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Secondary Stability in Birch Bark Canoe

Discussion in 'Birchbarks, Dugouts and Indigenous Craft' started by gate9797, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Morley Pinsent

    Morley Pinsent canoeist & canoe nut

    More on the Crooked Canoe. In Jennings "The Canoe - A Living Tradition" there are a couple of other pics of crooked canoes which are informative. On page 51 there is a pic of a group of Montagnais/Cree building one -- it appears that the ends of the building frame have been built up with earth and/or sods in order to purposefully get the extreme height on each end to obtain the rocker of a crooked canoe. On page 56 there is a photo of a crooked canoe as well as a more "normal" one almost side by side on the beach at Great Whale River on the eastern side of Hudson Bay. Looks like some liked Chevs while other were more inclinded toward Fords -- just depended on what ya wanted to do and where ya wanted to go! Besides, it all helps to build a rationale to the partner about why I can't possibly get along with less than seven!


  2. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    "More on Crooked Canoes"

    J.Garth Taylor - Canoe Construction in a Cree Cultural Tradition-- 1980----- "One of the remarkable features of the annual cycle was an annual abandonment and replacement of canoes. According to elderly informants, this practise can be attributed to the highly nomadic life style demanded by their former hunting and trapping economy. Winter travel was heavily influnced by the availability and location of game, particularly the migratory barren-ground caribou, and in Spring people were seldom located at the same spot where they had abandoned their canoes in Autumn. ------ Most of the building materials required for canoe construction were gathered at the time they were needed. One exception was the covering. Around the turn of the century large rolls of bark were purchased at a costal trading post during late Winter and hauled to a likely building site by toboggan. When bark was later replaced by canvas, it became necessary to also purchase paint, for waterproofing the canoe. ------- Canoe canvas often lasted for several seasons, in which case it was usually re-used as often as possible. If a man considered the canvas on his old canoe to be still useable, he would walk to the place where he had abandoned his canoe the previous Autumn and strip the canvas by simply removing the gunwale caps and stem battens. The old canvas was then carefully folded and carried back to the new building site, where it was used for a new canoe, built to the same size. Cracks caused in the paint by folding and transporting were waterproofed by smearing them with duck fat. ------ The specialized skills and knowledge of the canoe maker required years of observation and experience. Since canoes provided the only effective transportation during several months of the year and, since mobility was required for effective hunting and fishing, the loss of a skilled canoe maker could present a serious challenge to group survival."

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  3. tostig

    tostig Curious about Wooden Canoes

    During the 2003 (?) GA in Paul Smith's, there were birch bark canoes on display. I thought I saw one of the canoe-makers paddle a crooked canoe.

    The following year I made myself a 12ft birchbark canoe. One of the first things I did was to heel it over to see how stable it was. Most of the time I paddle with it heeled over.

    It's very stable.
  4. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    The Lucky Ones

    Goode to here from you again Tostig. Not many people have had the luxury of paddling a birchbark canoe like we have. We are the "LUCKY ONES" to have our own canoes to enjoy what ever style of paddling we choose eh. Ferdy
  5. tostig

    tostig Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Lucky enough to have our own canoes. Unlucky enough that everyone thinks I'm nuts and won't get in.
  6. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    This has been one of the most rewarding evenings I have experienced in a long time...The topic has been interesting and the replies enlightening. It even brought me back to my child hood growing up on a lake as a youngster during WW!!. I paddled acros the lake to shorten my walk to school and had a very old wood and canvas canoe that leaked badly and took a coat of navy grey paint ( that my father brought home from the Boston Navy yard) about once a week to keep it somewhat dry...There were no native americans in the area(About 15 miles north of Boston) but my friends and I developed the ability to lean the canoes almost to the water line and would have races..Occasionally with the wind coming at an angle we found that tipped like that would make the bulk of the canoe act as a sail. Of course that was back when you paid .20c for a pack of butts and got 3 silver pennies in the pack and Lucky Strikes had gone to war! I have some great native american friends in Maine and will post a site where you can see how a member of the Mic-Mac nation makes tradional birchbark canoes...Was supposed to go last summer to meet him and learn the art of harvesting and using spruce roots in his canoe making procedures...
    Oh yeah....when I was a kid back then...I couldnt even spell secondary stability, much less understand what they were talking about but I think it had something to with me winning a lot of races and not tipping it over:D
    Thanks for all the input from everyone who participated...Enjoyed the collection of photos contributed..
    PS: Love your new building Dan...wish I lived a little closer to you;)
  7. tostig

    tostig Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A couple of photos of my birchbark heeled over a bit.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  8. peter osberg

    peter osberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Has anyone paddled a 'crooked canoe'? I was going to make a reproduction from the lines in Adney and Chapelle's book a year or two ago but decided I would not find much use for it. I suspected it was made as a 'moving all you owned in the world' cargo canoe and won't paddle all that well empty. peter
  9. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    Happy Paddler

    It's great to see your canoe out on the water. I enjoy seeing the big smile on your face :) as you paddle the bark canoe and enjoy a nice day on the water. :cool:

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  10. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    More on crooked canoes

    Today I found another picture of a crooked canoe -- in Robert E. Pinkerton's 1914 book THE CANOE: ITS SELECTION CARE AND USE. Pinkerton does not use the term "crooked canoe." But the canoe he pictures, in chapter two, "CANOE MODELS; THEIR ADAPTABILITY AND USES," of a canoe that is "a good canoe for use in rapid-filled rivers" is clearly a picture of a crooked canoe.


    For those who might not know it, Pinkerton's little book is a real gem.

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