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To save or not to save?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Twin Pines, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good morning from the Maine northwoods, Im a greenhorn on the forums, but a "old salt" with wood and canvas canoes. During one of my wanderings in the northwood's I came to a pond that looked untouched for 50 years.

    But something did stick out, a white fiberglass boat with an 1986 registration sticker on her. After checking her out, it turns out she's an Old Town (I believe there are no s/n plaque that I could see) wood and canvas boat. It turns out that in this case, the fiberglass actually saved her from years of abandonment.

    I contacted the land owner and he told me the gentleman that owned her died several years back. He had planned on removing it this winter with his snowmobile after the lake froze up and throw her in a land fill. He said if I can get her out, she's all mine.

    Problem, she's a mile in the woods and there are no boat launches on the lake. And her size, and all that fiberglass Im going to need 3 strong men and a boy to get her out of there. (with a promise of a of beer and trash can turkey upon completion)

    The pros, she's free, and the ribs and planking are good and solid. Amazing enough there is NO squirrel or hedgehog (porcupine) damage. The deck is there but it's only remaining use is as a pattern.

    The cons, when she was last hauled ashore the previous owner put starboard stern resting on a rock, and through many hard maine winters this has bowed in the last 7 ribs. But otherwise they are in good shape. The gunnels all around have rotted away and the top 1/2 of the ribs all around have rotted away as well. I took a jacknife and poked the ribs and planking and they are otherwise solid. As I stated earlier, she's sheeted in what Capt Nat Herrshoff called "frozen snot" (fiberglass) but I read the other forums on the subject and I don't believe it will be that bad of a job as whoever performed this injustice layed it over the canvas, and its the old type 'glass.

    So, is she worth dragging out of the woods and rescue her? Or should I let the land owner drag her off to a untimely death in a land fill? It's hard to find any information on these old boats, and harder still to actually find one. Any input/ suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I'd love to know the serial number, so I can look up and post the build record. Sometimes knowing that information (year built, canoe model and grade, etc.) can help with decisions such as this, but the canoe does sound salvageable and my personal leanings are toward saving her. Even if you aren't of a mind to restore the canoe, someone else might be interested.

    Kathy
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    As would I, and hopefully when I go back I can locate some numbers on her, but on my initial visit no plate was visable. I do have full intention's in restoring her if I can get her out. Old Town isn't a hour away from me so part's and build sheets are not far away.
     
  4. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Old Town serial numbers are not on a plate. If the canoe is an Old Town, the serial number would be on both stems, in the area shown in this post:

    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=791

    If you find a serial number, post it in "serial number search" here in Forums. Several of us have the Old Town records available on CD and can reply.

    Pictures may help us identify the canoe if it isn't an Old Town.

    Good Luck!
    Kathy
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    To start, a slight correction, she's a boat, not a canoe, similar to:

    http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/boa/1191966318.html

    But she doesn't have the deck strips and she's 17' long. I'll try to get out there this weekend to take a closer look and see if I can find the numbers. Thank you for the info.
     
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    TP,

    This sounds interesting.

    My 1st thoughts are,

    wheels??

    followed by

    4 wheeler??

    followed by

    sled/snow/snowmobile????

    you didn't describe the type of terrain you have to go over to get to it, but, if it's at all smooth the above would work.

    Hey, deer hunters often drag their deer a mile through the woods, this is just a very large deer. :)

    And pics, take and post some pics.

    Dan
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Dan, unfortunately the terrain is the worse that Maine can offer. It's old growth pine, moss covered boulder strewn area. My plans are to refloat her and paddle her to the nearest path back to the road. The path is too narrow and rugged for any sort of wheeled carrier. We decided to wait until black fly season has passed then get three friends to help me carry her out. I havent been back yet to get the numbers off her, the black flies prevent that for a few more weeks. I promise to take some pictures of the boat, AND the process!
     
  9. Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    Sounds like you've made up your mind to keep it.

