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Kennebec sailing canoe,,any info appreciated

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by John Maderic, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    A five hr one way trip from Ny through Vermont and deep into Nh: I purchased this canoe.The serial #appears to be 22159, 88159, or 88169. The one may also be a zero The sailing rig seat and brackets for the rudder are intact. I was very surprised to find the sides have almost like a sponson smoothly built in. I would approximate the extra thickness below the gunwales , not counting the ribs and planking to be at least 2". Just tried meas. ..@32" from planking to planking inside, 37 1/2 overall width. The canoe is 17' long quite heavy. Theres red paint showing under the green where its chipped and on the keel. Any information anyone might have would be greatly appreciated. Also, pics of the rudder/ steering, and original mast seat support would be great.
     

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  2. Mark Adams

    Mark Adams all wood nut

    What you have there is a VERY nice Kennebec "Invisible Sponson" canoe. They are indeed sponsons, but are faired in, from about the turn of the bilge up to the gunnels. The "sealant" between the hull and the sponson is a layer of muslin or linen, that had varnish applied. (at least it did on the one I had)

    Fantastic looking canoe!
     
  3. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This looks like a nice find with invisible sponsons as others have mentioned. More information about them is available from http://store.wcha.org/The-Historic-...pany-Catalog-Collection-Version-2-CD-ROM.html in the Kennebec catalogs.

    The Kennebec serial numbers 22159 and 22169 are listed as 12 foot long canoes from 1930. There are no records that they ever issued numbers 88159 or 88169. The records for numbers 22059 and 22069 both show 18 foot long canoes from 1929. Can you confirm the extreme overall length between each end of the canoe (including the curve of the stems) and attach some pictures of the serial numbers from each end? Some of the tricks described at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?791 may help with the difficult digits. Good luck,

    Benson
     
  5. OP
    OP
    John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Just such helpful and generous people on here...

    Mark, Greg, and Benson, thank you very much for your replies. I tried again after dark with a camera/ flash, to make a different attempt. The first two digits appear like 9's, but now the others don't show at all. I may take the seats out to access the stems with the pencil / crayon / paper try. It seems importat to ge at least an approx. date for when it comes to obtaining / making things like the rudder assembly, etc. I did make the trip to where I have the canoe yours identified for me as a Kennebec Morris and with a very slight sanding and cleaning, the serial number on the ag located on the underside of the deck most surely looks like 1286. I didn't know what this might mean as far it being a hybrid, etc? Thanks again, John
     

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  6. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    That appears to be a Morris serial number plate (post 1908) and not a Kennebec. Are there other pictures of this canoe in another part of these forums? If the s/n is 1286, with that shape tag, it would be a Veazie Canoe Company canoe (a factory-direct Morris) or there would be another digit, before the initial one, making the s/n 11286. The initial digit on a Morris sometimes sits between the two pin-holes and isn't easily seen. 11286 would mean the canoe was built c. 1914. Strange place for the tag, but it could have been moved.
     
  7. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Kathy, other pictures that John took of this canoe show that it has open gunwales, with the ribs holding the inwales separate from the planking and outwales, and not in pockets. See post 5 at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.p...ndian-Lake-Ny-to-pick-up-5-canvas-wood-canoes . It was because of the open gunwales that I first suggested that this boat might be a Kennebec Morris -- but of course Morris did offer open gunwale canoes as an option in the Morris catalogues, so I suppose they were an option for his Veazie line of canoes also.

    The location of the number plate is odd for a Morris (or any other make) -- probably moved when the interior of the canoe was painted red.

    John -- are there four holes in the bow splayed stem from where the number plate would have been originally mounted with small brass pins on a Morris or Veazie? Being small, the holes may have been filled/covered with the paint. And check your pm's.

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I'm wondering how I missed this... ah well. It's a Morris. An open gunwale Morris. Some folks get confused because Kennebec is known for the extra woodworking on top of the wales at each end, but Morris did that prior to Kennebec picking up the trick, and it's simply more common for a Kennebec to have open gunwales than a Morris... so you see more Kennebecs that look like this. Open wale Morris canoes don't have pocketed ribs, but they do have D-shaped outwales. And I'm betting dollars to donuts there's a "one" hiding between those two pinholes! So, c.1914 BN Morris... but still check for those tell-tale pin-holes. Oh, and those pin-holes might be going in the opposite direction from what you may think. In this time-frame, someone was putting s/n plates on the stem with the shorter side of the plate parallel to the end of the stem. About half the s/n plates are oriented this way instead of the longer end lined-up with the end of the stem. If you're confused by what I've just said, I think it's explained in the Morris identification video on YouTube.
     
  9. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hello again John,

    I meant to say something about your beautiful Kennebec when I first saw your pictures but got distracted by your Morris. Anyway, until the record for your Kennebec is found and verifies that it is one of their A-grade canoes, I wanted to say it is their A-grade, or first grade... the top grade didn't have the heart-deck, but had longer decks with coaming as on this canoe. Quite a prize and in wonderful condition. Sponsons have an interesting history and tell us of a time when people were afraid of the water. Many city-people couldn't swim and were afraid to send their kids to camp... so making a canoe that was un-tippable seemed important. And sponsons were a helpful addition to a sailing canoe, such as this one. It would be great to use it as a sailor again. Many here have rigged canoes for sailing, so if you have questions you know where to find answers!
     
