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Need Help with Purchase in West Virginia

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by DavidinWV, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. DavidinWV

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Is there anyone in the Charleston West Virginia area that would be willing to take a look at a used wooden/fiberglass canoe I am considering buying?
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I don't know of anyone there and most of us who are far outside of large urban areas need to rely on pictures with questions posted here. The information at may help. Good luck,

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  3. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have some pics but they are not that good. I will post them and try to get better ones (these were sent to me)

    What little info I have is - 15-20 years old - made in Canada, 16 feet in length. Asking price: $200.00 canoe1.jpg canoe2.jpg canoe3.jpg
  4. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Are you looking to buy a user, or a restoration project?

    It is really hard to evaluate the condition of a canoe from photographs, which often don't readily show things that are sometimes hard to see even in person -- cracked ribs, for example. Other things that are clear to the eye in person just don't show up well in photos, such as the condition of the paint or surface finish of the fiberglass (or canvas), unless the photographer knows how to show the problems. Superficially, this canoe doesn't look to bad, but close-up pictures of the deck/stem (both the wood and the fiberglass) areas and any areas that you might think are suspect would help. And of course, the pictures you have posted don't give even a superficial look at the whole interior -- there could be all sorts of damage to the wood that we cannot see.

    Again, from the photos, the fiberglassing job doesn't look too bad -- but fiberglass can be difficult (though certainly not impossible) to remove if you are planning a restoration. If you just want a user, fiberglass is not necessarily bad.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  5. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the comments Greg - I am going to try to go see it in person today and get better pictures (which I will post)

    I am wanting a canoe to use on a river (no major rapids) and possibly on lakes.
    This is not a restoration project.
    Somebody said their Dad had a canoe to sell and I didn't even know till this a.m. that it was wooden (with what appears to be a fiberglass shell)
  6. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I saw the boat last night and it is actually a Peterborough canvas/wood canoe! :) Should I continue on this thread to get feedback or start a new one somewhere else on the forums?
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  7. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Buy the canoe for $200 if you haven't already.
  8. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Gil: Fortunately - I am the only one looking at it! My brief research tells me it is at least 53 years old. I took a bunch of pics - here are a few - any more thoughts anyone?

    downloaded040114 009.jpg downloaded040114 007.jpg downloaded040114 015.jpg downloaded040114 011.jpg
  9. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Pete: Sure wish more of the label still was intact! I am pretty sure the serial numbers don't tell any story at this point.

    Based on Pics - does anyone see anything that would give one pause about buying this? If not - I plan to offer $175 and go from there!
  10. Greg Hare

    Greg Hare Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Don't let $25.00 lose the canoe.
    Greg Hare
  11. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I vote with Gil Cramer -- and from the third picture in your second set of pictures, showing the fabric under the missing paint -- are you sure that's fiberglass -- looks like it could be filled canvas -- a good thing, in my opinion. Some spot priming where the paint is missing, and a new coat of paint will likely serve you for a few years, if the covering is otherwise sound. The 3 rib repairs look ok -- though someday you probably will want to replace the ribs.
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    There should be a number on the stem that can indicate the model name. 1492 is a Champlain model...for example.
    Thank your lucky stars for the lack of fiberglass and the bargain price on this canoe!!
  13. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    1) Though I at first thought it was fiberglass, when I went and saw it for myself and touched the scuffed portions, I was then convinced it IS canvas.
    2) I do see a 1492 - so am wondering if that narrows a date span down. Thoughts since label is pretty damaged.....)
    3) I think I am going to go for it - offer $175 and not haggle if he insists on $200!
    4) I presume folks here will be able to guide me through a basic repair priming and painting?!! I am a total NOVICE! (though have learned a lot the last 2 days thanks to everyone's help!)
  14. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    I'd pay 200 for that without a second thought. If you are a novice and hesitant, then consider your purchase carefully since each bit of work will lead to more work and you'll end up doing a full restoration potentially. Having said that, it is rewarding and for the cost of materials if done properly you wont lose your money when you sell it. Champlains are great boats, i've restored several and buy them every chance i get. Best of luck.
  15. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    If you are a handy kind of guy with tools and such, you can restore this canoe. This forum has the information that you need to answer questions. Those of us that do this, all do things differently, but the outcome is pretty much the same. I recall a novice named Eric Bebee that came to this forum like you have. He lived in an obscure place that was not exactly a hot bed for wooden canoes...Texas, I believe. Through his questions and the answers here he went through each step and wound up with a great restoration and went on to do more.
    Two books that are a must if you are going to do this are, "The Wood and Canvas Canoe", by Rollin thurlow and Jerry Stelmok, and "Building The Main Guide Canoe", by Jerry Stelmok. Both books, the first one being known as "the bible", have the restoration process described in detail.
    I must caution you also that wooden canoes can cause a disease that will stress,....if not kill, your marriage, fill all all available storage space, take up time away from other things that you SHOULD be doing, travel far and wide to see canoes, and hang out with other folks with this deadly disease. There is no known cure........
  16. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Now, Dave, you know as well as anyone that there IS a cure... it's just one more canoe...
  17. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I'd give the $200. Maybe more even if I could see it in person and get a better look at it.
  18. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A gentleman's agreement was reached moments ago - and because it needs a little work - the seller agreed to $175.

    Now - if you would - please direct me to where to go on here to find out how to basically and simply spot fix my exposed canvas issues (see pics on this thread) so I can get it out in the water as soon as the weather cooperates!

    As an aside - I found out the model I have was made in 1956! wooo hooo.

    Thanks for all the help so far and all the help to come!
  19. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Hard to tell from the photo but I think sand, prime, sand, prime, paint, should get you another year or two.
  20. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    You have indicated that you want to paddle the canoe in preference to restoring it (at least for now). If the wood of the canoe is basically strong, and if the canvas is intact, you should be able to use the canoe this season with just a little work.

    Here are some links to some discussions in these forums about painting over old cracked or chipped paint when you want the paint to last only a season or three or five before re-canvasing: see pp. 2-3 of this thread!&p=40689#post40689 starting at post 12, on bondo spot putty

    My yellow Old Town 50 pounder (seen in some of the links above) has seen 5 seasons of use with old canvas, chipped filler, crackly paint, and a few unrepaired cracked ribs and planks, for just a few hours of necessary work -- light sanding, spot priming, painting with water-based deck and porch paint (and a few more hours just messing around with unnecessary painting of triangle designs) -- I didn't have the time to restore the canoe without losing a season of paddling. Now retired (and having another canoe to paddle) I have recently removed the canvas to begin a full restoration.

    The two books Dave Osborne recommended are invaluable, as is advice from folks here on the forum. Also check out the knowledge base (link on the Home Page), and back issues of Wooden Canoe have some good articles on canoe history and restoration -- see the index at to Wooden Canoe.pdf.

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