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Rhinelander 16ft

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

  1. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I don't have a specific answer on the rarity of Rhinelander seats, but those who restore canoes would rather use an authentic old part than to have to re-create a new one. Because there are fewer Rhinelanders around, it may be a while before a boat needing a seat appears... but if the Wisconsin-based restorers know you have a Rhinelander seat, they will come a-callin' if they have need for one.

    While posting about it here will alert folks, those with parts of canoes for sale can also list them in the classifieds, where they are more likely to be found by someone looking specifically for that part at some point down the line.

    Parts of the more commonly-found canoes-- such as Old Town-- will sell more easily simply because there's more demand.

  2. Thanks, Dave S. If you run across a Rhinelander canoe to go with my seat, please let me know. I posted a classified a while ago, but have had no luck. Dave O. is on the lookout for me as well.
  3. rodndtube

    rodndtube New Member


    In a couple of posts in this thread you included some scans from the Rhinelander Boat Co. Based on this information is it fair to say that the attached image is an "Elto Water Scooter" built by Rhinelander?

  4. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello I believe that I also have a similar lake model Rhinelander canoe. I bought the shell in conover minus seats gunnels and decks at a yard sale a long time ago and want to restore it to as original as possible. Does any one know what wood was used for the gunnels, thwarts and bow and stern decks?
  5. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have a lake model too.

    I bought it Conover at an auction about 20 years ago, I would like to restore it now, the planking was good but It was stripped of its canvas and gunnels there were thwarts removed but I am not sure if they were original wood. Does anyone know what wood was used for the inner and outer gunnels? and also for the bow and stern decks, thwarts and keel?

    Also does anyone have one that is original or restored that I can look at and measure for placement of thwarts and seats/

    Great information posted here thanks
  6. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I inspected a Rhinelander at one of the Jag Lake (WI) events-- I think it was in 2013. A fellow who was the son of the last man to own the company brought what was the last canoe they built. I took a bunch of pictures but I think they're in another computer-- I'll hunt them down. I'm thinking the gunwales were spruce and the trim was ash. Dave Osborn might remember-- and maybe he remembers the man's name and contact information. I found it interesting that this canoe looked even more like a Morris than the one pictured in the initial post of this thread, and it had the curved deck, rather than the heart-- like the later Morris canoes.

  7. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Kathy, ash I can do , I know of a source near Wakefield, spruce I can find as well, I was worried they used some exotic wood like mahogany.


  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I found pictures of the Rhinelander canoe that was brought to the Jag Lake assembly in 2013. Top cap, decks and thwart look like cherry in the pictures but I'm no wood-species expert! Note that the seat has pressed cane, not hand-woven. That aspect would depend on the age of the canoe... or personal preference. Compare the stem in this canoe with that of the Rhinelander in the initial post in this thread. The later (Jag Lake) canoe has a stem that more closely resembles that of a Morris, except it's ash, not cedar.

    Attached Files:

  9. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I'd go ahead and use ash, John. Even Morris used ash in his early years and on his Veazie model canoes. The Jag Lake canoe had closed gunwales but I know Rhinelander did open wales too... easier, and more practical. If I was restoring a Rhinelander, I'd go with open wales and hand-caned seats.
  10. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks for the Picts, the seats are definitely ash, the thwarts look like it too but could be cherry due to the color.The inner gunwale looks like ash too, not sure about the outer one. I think you are right about the cherry wood decks on the jag lake canoe. my ribs are more like the canoe at the beginning of this thread and also like the one that is on the northern Wisconsin Craigslist right now. both have heart shaped decks which is probably a lot easier to fabricate than the domed one. the heart shaped deck might be maple, the two with the heart decks also have open gunwales Mine must be an earlier model than the Jag lake canoe. I'll leave the gunwales open too. I agree with you on the seats

    Thanks again , you have been a great help
  11. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Rock head,
    I'm near Boulder Junction. Full time canoe restorer.
    Let me know if I can help in anyway. Clear ash, cedar, canvassing help, etc.
  12. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Keep us posted on the progress of your restoration-- and everyone loves launching pictures!

    Also, the Michigan and Wisconsin chapters sponsor a regional assembly each summer. This year it will be in Marquette, August 20-21, with a social gathering the evening of the 19th. The event takes place in Tourist Park and many will be camping there. This will be the 4th year of the assembly, and we've had about 70 canoes in the past and each year get a few more. If you're able to come-- with or without a canoe-- please do! More information can be had by contacting Craig Kitchen at This event is open to anyone whether they are a WCHA member or not-- so anyone reading this is welcome.
  13. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Davg

    thanks for the offer, I am in Three Lakes, but currently working overseas for a few more weeks yet, I'll look you up when I get home .

    I am thinking of starting this later in the summer, I have some house painting to do and some repairs on some Kevlar and royalex canoes to fix first. The wood is pretty good shape but I have some ribs to change and some planking to fix. I'll be building a steamer out of my maple syrup cooker when I get back, need it for the gunnels on the Kevlar canoe any way. when I get back I'll send you a message so I can find you and check out your canoes. thanks for the offer, we'll talk materials when I get back. BTW I found out the Rhinelander Lake canoe used white oak for gunnels seats , thwarts and decks. I will record picts of the process too.


    John Gartner
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  14. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Kathryn that sounds great, I should be around unless I'm in Canada fixing my folk's roof.... or delivering daughters to University.. If I do show up , I doubt the canoe will be in any way ready or have much done , I'll bring up the shell at least.


    John Gartner
  15. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I have also read that Rhinelander canoes were constructed with white oak seats, thwarts, decks. What has me curious is why the the photo's posted by Kathy show a seat that is made with mahogany?
  16. rockhead

    rockhead Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The Boat in Kathryn's pictures does not really look like the shell that I have, I am pretty sure that mine is a 16' Rhinelander lake canoe, the decks in the pictures look more like those on a morris so it might be a much later model Rhinelander canoe than what I have. I thought the grain in the seats in the picture is like ash it could be oak too, but .... why The Rhinelander Boat co used oak might because that was probably one of the nicer hardwoods that they could easily get locally and cheaply , in northern Oneida the hardwoods are maple and oak and oak is fairly common in the southern part of Oneida and in Langlade the next county below. Oak may of had better grain than maple. From what I have read the Morris which the Rhinelander canoe seems to be modelled after used some mahogany , but they were on the east coast so could likely get it shipped in easier and cheaper via ocean and is was probably a common boat building wood on the east coast. I suspect that mahogany was difficult to get and expensive to ship it to the Midwest. I am going to use local white oak when I redo my canoe
  17. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    The canoe in the pictures I posted was built in 1946 (as I recall) and was the last canoe built by Rhinelander. It was retained by the family that last owned the Rhinelander Company, and was given to its current owner on his birthday (I do hope I'm remembering his story correctly!). He had to do some work on the canoe, and some of the aspects we are seeing may not be what Rhinelander was producing at the time, but were added later.
  18. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Kathryn is nearly correct. I believe the last canoe given to Richard Peters son was built in 1955 or 1956, just before or possibly shortly after the factory ceased operation. The son of the last owner still has the canoe. As far as materials go, I think oak may have been the standard for some parts such as thwarts decks and seats.I've seen spruce gunwales. aAs many of us know canoe manufacturers used what they could get and may have deviated from the norm. In the case of the mahogany, it was a special canoe so I suspect that it was a bit of a upgrade for the birthday boy.
  19. OP
    Jon Buehler

    Jon Buehler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    John, I still have the canoe pictured in the start of this thread if I can be of any help to you or if you want to look at it I'm located in Medford Wi and can be reached at 715 965 2213
    Jon Buehler

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