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Rhinelander 16ft

Discussion in 'Canoe Photo Index' started by Jon Buehler, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I'm the third owner of this canoe, the canvas had been resealed at one point but otherwise it's "supposed to be original". If anyone has any info on the Rhinelander's I would be very interested in it.
     

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  2. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Thanks for posting pictures, Jon. It's interesting to see your canoe and compare to the Morris, which is the canoe Rhinelander was based upon. I don't have any additional Rhinelander information for you, but I hope someone else does. Since I've been posting on this board, yours is the first Rhinelander to show up.

    Your canoe has outside stems and nice lines... seems different from the Morris profile to me, though. This isn't a negative thing, by any means... I'm just comparing the two because Rhinelander even states in its catalog that their canoe is based on the Morris.

    The splayed stem of your Rhinelander has four pairs of cants touching it-- or maybe it has two pairs and it crosses two full, steam-bent ribs. At any rate, this is different from what we see on a Morris: the very early Morris canoes have two pairs of cants and later Morris canoes have three, and the stem meets the first full rib. Rhinelanders have a hardwood stem, and the Morris stem is cedar.

    Your canoe may have been worked on, given the presence of the diamond-head bolt securing the seat. Old Town and Carleton canoes are the only canoe species that leave the factory with those... but they sometimes show up on other canoe types that have been worked on.

    Heart-shaped deck--- Morris also has a heart-deck on many of its canoes, but it's a bit different. Several of the old canoe companies had heart-shaped decks, but the hearts are all a bit different from each other.

    Your keel is attached at every other rib--- on a Morris, the keel is attached at every rib (except one older Morris I know about, which maybe didn't have a keel originally). Interesting half-ribs, which remind me of Thompson and Shell Lake only without the stringers.... maybe "the Wisconsin-canoe-half-rib"? It's interesting that the builders of wood-canvas canoes adopted what they liked in the canoes of other builders-- or so it seems.

    Very nice, very interesting canoe... thanks so much for the pictures, and I hope more information turns up about this company.

    I wonder if any Rhinelander canoes were named "The Hodag"? I will attach a picture for those who haven't visited Rhinelander, WI.

    Kathy
     

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  3. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    There were several incarnations of boat and canoe builders in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

    A boat building concern started in 1903 at Rhineland under the name Rhinelander Boat Company. It was incorporated on 24 July 1903 by Frank Sayner, Chas. A. Peterson and John Barnes.

    A man called John D. Gilligan was owner or co-owner from circa 1917 to 1953. On 25 September 1923 "Rhineland Boat Company" was incorporated by Wm. E. Cleveland, John D. Gilligan, and Grace D. Gilligan as incoporators. Richard Peters of Rockford, IL bought the company from Gilligan in October 1953.

    A "Hodag Boat Company" was established in 1956 at Rhinelander by Charles Bresette, Jr. and Carl J. Liebert. It appears to have been very short lived.

    "Oneida Boat Company" was formed at Rhinelander in 1911. W.E. Cleveland was owner, probably the same Cleveland involved with incorporation of Rhinelnd Boat Company in 1923. A different "Onedia Boat Company" was established and incorporated on 30 August 1946 by Olav R. Enli, Russell E. Leksell, and George A. Richards. They apparently made plywood boats. The firm's assets were up on the auction block 19 June 1948.

    Rhineland Marine Manufacturing Co., Inc. was establsihed in 1959 to make fiberglass pleasure boats. They imploded after about a year. Lots of nasty goings on with fire, bankruptcy, fraud and theft charges and the president being convicted and sentenced to several years in prison.

    Andreas
     
  4. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Great information, Andreas, thanks.

    I think Hodags eat boats...
     
  5. OP
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    Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the info Andreas, I haven't started working on the canoe yet (work sure has a way of messing with your hobbies) But as soon as hunting season is over I'll get started on it. I'm hoping to find some sort of serial number or marking on it. Jon
     
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    Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I talked to the gentleman that I bought the canoe from today, he says that the original owner used it less than six times and it sat in a barn till he bought it in the 1980's. He claims the diamond head bolts on the seats are original.............is this possible? Does anyone else have a Rhinelander that can tell me what style bolts theirs has ? Jon
     
  7. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

  8. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Being in Northern Wisconsin, I have seen and worked on a few Rhinelander's. I don't recall diamond head bolts on any of them. That's not to say that say are not original. Being in the canoe/boat business, Rhinelander probably dealt with some of the same suppliers as Old Town and others.
    Benson may correct me here, but as far as I know Old Town did not have an exclusive rights to the bolts.

    www.littlelakescanoe.com
     
  9. OP
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    Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I spoke to Pat Ferrell back in November he said his Rhinelander doesn't have the diamond head bolts , but his is a much earlier canoe than mine, so I'm still in the dark on this one. But it was well worth the call, He quite an interesting man. We spent the better part of an hour on the phone talking about restoration techniques, how best to saw some cedar that I want to cut off my land and how the da** deer are eating off all the young cedar trees. He also discussed the merits of different builders mainly from Wi and how some of them were farmers who thought they could build boats. He's a living history to our sport and hobby, I'm glad I had the opportunity to talk with him. Jon
     
  10. Dave Schnell

    Dave Schnell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    RBC: Rhinelander Boat Co.

    Hi Jon,

    My name is Dave Schnell, I have been restoring Rhinelander Boat Co. boats & canoes since the 1970's. I have worked on a couple of dozen RBC canoes and I am aware of 4 models produced from 1908 until 1946.

