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Chestnut C10556 - is it original?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Fritz Koenig, May 23, 2012.

  1. Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    I purchased this canoe yesterday. I was advised that it is a 1930s era Chestnut.

    There are some interesting things about it which I am interested to know if they are original.

    1) There are caps that cover the rib ends. One came loose
    2) The outer gunnel has a two step shape
    3) There is no stem band but instead end caps
    4) The gunnles are screwed through the inside and capped there are no exterior screws.
    5) The keel is broad and is unpainted finished wood. It appears to be screwed from both the bottom and capped and from the inside and uncapped.
    6) The gunnels and keel look to be maple.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Hi Fritz,

    It appears to me that someone replaced the gunwales, and in doing so lowered the sheer (they were probably afraid of bending the little upwards hook at the ends). The gunwales look like mahogany (probably Phillipine?). The extra piece under the outwale is often seen on old canoes when the canvas starts to go and pulls away, not sure why it was done here. The endcap detail is added, as are the carry thwarts. It also looks like the new keel is installed over the top of the original shoe keel, which is still under the canvas or glass?

    The C designation in the serial number designates a Commercial model canoe - Prospector, Trapper, Cruiser, etc. With the narrow ribs I would guess 1960s vintage.

    Not knowing exactly which model it is, you probably have a great paddling canoe - Chestnuts and their kin are still my favorite. Enjoy!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    Thanks Dan!

    Fortunately ithas not been glassed. I will say, that whoever did the work did a nice job of it.
     
  4. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Your canoe has been greatly modified from original. Could it have been due to extensive dry rot damage of the decks, rib tips, inwales and outwales? I agree with Dan as it is not from the 1930's.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  5. OP
    OP
    Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    Greatly modified - so it seems. I have to say I feel a little duped. So the question is what to do. Assuming it paddles well as Dan suggests I am inclined to keep it. At some point (maybe sooner than later) I need to recanvas it, at that point I think I would be inclined to consider putting it back to it's original design. So to start with I need to figure out what model it was and get some specs. It is 14' x 32" X ? so reading Dan's write-up it would have to be a Pleasure Canoe (Little , Peach, Playmate or Fox). I would sure appreciate some specs and pictures if anyone has them.

    If the sheer has been lowered then the stem, several of the rib ends have been cut, right? Would that also mean that the decks are not original or could theb be original and put in at a different angle?

    PS The C in the serial number coupled with the 14' length would mean a prospector so I need to remeasure width possably it is a Fire.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  6. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Let me put it this way - no offense meant. Hopefully you didn't pay too much for it and enjoy it as is. Better yet would be to return it and get your money back because I suspect a 14' Chestnut 07 10 045.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 005.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 006.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 033.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 019.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 045.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 005.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 006.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 033.jpg 14' Chestnut 07 10 019.jpg proper restoration is out of the question. From what I can see the inwales, outwales,decks and thwart have all been replaced after the sheer line was lowered. This meant cutting off the rib tips. Further, the " second step " wooden strip under the outwales is usually installed to cover up rotted canvas problems which happens often on the underside of the outwale. Assuming it is a Chestnut due to the serial # it is one of the models types you mentioned and should have a 12" depth. Does it still have the original hand caned seats? I have attached a few 14' Chestnut Fox pictures. Keep in mind that recanvasing has a value of around $1000 not to mention other problems that will show up after the canvas has been removed.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  7. OP
    OP
    Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    Thanks Dave, no offense taken. At this point I paid more than I would have liked but I sure could have paid more. Getting my money back I doubt but if it paddles well I am not quite as put off.

    Yes it would be a lot of work, about what I did on my grandfather's canoe where I had to rebulid both ends new stems, decks and all; new seats and thwarts. The seats are hand cained and seem to be in good condition, although I have not sat on them yet. Original, I couldn't say but certainly not recently cained they look quite old but given the rest of the work it is hard to imagine they are original. The work is in good condition but has wear and does not seem recent.

    Money back; I dunno. I doubt it. Thinking on it.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    I remeasured last night. The width is more like 34" about 3" (1 1/2 on eachside) greater than outside gunwale to outside gunwale. The depth after cutdown is 12 1/2 to the top of the gunwale. Maybe only the ends were lowered. I assume it is a 14' Prospector.

    I can't get my money back so it is a keeper. I just can't see leaving it corrupted so when it comes time to recanvas I'll need some help with some real detailed specs. from someone with a 60s 14' prospector if I am to get close to putting it right.

    "I'll be back".
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Fritz Koenig

    Fritz Koenig get out and put in

    Finally recanvassing and remeasured and the boat is 15' not 14' so I am thinking maybe it is a Chum. Need a little help, what was the Chestnut method fn the stem deck gunnel connection?
     
  10. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    Fritz,

    Sorry for delay in replying. Mike Elliott describes and illustrates the stem/deck/gunwale connection of Chestnuts- and how to repair!- in his book"This Old Canoe". Its easier shown than described.
    If you don't have a copy, check out his online blog- most of what is in the book is on their.
    https://canoeguybc.wordpress.com/

    Cheers!
    Bruce
     

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