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Was given an old wooden canoe

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Gordon Meeder, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    DSCF0007.JPG DSCF0007.JPG DSCF0006.JPG DSCF0005.JPG DSCF0004.JPG DSCF0003.JPG DSCF0002.JPG DSCF0001.JPG DSCF0007.JPG An old friend of mine was downsizing. Getting ride of stuff, he gave me an old wooden canoe. I remember paddling it in Canada 55 years ago. It was cool then and still cool now. Only I don't think it would float very long now due to cracks/separations at the joints .

    Before I make a decision to try to restore it I thought maybe I ought to count the cost and see if it is worth the effort. Also I know nothing about restoring a wooden canoe.

    Whats interesting is it has 3 "keels" with steel runners for protection. I think it is a plank canoe. Let me see if I can send some pictures.

    Ok Pictures included. If anyone has any info of a canoe designed this way, maybe the builder, or hints on restoring it, it would be appreciated.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Congratulations, your canoe appears to be Canadian and might be from Peterborough. These are usually not easy to restore. If the cost is a concern then the information at may be helpful. Good luck with your decision,

  3. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan


    I'm with Benson on this one looks like a Peterborough - or similar- flush batten canoe. And if the paint was always there, you've got the "painted quality".
    Can you provide dimensions? Length, width, depth? That'll help narrow the model down.

    And keep in mind that this boat has dried out considerably. It needs to sit in water for the planking to swell up and become watertight.

    There are a number of folk on this site more knowledgeable about Peterborough and rib and batten canoes in particular- Roger Young? Nick? Sam? Dick Persson ?

    You can see something similar on Dick's site:

    C ongrats on acquiring a lovely old canoe!

  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Not flush batten, just regular raised battens (essentially rib scraps).

    Looks like a fun project.
  5. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Certainly looks like a Canadian built board and batten. Does it have plates on the outside covering up the screws that go through to the thwarts? That is often the way to ID the maker.
    For my efforts on my board and batten, see here. Also search Canoeguys blogg
    If you search for threads started by me, you should find advice and encouragement given from others.
    That looks like an earlier one than mine as it has just three planks each side.
    Good luck with it. Keep us informed

  6. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

  7. OP
    Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks folks, You guys seem to know something ! As a kid my friend and I used it in Buckhorn Lake, which is near Peterborough. We also paddled a stream that took us to Sandy lake. I found out the canoe was bought used in in 1955 from the same gentleman my friends dad bought a lot/cottage from on Buckhorn lake so I figure you guys are spot on. Also when I used the phrase "count the cost" money isn't as much of an issue as time . My grandsons and I are in the process of restoring a jeep truck that has my garage and spare time tied up. I find the old cliche "retired and don't know how I found time to work" to be true. So here are things to consider. I would sell the canoe, and donate the money to an organization I volunteer with that fixes and provide bicycles to needy kids. My friend doesn't mind if I sell it to someone who would restore it. He just didn't want to go through the hassle of selling it. He had to be out of his house by September 6th. I also have two high end canoes and don't need another. But mostly, because of the time issue I may never get around to working on it. That would not do this canoe justice! It needs a good home. Is it proper to ask on this site' is anyone interested? This old canoe hooked me on canoeing. Maybe it will do the same for some other kid someday. My grand kids are already "hooked"
  8. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    If selling it is your interest then you should list it here in the classifieds.
  9. OP
    Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    After realizing what I have I think I'll make room to store it, maybe moistening it with water and a sponge once a week as long as the weather holds. OR what about a little Linseed oil ?
  10. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Far better to store your canoe clean and dry, protected from the elements and from gnawing animals, than to apply anything to it. Certainly don't sponge it down with water. That will promote decay, and will alternately swell and shrink the wood, potentially opening up cracks. No need for linseed oil either. The canoe has survived this long as is. If you leave it alone, you'll be preserving it as it sits today without adding problems you or someone else may face if someday the canoe is to be restored. Remember Hippocrates: "primum non nocere" ("first do no harm").

  11. OP
    Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good advice Michael ! When in doubt don't!
  12. OP
    Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have been thinking about what to really do with this canoe. The question is will I ever have the time and the skill to restore it. My woodworking skills are "put it together and adjust it with a sledge hammer" Not quite that bad but close. So I've decided to sell it. I looked at the classifieds and couldn't figure out how to post an item for sale. Need help with that. Thanks
  13. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The WCHA Classified Ads are a free service for WCHA members. For more information about membership and its benefits, see the page for details. If you simply want to list something without becoming a member then there is a special $35 “Classified” membership option in the store. The next step is to create a store/classifieds account (which is different from your forum account, unfortunately). The “I want to create an account” button at will get you started. Let the webmaster or me know when you have setup this account and the “WCHA member” role will be added to it, which will allow you to post a listing. Let me know if this isn't clear,

    Benson Gray
    Interim Webmaster
  14. OP
    Gordon Meeder

    Gordon Meeder Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the reply, Sir I think I set up a separate account. Used a different password. I would be glad to pay the $35 classified fee. I am still confused as to how to post the item in the classifieds.
  15. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Hi Gordon,

    I see that you have setup the account but didn't find any indication that you have joined the organization or paid the $35 classified fee yet. You can buy this online at or contact Annie Burke directly if you would prefer to deal with a person. The page at has Annie's contact information. Let the webmaster or me know when you have paid and the “WCHA member” role will be added to your account, which will allow you to post a listing.

    Benson Gray
    Interim Webmaster
  16. Sam Devine

    Sam Devine New Member

    Good luck restoring that boat. It is still beautiful.

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