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chestnut cruiser

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by SWEETWATER, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    You have any idea when made? Looks like a "good era" build. Note rounded over gunnels.
     
  2. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe

    So, did the owner worked at Keewaydin or not? If so can you PM his name. As an archivist for Keewaydin I like to know these things.

    Wannigan ribs were the brain child of Keewaydin but they were installed by Chestnut at the factory during building. They were not installed at or by Keewaydin. Wannigan ribs are installed after the hull is built. They are clinch nailed from the outside so you really can’t install them once the canvas is on.

    Keewaydin was Chestnut’s largest retail purchaser of canoes. They had a standing order every year from the 20’s right up until Chestnut closed. There was a good relationship there.

    The term carrying thwart is not used at Keewaydin. They are referred to as carry handles – the little thwarts near the decks. The early canoes didn’t have them but later models (post 50’s or even 60’s) came to the camp with them installed by the factory.

    Can you post a picture of the tumpline thwart, or the carrying bar as we call them at Keewaydin.

    Thanks,
    Dylan
     
  3. robin

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What a great looking Chestnut, nice find. I have 2 Chestnut paddles and I see somebody on ebay trying to sell two for a long time at a pretty high price.
    And the other stuff you got with the canoe is interesting.
    Good find.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    002.jpg 001.jpg
    the big guide paddle is huge ,the blade is very big, the top is 6 sided and very comfortable. made of maple. the other is spruce. just finished sanding them down . they are very dry and were so dirty. should i just use boiled linseed oil on the shaft and marine varnish on the blade?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  5. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    006.jpg 007.jpg 008.jpg 009.jpg 010.jpg
    hey steve , i would like to donate the 2 chestnut paddles to the keewaydin project if you want them , its the least i can do for turning me on to this canoe. again a big thanks to you and fitz.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  6. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    the canoe itself is not a keewaydin canoe, but the owner i bought it from was a councilor there in the 50's and bought this canoe in 1965 he told me. it does not have the wannigan ribs, and the seats are babiche and the frames are mahogany.its serial number is 523 - 18
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  7. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe

    That's a nice set up. All you need now is a set of fire irons and a reflector oven!

    The carrying bar is classic Keewaydin style even though one side looks to be broken.

    The tumpline looks correct for the time period too; double leather head band sewn together and iron rivets with a star like pattern. The style of Tumplines changed over the years at Keewaydin (and still continues to do so) but this is a very familiar style.

    Thanks for the pictures,
    Dylan
     
  8. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    dylan, i have a set of fire irons and just picked up a sproul baker reflector oven, so i am ready to go. i also made a folding pack saw and rehung 2 hatchets.i will post picks of them later.
     
  9. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    The seat frames DID look different from standard wood (and weave) Chestnut to me.
    Tumpline: I have never understood how a tumpline for a canoe works. That is, I understand the theory, but I can’t envision how, after getting the canoe up on your shoulders, you have any free hands to handle getting a tumpline adjusted on your forehead, or thereabouts. I have a big Paul Bunyon model Duluth pack. After I have gotten my shoulders into its straps, it’s an acrobatic feat to get its tumpline to my head.
    The really big paddle: there are some fans of these. Bill Riveire has in one of his books a picture of himself standing up and paddling with what he describes as a six-foot Maine Guide paddle. I’ve done a good bit of long distance stand up paddling (in an Ogilvy) with a paddle of that length and it’s handy for that. But it’s too much paddle for routine C-stroke type paddling.
    In Andover (where the owner was) there used to be an outdoor store where they sold Chestnuts back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Ed Haynes, who passed away years ago and used to run the Warehouse in Concord, worked as a Chestnut wholesaler in the northeast (maybe at that Andover store) and used to handle (personally, as in unload from the railroad cars) all the Chestnuts that came into New England for sale. So this one may have come to Andover that way.
     
  10. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Absolutely AVOID Linseed oil on paddle shafts. I concur with Todd on this. Two times I have used linseed oil on canoeing stuff (a pole and a packbasket) have been disasters. Linseed oil turns black and slightly gummy and dirt sticks to it. Varnish the blade and oil the shaft. With an oiled shaft and handle, you seldom blister, whereas varnished shafts and handles blister like the dickens.

    For oil, use high quality tung oil. Actually the best oil for paddles I have found is what I use for treating my guitar fingerboards.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    larry thanks , i did some research and i am going to try either watco teak oil or deks # 1 and oil the whole paddle. the big paddle is really nice, i will bring all the goodies to the norumbega chapter meeting at hale reservation
     
  12. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I think you're running a bit of a risk, just oiling the blade, but I have no experience with that approach. Others may chime it. If the paddles are 50 plus years old, they are well seasoned and if not warped by now, made from good wood. Maple is very stable. Spruce less so.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    the seats on this cruiser are mahogany and babiche', could this be the first grade primus model cruiser.how do you tell the first and secong grade apart?
     
  14. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have never seen those seats in the many Chestnuts I have worked on. They appear to be after market items which were used to replace the original hand caned seats. I feel safe to say that they are not from the Chestnut Canoe Company.
     
  15. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Dont know, one of the cruisers i got from the Keewaydin fleet had 'em. Course i cant speak to the boats history. Dylan?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    i know these are original as this canoe was only used a dozen times or so and has sat in the barn almost its whole existence.the owner did say the only thing he did to this canoe was tape on a number for a race he entered so it did come this way.
     
  17. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I’m 99% sure the seats are not original or, in any case, Chestnut “stock” seats. When I saw the pix, the seats jumped right out to my eye as different . . . and an improvement. Prospectors and Chestnuts used for the bush frequently had slat seats: back in the bush, it was not possible to get parts to repair woven seats. Woven seats are fine and durable enough for the weekend casual paddler, but very likely to go bust if the canoe is paddled every day, for hundreds of miles a week, for weeks on end. I’m just guessing, but maybe someone up at Keewaydin had this experience and these custom made mahogany seats were the solution.

    The other thing is that there’s not a huge difference in first and second grade Chestnuts. Chestnuts are a bit different from Morris, Rushton, and fancy courting or sailing canoes. Chestnut’s market was the Canadian bush. They are not fancy and were never intended to end up as pretty family heirlooms. A lot of them were made, as cheaply as possible, so that when they wore out, just buying a new one was just as economic as investing a lot of one’s time in repairs or restoration. That’s what I like about them: they are bush canoes, some of the best expedition canoes ever made. The key difference is in models: cruisers and prospectors vs. recreational models.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    larry, i just talked to the previous owner and he confirmed what i said,he bought the canoe directly from the factory and the seats are the ones that came on the canoe.the keewaydin thwart he said he had 1 of his 2 sons bring it home from keewaydin , (they both went there). so i guess maybe that is all the wood they had handy at the time or someone else ordered it that way and never picked it up, maybe someone else knows or maybe they used the mahagony for that 1 year. IMG_0563.jpg IMG_0564.jpg
    also if you look at the rear seat it has the the hangers and spacers angled like you see on alot of chestnuts,if someone was going to replace the seats i think they would straighten them and make the seat wider.
     
  19. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Really? I'm honestly surprised about the seats. They jumped out at me from the first pix and Lantheir thought so too? So he went up to New Brunswick?
     
  20. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I actually rehang the seats and do away with the dowel spacers. I'm six foot and like the extra leg room.
     

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