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Is this a Pal? Ajax?

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by revcp, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. revcp

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi, all
    I've been in communication with the fellow selling this canoe:
    I'm in the market for a 16' tandem that can be paddled effectively as a solo. this one looks great. Would require recanvasing, maybe new deckplates and revarnishing, but after $800, shipping costs and the necessary work I'm thinking it would be a nice canoe. Any feedback?
  2. MackyM

    MackyM LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi revcp,

    If your are sure about this being a Pal or Ajax I would not hesitate. This is a win/win. Either way you get a vary nice canoe. Posting on this site gives that add a lot ofexposure. Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Macky
  3. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Certainty is hard to come by, of course. How might I best ascertain that?

    Nvm on the wondering. I see it was Rollin who delivered the judgment. Good enough for me!
  4. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Mind I have as much respect for Rollin as anybody, but it don’t sound as if he personally eyeballed the canoe (“looks like it might be . . “) From the pix, I can’t make out what model Chestnut it is. And where does the date come from?
    Then shipping from Mass to Minn? I dunno. Commercial shipping? I’d go for finding something closer to home that I could see first.
  5. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Excellent points. But sometimes you just have a feeling for people. I spoke over the phone with the seller. He's a professor out east at a small college. The canoe was purchased by his father, either before going to or after returning from WWII, hence the dating of the canoe. The seller grew up paddling it, then, and knows how it was stored, that it never took in water through the canvas, hence no rot, etc. I've requested additional photos, specific dimensions, serial number if one is stamped into the stem, etc. If things check out I'm inclined to trust the seller, incur the expense of shipping and recanvasing.
  6. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    For transporting the canoe, I recommend KAS transport. Steve has delivered multiple canoes to me in Reno, mainly from the eastern seaboard, and I have never had a problem with the boat being damaged. He can be a bit slow due to the volume he does, but it always gets to me.
  7. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Send me a PM and perhaps we can make arrangements to inspect the Chestnut, I'm less than 20 miles away.

    Steve Lapey
    Norumbega Chapter - WCHA
  8. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    This is such a great site. People brought together by canoes are some of the best folk in the world.
    Thanks, mark, for the transport recommendation. Steve, I'll be in touch with contact info after I OK with the seller.
    Again, thanks so much!
  9. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Certainly not wanting to dispute anything Rollin would say, but I didn't think there were any serial numbers on the bow stems of Chestnuts (Peterboroughs had serial numbers, but Chestnuts????)....and if the canoe is a Pleasure model from 1930s or 40s then not a Pal as Pals didn't come out until mid likely an Ajax....
    The half ribs are interesting....
    Transport would cost a bit I'd think....unless you can find somebody from here who would transport it....
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  10. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Try the Travel Registry section of this forum... you never know!
  11. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    You oue it to yourself to check out Alex Combs canoes, or better yet, drive up to Knife River and see them yourself and talk to him about what you are looking for.

    Alex makes a nice canoe.

  12. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Yep, I've looked at them some. Would love to have one, but I'm about $1K short.
  13. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Chestnut Serial Nos.

    Lots of 1960's vintage Chestnuts have serial numbers. Can't tie them to much, if anything though.

    Just to fill out the post and for reference purposes, I have attached the serial no. from a circa 1963 vintage 16 ft. Chestnut Ogilvy "Henry" model.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  14. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    The majority of Chestnut canoes were never marked with a serial number. The practice were introduced by George Birch (former Sales Manager of Peterborough Canoe Co) in 1955 when he took over the reins as Managing Director of the Chestnut Canoe Co. Several serial number formats were used over the years. No records are known to survive.

    Dick Persson
    Buckhorn Canoe Company
    Buckhorn, Ontario
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  15. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Hey Steve,

    I just stumbled on somewthing else you might be interested in.

    How about a new built, reproduction wide board canoe?

    "Building a Wide Board Canoe
    This canoe is for sale,(I can't keep 'em all). I have paddled it for a couple of years now so it does have a few scratches, nothing serious though. The specs are; solo, length 15', width 28", weight around 65#, very little rocker, she is fast, stable, and can carry enough gear for a week long trip. We have it priced at $900 for a quick sale. Buyer must pick up in Northern Illinois."

  16. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, Dan. Interesting concept, but I'm looking for a smaller tandem, not a solo, and it doesn't look like that would be fun to kneel in!
  17. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Yep, the half ribs are interesting, and they lead to the biggest question I have at this point about the canoe: weight. I'm not wanting to go over 62 lbs or so for a canoe that will be used some as a solo. I'm concerned that the half ribs would put me over that, so I've asked the seller to get me a weight for the canoe. One thing to take into consideration is that a lighter canvas would take a bit from its present weight (I'm a wet booter, so I can afford to go light), although I'm not sure how much. Anyone know?
  18. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    You know, when I first looked at the pix, I thought I say half ribs, but looking closer it seemed like it was an illusion caused by light and shadows. Halfribs would be odd on a short canoe. But lets see what Steve Lapey says.
  19. OP

    revcp Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well, I went back to take a second look at it myself and saw that the listing had expired. Waiting to hear whether it has sold.

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