  10. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi John.
    Nice Kennebec, it is the first one like mine I have seen, except of course yours has the cool "invisible sponsons".
    Wish I had yours to look at when restoring mine. I was missing the coaming and rail caps and did pretty good by the shadows left on the wood but I see now not quite perfect. Oh well, good enough. Hope I get to see it in person some time.
    Craig
    Ps. The s# on mine is 22728 - built in a 1939
     

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  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I'm confused, and I admit that it doesn't take much for this to happen. Are there serial numbers on the inside stems or is the only number from the metal tag on the bottom of the deck? Are the stems flared like a Morris or narrow like a more typical Kennebec. Is there a mast step and what does it look like? Pictures of these areas would help.

    The pictures attached below show a typical Kennebec sail rig as it came from the factory and the decal on the bow combing would seem to indicate that it shipped as a Kennebec canoe. What is the overall length? Is the stern seat hand caned or pressed cane? Does it match the overall style of the bow seat? Thanks,

    Benson
     

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  12. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Fooled me too Benson but I believe they are talking about two different canoes.
    post #7 of this thread has a link back to the Morris
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  13. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Yes-- it's two different canoes. This thread is mostly about the Kennebec with invisi-sponsons, and the image of the heart-deck and serial number plate refers to a canoe in another thread that was initially thought to be an Indian Girl (the owner was told this when he bought it), and then the suggestion was made that it could be a Kennebec/Morris hybrid because it has a splayed stem but doesn't have closed gunwales and pocketed ribs. But it seems to be a full-fledged Morris to me.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Weaving a thread into a quilt

    See: I'm continuing to learn....like here...don't mix the private messages with the public threads...lol..sorry folks. Believe it or not, I do actually try pretty hard to figure some of this out myself. Before going to look at the Kennebec;, at the time make unknown, I searched here until I found the pictures of Craigs beautiful restoration that I felt matched my advertisements shown pics. The pic here is of his Kennebec, borrowed from the photo gallery here. Once again, Thanks for the help, John
     

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  15. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi John-- We all learn from each other in this place... and it's never a big deal for us to work at finding the correct record, so don't feel bad if you are unsure of the serial number and have to provide several versions (this happens a lot because these canoes are old and numbers can wear). We love mysteries involving boats!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Finally , a positive serial #,,, Thank you Mr Morris...................

    I made it back to my canoe storage "vault" today and have attached the pic of the nice heavy duty tag attached undernieth the deck , cleary showing to my dismay, not 1286, but 12869. I would like to thank Mr Morris for using HD copper tag material with a nice deep stamped number. Ive also attatched a pic of a few things. . . a gentleman gave me several months ago on my first canoe mission. A clinching iron....brass tacks...canvas pliers...and now I look back.... I had met with him to purchase a unfinished cedar strip canoe , and ended up buying also an old OT in need of repair. The nice man was moving and giving up the trade...but with selling me the Old Town ...he knew...he knew Id be needing these things once the 'fever' spread without control. I now look back at him as my mentor, but now, Im also looking to sell someone their first wood / canvas canoe................
     

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  17. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Feel free to list any canoes for sale in our classified section... but you may want to wait until after you've attended one of our Assemblies-- either the international one held in July in the Adirondacks or one of several local mini-assemblies held by chapters... then the canoe-bug really nails you (and it's sharper than those little brass tacks).
     
  18. OP
    OP
    John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Others point of view what this Kennebec serial number may read please?

    I'm finally starting the restoration on my Kennebec Invisible Sponson Canoe pictured earlier here. I have; in several light coats of stripper; slowly tried to uncover the # without scrubbing it away. After the 5 numbers Im questioning...theres a 1 and a 7 spaced out which matches the canoes length. Part of my reason to ID the yr is so I can then follow up on trying to ensure I have the proper original style seats. I will also try and follow up here with photos and measurements of such things like cross sections of the outwales. I'm an experienced detail finish carpenter, and although not knowing a lot about canoes, can accurately document some aspects of this certain canoe that hopefully might be helpful to someone else someday.
     

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  19. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Is it 22159? Yes, the 17 would be the length.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    John Maderic

    John Maderic Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    After several more tries at delicately working deeper through the layers, using different settings on the camera, etc: I am quite sure the third number is a five that's slightly higher in relation to the forth number..also a five. The number is showing by eye like this using a cigarette lighter in a dim room. # 22559. As stated earlier, the canoe does have the riveted on brass or copper gudgeons for a rudder. Im not sure that the sailing type thwart holed seat is original, as the cane is the pressed in type, spaced with 4 @ 2 3/4" dowels that look like mahogany. The other seat is woven cane and has only two 5/8" dowels spacing it level.
     

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