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New With Questions

Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by Lost One, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Lost One

    Lost One Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello. First I would like to say that there is a great bit of information here for someone new. I have always loved canoes but have not had as much time in my past to truly enjoy them. Now I am at a point in my life where I can look into the possibility of a wood and canvas canoe. I have always been intrigued with the wood and canvas canoes ever since I saw one while visiting Maine. I have been even more interested in building one for years. Now is the time to look into that possibility more seriously.

    I am in the information gathering stages right now. I know that it would be easier to just buy one built already but there is an appeal to build one. Plus if I would buy a used one I would be afraid of not knowing what all to look for to get something worth its value. I have read a little bit of information on open forms instead of the traditional form and this does appeal to me, especially since building one will more than likely be a one time process and not use the form again.

    I have been surprised with the number of different designs available out there. I would love to hear feedback from everyone on styles and sizes of canoes to look at for consideration whether I build or buy one. Here is a little about me to help steer me in the right direction. I am in my mid 40's and weigh 200 pounds. I currently have a 14' Old Town Hunter canoe. I go out in it by myself 98% of the time. On the rare occasion that someone else goes with me it is just for a brief paddle. It does the job that I need it to do but always wonder if there is another design better suited for me. Besides just going out for a paddle on a local lake I do like to fly fish occasionally from it. I mostly fish taking it to Maine and floating down flat-water streams or in smaller to mid sized lakes. I do not stand up to cast and prefer to sit on a seat instead of kneeling in the canoe. I mostly only go out for the day but will look to go out for a few days. If I do go out it will be by myself and I can pack very light. I also backpack and can get away with a 20 pound pack including food for a four day trip in temperatures down to the mid 30's. I can comfortably camp down to 0* but I needs a couple of more pounds of insulation. I do see myself bringing a dutch oven in the canoe but I will not be going crazy with heavy carrying weights. When I do hit lakes I tend to paddle closer to shore instead of in the middle of the lake.

    I do appreciate any feedback on styles of canoes to help me narrow down the list some.
  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Welcome to the WCHA.

    In addition to asking questions here, there are two good sources of information about canoe building which you would do well to get, or at least look at -- "The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance" by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok, and/or "Building the Maine Guide Canoe" by Jerry Stelmok. Both are generally available, including from the WCHA online store.

    Also, Wooden Canoe, our journal, has a wealth of information in its back issues. There is an index to the back issues -- to Wooden Canoe.pdf -- and back issues are available for $4 through the online store, or the collection is available on a USB flash drive through the store --

    Check the sites of builders in the Builder and Supplier directory (found on our main page). Many builders describe their canoes and their intended uses -- may give you some ideaas.

    And maybe consider building your canoe under the tutelage of one of our builders -- some run workshops, and some offer one-on-one insgtruction in their shops.

    Don’t be bashful about asking questions here – we all do it, and those with knowledge are generous with their suggestions.

    My 2 cents -- your OT Hunter provides lots of stability, probably at the price of ease and speed of paddling. For your style of fishing, you do not need maximum stability, and for multi-day canoe camping, you probably want something designed a bit more for efficient cruising. A 15 foot canoe may serve your purposes better -- a bit more room for gear, a bit more length for good paddling, yet with sufficient stability as long as you don’t choose a hull designed for racing, and a 15 foo canoe is still readily paddled solo.

    And don’t forget pictures as you go along – we love pictures.

  3. OP
    Lost One

    Lost One Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you for the feedback Greg. I had been looking at those two books already. Trying to decide which one to go with to start out.

    I have been starting to look through the builder and supplier directory. There were many more than I thought that there would be. To me some of the designs seemed very similar and hard for me to see a difference between various canoes that would affect how the canoe would handle.

    I agree with what you said about my current canoe. I know people will not say bad things about canoe makers designs but I was hoping that there would be people here who may be similar to me and how I use a canoe that could give some insight on different designs that they looked at and what they settled with. I have liked the Ami by Stuart River Boatworks but wonder if it is too similar in size to my current OT Hunter and should I look for something a little narrower.

    I will remember about the pictures. I have a trip planned for up in the North Maine Woods the beginning of July. I will take some pictures of where I end up paddling to give a better idea of what conditions that I experience.
  4. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Check your private messages.

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