    Take LOTS of pics, it will make a great story when it's restored.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Kevin, yes I have decided to rescue her. Call me a sentimentalist but the way I found her in the first place, (I mean this is in the middle of no where and I found it because I was los.... I mean I was a might confused of my exact location) when I found her. ;-)

    Add to that she's still in restorable condition despite being abandoned for 23 years, surviving the heavy snows of winter, and the various wood chewing varments that Maine offers. I just feel she's fought this hard to survive, I should give her a fighting chance.

    I was thinking last night, I was a logger and I know how to use just a rope to develope a pulley type system. We can only go 75' at a time, but it just may help get her over the worse of the stuff where the goat trail is non-existent. She seemed pretty stout, so hopefully she will be able to handle the abuse of getting her out. That was the only condition I have with the landowner, once I start moving her out Im responsible for her removal. No matter if it's in one piece, or a dozen.

    Here's to getting her out in one piece!
     
  11. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    TP,

    Might have known. :(
    "terrain is the worse that Maine can offer"

    Some ideas, which are worth what you are paying for them.

    If it leaks bad, stretch some of that window sealer or boat covering plastic over her (after tacking it on) and heat it to shrink it to fit for a temp water proof covering.

    Make a light skid so that it doesn't take the abuse of dragging it over the ground.

    If you are just going to have 4 guys,
    for 2 on each side, long nylon moving straps.
    for 2 front/back, long poles you can attach to the boat that the guys can hole.

    And the pics, got to have pics. :)

    Good luck,

    Dan
     
  12. Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    And that's what's going to make this whole process a great story.

    Maybe there's some funding for the story of the recovery/restoration. (?):)
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    As far as water proof, I think for the short distance I have to float her (maybe 50 yards) the fiberglass is intact enough to keep her afloat. Once she's in the water, Im committed, I have to side her down a 5' embankment. If she starts to sink, I'll just have to paddle faster!

    As far as your suggestion concerning the straps, excellent idea. I have some old 2 1/2" fire hose in the basement, I'll run a rope threw them and tie on to the poles. Thanks for the tip. Now to find two 22' poles!

    The ATV idea was good, but the landowner prohibits motorized vehicles except for snowmobiles. And Im already determined to get her out before the snowfall, it's killing me to wait for the blackfly season to go by!
     
  14. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Duct tape.
     
  15. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Unless you put on two or three layers of it, they can still bite through it........:)
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Use duck tape in in two or three layers for what??
     
  17. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    For the black flies......although you could probably also use it to help seal the boat.....

    [​IMG]
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    LMAO, well the hord's of black flies I saw there looked as if they would consider that for dessert.... you know that your in trouble when you stop the jeep and the black flies are so impatient to devore you that they are bouncing off the windows trying to get in!!
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Well, it's NOT a Old Town

    Well, I braved the black flies (listerene does a fair job at detering black flies, and an excellent job at detering mosquitos) and I found absolutely NO serial numbers where you guys/ gals told me where they would be.

    I took these pictures in hope that someone will pick up on some small detail that may expose the builders identity. I couldn't get a accurate overall measurement, but she's between 17 and 18' long at her widest point at midship shes 34" wide. I'll post another set of pictures... but its going to be fun getting her out of there, her stern is more or less a template and Im not sure it will hold together long enough to paddle her to shore, forget about the trip out. Extra bracing will be a must for the trip out.

    Pic 1 Overall picture
    Pic 2 Bow detail under deck
    Pic 3 View of starboard side and seats looking aft.
    Pic 4 close up of bow detail
    Pic 5 stern detail
    Pic 6 view from aft to forward
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  20. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    More pictures

    Here are the rest of the pictures, So I have two questions now:

    A.) Who is her creator
    B.) Is she worth the trouble to 1.) get her out of there, and 2.) the cost of restoring her.

    Pic 1 Detail of her rails, completely rotted.
    Pic 2 Pic of her deck and bow, thats a 5 gallon pail top for scale.
    Pic 3 another bow detail
    Pic 4 As I first saw her,
    Pic 5 Bend ribs, port side
    Pic 5 The only way out
     

    Attached Files:

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