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UK Peterboroughs

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by samb, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I’ve been asked to look at a couple of boats regarding repairs.
    I went to see them yesterday, and although I had been forewarned, I was most impressed by what I saw.

    1st up, a Peterborough rib. Model 4, Grade Cedar rib, # 488
    The silver presentation plaque notes it was given to:

    Jack Beresford
    Ontario Comand of the Canadian Legion B.E.S.L
    for services rendered in
    British sportsmanship.
    Hamilton. Ontario
    August 20 1930​

    Jack Beresford was a British rower who won five medals (3 Gold, 2 Silver)at five Olympic Games in succession. This record in Olympic rowing was not matched until 2000 when Sir Steve Redgrave won his sixth Olympic medal at his fifth Olympics

    In Hamilton, 1930, he won silver at the British Empire Games, in the single skulls. The services to British sportsmanship were, I imagine, based on his success as a rower after being injured in the first world war which cut short his promising rugby career.

    This boat looks in really good condition. It does need no gunnels as it has a bit of worm damage, but otherwise first impressions suggest a good clean and varnish. This was the boat I’ve brought home with me.

    The 2nd boat was a Peterborough longitudinal strip, Canadien model, #1427 8021
    This had been worked on before, having the outer stems repaired (after a fashion) and ha
    ving had the outside sanded. I’ll need to look carefully to workout how much of the nail heads remain.
    IMG_20200701_180521.jpg IMG_20200701_180411.jpg IMG_20200701_130616.jpg IMG_20200701_130556.jpg IMG_20200701_130345.jpg IMG_20200701_124752.jpg

    Two other boats caught my eye. A poor condition cedar canvas which was the most elegant canoe I’ve ever seen. This belongs to a ‘family friend’ but I hope I can work on it - just so I can take a cheeky test paddle. The decks look familiar, and I could see no identification on it. If anyone has any thoughts on identification, please let me know.

    Finally, hanging up in the boat shed in the gloom was a birchbark canoe. This had been given by the family of a friend who had died. I didn’t take any photos!!! It looked in great condition but I couldn’t really see. I’ve been promised a bit of information about it. I was asked about using it - I said I wasn’t really sure, but if it was to last and be enjoyed, it needed to get wet. Was I right about this?
    Benson Gray likes this.
  2. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    1st picture shows rib in my workshop, then plaque
    3,4&5 show unknown cedar canvas
    6 shows strip.
  3. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Interesting collection. Nice history on the cedar rib.

    Have a look at Dans' site for help with ID. Capped gunwales......Rushton or Robertson?
  4. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Looked rushton indian girlish to me, but don't want to put words in people's minds.
    Wonder if I can convince them it's worthless?
  5. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Indian Girl. Note the seats, wide stem, the decks, etc. Rushton should be stamped on the stem bands and also on the stems. The sheer plank should be a major tell. They are extremely wide and span 2/3rds of the hull. Thwarts should also be distinctive depending upon the year of build and model.
  6. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for this. I'll be looking at it much more closely in a few months time when I get the rib boat back to its home.
  7. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    That's a nice collection of canoes there. You should enjoy working on them. The one you didn't mention is the wide-board named "June". Who made that one?

    As for the cedar-canvas canoe, it has all the hallmarks of a Rushton Indian Girl. It even has the characteristically wide sheer plank (photo just below the one showing the Rushton-style trapezoidal stern seat). At about 8-10" or so wide it's much wider than all other planks. You might even find a Rushton badge under the Thames Conservancy registration plaque on the Rushton-style bow deck.

    The cedar strip appears to have some of the nail heads sanded almost completely off, but this is an easy fix. If they still have some head and they're holding, you can leave them alone. But if a head is sanded off, you can make a punch by grinding the point off of an appropriately-sized wire nail, and use it to drive the nail into the interior of the hull. Pull out the protruding bent-over nail from the inside, and the re-fasten with new nails wherever old nails were removed.

    Have fun with these!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  8. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

  9. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

  10. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Indian Girl or not, it's now mine. I'll have more details and photos when I take the rib boat back in a month or so when the varnish has hardened.
  11. OP

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    More details and photos available in 'Indian Girl?' thread in wood canvas section.

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