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Identifying a cedar strip canoe

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Alana, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Alana

    Alana New Member


    My father is trying to identify a canoe he is restoring. It looks exactly like the turn of the century canoe shown on the front cover of 'Canoecraft'. It is 15ft6" long and the serial number is 0296. This is stamped on both central thwart blocks, the underside of all three thwarts and the underside of both decks. Any information regarding the age, maker or type of sailing rig used would be most helpful. It also looks like it could have previously had a small keel between the brass stem bands would this have been likely?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Hello, and welcome!

    Pictures are always helpful... a lot of cedar strip canoes are made at home, but they rarely have a serial number stamped all over the place, like yours does. Hopefully someone can hazard an educated guess!
  3. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    It sounds like you're referring to an older cedarstrip canoe (mostly built in factories) as opposed to the modern wood-fiberglass composite canoes (often home-built). As Paul said, photos will help. Canadian all-wood cedar canoes were made by multiple builders, and sometimes subtle variations in features may help identify the maker. Similar canoes were also made by several companies in Europe. Surely you would have mentioned tags - some builders used tags affixed to the bow deck/coaming, and sometimes brass tags were mounted outside the canoe at the end of each thwart. If there are "ghosts" of these tags there, the shape and size could help identify. Serial numbers often don't help because detailed serial number records just don't exist for these makers.

    Helpful photos: serial number to show size and font, lateral view of the bow and stern for shape of the stem, thwarts to show their shape and how they are attached to the canoe, decks, seats of they are present, etc. Some examples below.
    Grace_English_2 copy.JPG Grace_tagvsm copy.JPG WM_English_241 copy.jpg Grace_English_3 copy.JPG
  4. OP

    Alana New Member

    Hi, thanks for the responses, here are some pictures. There is evidence of holes where a tag would of been, but no ghost mark.An interesting detail of the canoe is the strip of walnut wood the third plank down. 20180828_225008.jpg 20161212_140601.jpg 20161212_140504.jpg 20161011_173338.jpg DSC00357.JPG
  5. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Wow, your restoration is coming along very nicely! It could be a Peterborough, or possible from another of the Ontario builders, but in any case it's probably fairly early given the slotted screws and the fact that the stems merge into the hull instead of being scarfed to a keel. The contrasting wood strip and the contrasting deck kingplanks are common (and nice) features. Keep up the good work, and please share more photos as you move along.

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