    The Lake Model, 16 feet, The Camp Model, 18 ft. The River Model 15 ft. & The Lightweight, also 15ft. There may have been others as they tended to make model changes every few years. I have seen both plain and Old Town type bolts and hardware, not sure why. Dave Osborne guess is probably correct. Sponsons, Old Town type row locks, paint colors and floor boards "To protect the planking from ladies heels" were offered as options.

    Canoes were a secondary business for RBC. Their canoes do seem close to Morris canoes in many details. RBC's main business was wood fishing row boats & speed boats. They also produced at least one sailboat, Elto Water board "scooters" Duck Decoys, Bronze row boat hardware, Oars, Paddles and the Rhinelander Canoe & Rowing seat.

    Andreas' history is mostly correct (As far as I know anyway) I have the company forming in Sayner WI in 1903, moving to Rhinelander in 1908 and closing its doors in 1955. The phone number was "157". Try calling that today. There are quite a few owners names and partners mentioned over the years, some conflicting, so it is not completly clear. The forms, hardware, etc were sold off and most were lost in a Barn fire in Mercer WI in 1971.
    I have some of the stuff, one of their 36" Band saws, wood wheels an old sucker, the Rowing seat form, some Bronze hardware casting forms, drawings etc. I have owned the Trademark since 1995 to market some of the RBC items. I got interested in RBC boats and canoes as a kid fishing with guides in No. WI. Most fished out of the "Rhinelander Guide's Special No. 70" A slick Whitehall type, carvel planked 16' row boat made the entire time RBC was in business.

    I attach a few catalog and photos. Hope the scans show OK.

    Happy New Year,

    Dave
     

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  11. Dave Schnell

    Dave Schnell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    RBC Rhinelander Boat Co.

    I attach a few more scans.

    "The Famous Explorer, Adventurer & Writer, Mr. Lewis R. Freeman has selected a Rhinelander Boat Company Camp Model Canoe for his daring 1920 Expedition from Milwaukee to New York via the Great Lakes. His articles will appear in the National Geographic Magazine & The Literary Digest. Where workmanship and apperance count, the RBC Camp model has no equal"

    From a RBC ad in an out door magazine emailed to me some years ago.

    Anybody ever hear of this guy? Modest fellow that he is (was).

    Dave
     

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  12. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Thanks for this great information-- one purpose of the "canoe photo index" is to get as much information as possible in one place. I love the contributions to this topic-- I've learned a lot, thanks.

    Kathy
     
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    Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dave, Thanks for clearing up the hardware question for me and all the additional info and scans. It sounds like you have quite an interesting collection. I've seen some of Gene Winters Rhinelander boats as well as other brands, hopefully in the future I can acquire one for myself.
     
  14. Dave Schnell

    Dave Schnell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    RBC Rhinelander Boat Co.

    A few more scans attached. Decals & Brass plate were used on Canoes & Row craft.

    Dave
     

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  15. Dave Schnell

    Dave Schnell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    RBC Rhinelander Boat Co.

    A few more scans related to RBC.

    There was a well known guide in Boulder Juction, WI named Porter Dean. Porter was known as the "Barefoot Guide" He had a wood boat & canoe shop right in town with piles of old boats and canoes stacked outside. A lot of town folk thought it was an eye sore but I loved it. As a kid I would help Porter saw gunwales with the long ash boards running through a window of his home/shop/shack. I would stand in the boats or canoes and step on steamed ribs while Porter franticly clench nailed them in place.

    Porter died in 1980 and the local Lions Club volunteered themselfs to clean up Porter's place. They haulded all the boats to the dump to burn tem. I was out fishing most of that day and when I got to town heard what was going on. I roared over to the dump and ran back and forth to my cabin, while begging the dump guy not to burn them. I got 4 Rhinelander Guide boats and two RBC canoes before the jerk burned the rest, some in very good shape. I attach a photo of the boats & canoes stacked up. The photo shows about half the craft that were there that day. What a shame.
     

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  16. Tom Widney

    Tom Widney LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I love the decal! Its got a 1960's San Fransico underground comix feel about it. The feeling of movemant between the paddles the canoe and the water is superb....a great image foe wave riding on the deck of a wooden canoe.

    Way to bad about the burn pile.
     
  17. Dave,

    Thank you very much for all of the information. An unrelated question, please: How rare are the Rhinelander seats? I ran across one this fall that had been sitting in the corner of a boathouse for 25 years. It is in relatively good condition considering it was in the boathouse throughout the years. The resort owner was not only nice enough to sell it to me, he even tolerated my asking several times if he was certain the companion boat/canoe wasn't around there somewhere...

    Thanks, Joe
     
  18. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Joe,
    That stack of boats in BJ was near the cafe that I sent you to. I remember as a kid looking and lusting after the pile of derilect boats. Had your THompson stripped. It's gonna be nice!
    Best!
    Dave
     
  19. Dave O.,

    What a bittersweet story of nice man helping out a kid and senseless destruction. Now I'm going to have to go back to that cafe and toast the Barefoot Guide when I pick up my Thompson.

    Hope all is well,

    Joe
     
  20. Dave Schnell

    Dave Schnell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Joe,

    They are fairly common in Northern WI. They were sold with boats & canoes and also seperatly from boat dealers. I have picked up about a dozen over the years, ebay and yard sales, etc. I make a version that is a little more robust and wider for todays paddler & Rower. Dave
     

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