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Help identifying...owner thinks it's an Old town...

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by vtwoodworker, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks everyone. As far as keeping it original, I go back and forth..I'm generally a purist on restorations, but I really like the shape of the boat and am hoping to paddle it as much as possible when restored...and it would almost seem more functional to me with standard short decks.

    Intersting, the decks arent really made either of those ways. There is not a stringer running length wise (bow to stern) at all. Only arched supports (3) from inwhale to inwhale and a shot deck in the front. Tough to get pictures since the foam is still in it..but I attached a quick sketch... Maybe that is why the king plank was left so wide, to add longitudinal rigidity?... Hmm.... Michael, looking forward to seeing how yours were built... 20170731_105947.jpg

    Had a nice paddling weekend here at waterbury resevoir in the trusty Stowe caone with the family. Letting the white dry out thoroughly before trying to to tear into it too much, really want to keep as much in one piece as possible for patterns/etc.

    Thanks again for all the info! I ordered "building the maine guide canoe" so I could compare specs/etc and get some additinal insight into building the stems, since they are 100% (minus 6") gone....
     
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that this is the way your canoe was built (i.e., with long decks, which may or may not have been altered over time). If so, it was apparently built as a standard canoe with short decks, and then the long decks added on top of the standard decks. The other possibility is that the canoe was built with short decks and someone later added the long decks. Look carefully at the top side of the short decks to see if a tag was attached (two nail holes, ghost of tag shape). Also, look to see if the long deck substructure was built with the same attention to quality and detail as the rest of the canoe. In any case, you can rebuild the canoe any way you like. If the long decks matter, just rebuild them as you found them (or better).
     
  3. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good call on checking for the tag ghost...though it might be rather difficult since it is so deteriorated...hopefully after it dries up more I"ll be able to get it apart without destroying it. At this point I'm trying to maintain as much of the original integrity as possible.... Here's a pick of what I can see from the side through the rot with just the duck pulled up with a little pressure. I put an arrow pointing at the short deck, which might be difficult to make out through the mess! short deck.jpg
     
  4. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So it is real rough....got the front deck off....scraped foam out for 2 hours...not much wood left in the bow :-( Looking at complete front 24 inches or so of boat rebuild....ugh....havent even taken the fiberglass off yet.....

    It does look like it may have started as a short deck the longer ones were added at somepoint. no way of getting the old short decks off in one piece, but the fact that the trailing edge is curved definitely leads me to that conclusion, though the front combing is done quite well, so it was probably factory fit. Drives me nuts though they didnt plug the deck screw holes, and the countersinks were all different depth....I don't think the king plank is original(all the other screw holes are plugged so nicely I think the long dekcs are original to the boat, but not how it came "off the line" added as an option maybe...

    Some more pics of the horrible foam mess and rot...
     

    Attached Files:

  5. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok....so is there ever a point where you say"I'm actually a really good glasser, maybe I should leave this boat as is, rip the poor repair offf, fair, refinish, and paddle it like its a stowe or merrimack? I'm jus afraid everything is so dry and brittle, I start taking this thing apart and it's going to become exact that...parts.

    Ps. I'm a ex professional woodworker, with extensive fiberglass skills as well....so I'm not trying to cop out on this....I just have dug myself into so Many boat projects... yes, I might need some encouragement from the gallery here....
     
  6. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Let's just say I should own stock in west...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yeah...
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Okay Brian, I was able to check out the deck construction on my mahogany-decked E.M. White tonight and the results are interesting. Remember that this one appears to be completely untouched. Underneath the deck panels are what appear to be the usual "reverse-heart" E.M. White short decks. The points of the deck appear to have been trimmed down in order to better fit the cross bracing. There are three horizontal deck supports and a central rib. The junction between gunwales and the horizontal support nearest the coaming is reinforced with strips of flat brass nailed into the deck beam and the gunwale. Each brass strip is cut off to match the angle of the gunwale at the outside end, and the squared off end toward the center of the deck beam has its corners clipped off.

    Hopefully that's not too much trivia... just hope the details help. So both yours and mine have what appear to be short White decks underneath. But again, one big difference between yours and mine is that your deck panels are attached with through-deck screws; mine don't have these.

    Michael
     
  9. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Michael, thats extremely helpful. Took some measurements last night. My front deck has 5 supports including the final one with the curved supports for the coming. There are no brass brackets anywhere to be found(in the front anyway) There is also no center rib. There were two brass screws holding the king plank on at each of those ribs. Front short deck is 12" in length, first rib was butted right up against it. The internal end of the deck was not heart shaped(from what I could see that was left of it) it appears to be a simple curve. Ends were not trimmed for fit of the first deck rib and it was simple butted up against the two pointed corners of the short deck. The first short deck rib was severly rotted, but the fasteners are still there. There is one screw on each side, and it was just butted against the inwale. The fasteners appear to be silicone bronze. Second rib is 4" from first, 3rd 4.5" from second, fourth is 4 3/4" from 3rd, fifth is 5 1/4" from 4th. long decks were attached with nails to deck ribs, gunwales, and short deck. No nose banding, or metal trim anywhere. The coming had 7(I think) brass screws holding it in place. Same size and appearance as the king board. The center one was behind the build plate, which is nailed in with matching brass round head nails. I did not remove from coming, just left it in and forced the screw out of the rotted deck rib.

    I'm really back an forth on what is original and what is not. The long decks just dont have the finesse of a craftsman that had planned them. The decks being mahogany and the king plank cedar(original thought doug fir because grain was so wide, gotta love old growth!).

    So here's what I"m thinking this boats story is:
    Built as a standard deck boat. Someone wanted a long deck and they already had this built, so someone added them. I'm guessing the king plank was originally narrower and mahogany. At some point one of these was damaged, someone replaced both of them--Excessive amount of screws was used so the planks could be bent into place on the boat instead of building a frame to steam them. Cedar was used because it was more pliable than mahogany for the "Home" boat repairer.... Boat then was used until canvas went bad in the 70's(what previous owner told me) they glassed it eventually, but bow and stern were severly rotted and needed backing for the glass..so they two part pour foamed it. Voila, instant rigidity and glass backing. They stood it vertically on each end to do this, so the foam really got into every nook and cranny. Glassed it and painted it. Used for another 15 or so years. Caning blew on seats, one of the daughters learned to weave and do it and spent one summer fixing them(they told me this) in the mid 80's. Boat was used for another 15 or so years...Moisture in the foam in the ends finally one and decks, stems, last two ribs and all the planking around it rotted. Boat has sat under deck, on saw horses exposed to elements lakeside since mid 90's(lets call it 20 years). Now it's in my garage.

    I'm having a real hard time with what to do wiht this boat....I"m afraid to totally destroy it by taking the fiberglass off, but it appears to be polyester resin, so I'm thinking I "might" be ok... Any thoughts from anyone or stories to help me find my way? The boat really speaks to me and wants to be saved, just trying to find the right path.

    Cheers!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    vtwoodworker

    vtwoodworker Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok, no way this was planned to be a long deck originally...stern is in "significantly" "better" condition. Reverse heart deck underneath...

    Also apparently originally had a keel... 20170804_214652.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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