they may have been added at purchase. The fact that they are galvanized is typical for Thompson, at least around the WWII timeframe. Note also the insertion of pieces of wood between the gunwales near the stem and at the transom of your boat- this is common on Thompsons, and you can see it in the catalog image here.

    Your gunwales and ribs appear to be white oak, seats of spruce and planking of cedar... these also match Thompson.

    There are some differences between your boat and the catalog image. First, your transom appears to have been re-built. It may have originally been mahogany and probably made of only two boards. The bracing in your boat is also odd for Thompson, another indicator that the transom was replaced. The catalog image also shows seats mounted on full-length cleats, but the way yours are mounted was common on Thompsons. Maybe someone else knows the reason for this variety... I don't. The other thing that's odd is the wooden seat braces. Thompson typically used metal ones (they would have been galvanized on your boat). If they were replaced, you'll likely find a second set of screw holes.

    Hope this helps,
    Michael
     

    Attached Files:

  13. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Actually, the steam bent wooden braces from inwale to seat are very typical of the Thompson Take-Along models.

    The 13'-6" length does not jive with the Take-Along. It definately is NOT the model 240, 241, or 242 Take-Along.

    The boat does have the appearance of the model 237 All Wood take-Along but that model only came in 12 foot length (about 11'-4" centerline length).

    I grew up with a 1958 model 240 Take-Along which my parent's still have. I also restored one a few years ago with the help of Dan Miller.

    Andreas
     
  14. OP
    OP
    sleddude

    sleddude New Member

    Thanks for the input. A few more Q's

    Thanks for all the input. I have recieved some emails that doubt that this boat is a Thompson, however, the more I learn about this, the more I think it is a Thompson. The picture Michael Grace shows from the 1948 catalog really looks like the profile of the boat and the rear seat/platform. This rear platform seems like a defining characteristic on this boat and I have never seen another like this in person, or on line. (however, I am a newbie to this).

    My boat has 1 more seat and set of oarlocks than the 1948 catalog picture, so I imagine it is a similar model. Possibly in the 1940's they made my boat for a limited time.

    If any of you have old Thompson catalogs from this era, please check.

    Also, a few people have ruled out models based on the 13' 6" length. My question is that boats are typically called "X" but actually measure slightly less, so I imagine this was considered a "14" in the catalog.

    Thanks again
     
  15. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yes, a 14 foot Thompson is the gunwale length. Therefore the centerline length is less, something like 13'-4" A 12 footer is about 11'-4 centerline length.

    Thompson Boat et.al. brochures are available for purchase on a CD-ROM on this site and also form www.dragonflycanoe.com

    Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. did not use any type of identification on their boats built prior to circa 1946. No serial number or hull ID. They first started using a hull ID circa 1946 - which is stamped into the wood of the transom, inside the boat. The hull ID system was different at each factory, Peshtigo and Cortland.

    A serial number, different than the hull ID, started to be used on Peshtigo built boats circa 1957. The hull ID and serial number of Cortland built boats was the same. The serial number is stamped into a small rectangular metal plate with the builder's name and location also stamped into the metal.

    Andreas
     
  16. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Sorry for the confusion, Andreas. The image I posted is not the 240, which according to this catalog is a very different boat. The image I posted is of the 237 Take-Along (or its equivalent in canvas). The text is confusing and I should have cropped it out. In this catalog, the text is to the right of the boat pictured in the thumbnail posted above. Thus, the "240 TAKE-ALONG" shown under the boat is actually the beginning of the text that goes with a different photo to its right. I should have cut off that text when cropping... just didn't think.

    The image I posted goes with text for the models 237, 238 and 239. The 237 is the only one listed in the catalog as all-wood, and it's listed only in 12'. But I agree with our original poster that the company likely made them in other lengths.

    The image associated with the model 240 shows a very different boat, built much more like the common short-decked rowboats, i.e. the TVT line with significant tumblehome at the stern. And the 240 is a canvas-covered boat, not all-wood.

    M
     
  17. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Late chiming in, but better than never, eh? I was, at first, thinking not a Thompson, especially when Andreas chimed in, as he is the go-to-guy for all things Thompson.

    But, now that I've had a chance to poke around a little, I'm thinking it might be a Thompson "Outboard Rowboat". See attached.

    The steam-bent seat braces may imply a wartime boat in this case?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Dan,

    Well, Mark and I may not be the "go-to-guys for all things Thompson", but the details were simply Thompson. Maybe those of us in the west and south don't know nutt'n 'bout wood boats, but I trust my eyes...


    The boat does look a lot like the Outboard Rowboat in your post- probably the one. Wish we could see the stem profile of the boat in question- the catalog cuts indicate a much more rounded stem profile in the Take-Along vs. the Outboard Rowboat. Oh,- Wayne Mowery posted a 12' wood-canvas Take-Along here some time ago. See:

    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=4598

    The Take-Along was also made in 14' lengths- not just 12'. The attached page only shows canvas-covered models, but since the 1948 catalog, this one adds a model 241 in 14' to the model 240 that was 12'.

    M
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  19. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The Thompson Take-Along models 237, 238, and 239 were NOT made in 14 foot lengths. There was starting about 1951 a model 241 Take Along plus a model 242 Take-Along in 14 foot lengths. Width was the difference between these two.

    Andreas
     
  20. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Exactly. No one ever said 237, 238 and 239 were made in 14' lengths. Said "Take-Along" was made in 14' length. The number defines the model and the length. Since 237, 238 and 239 are 12' boats, they necessarily cannot be 14' boats.
     

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