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To save or not to save?

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

  1. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    And the final pictures

    Pic 1 a solid brass handle from her stern. (Came off in my hand)
    Pic 2 Her bottom
    Pic 3 Her home for most of her life
    Pic 4 And why I live this far north, I went out of my way to take this picture, Mt Katahdin looking down on the west branch of the Penobscott River.
     

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  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Ayup

    I'm surprised that our family moved but there were jobs in Rochester, Hartford etc. We are jealous of the ones that stayed.
     

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  3. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I didn't stay, I moved, and not that far from Hartford! My family/ friends/ acquaintance all thought I was nuts. Everyone told me "Your crazy, there's nothing up there, no Cinemas, no starbucks, have to travel 40 miles for grocerys, there's nothing going on up there." All I reply is always the same ... "exactly."

    And MGC, you can always "come home!"
     
  4. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    Been following this tale with amused interest. Perhaps because we have our share of blackflies here, too. A couple of thoughts came to mind.

    While you haven't found any serial #'s or other maker identity clues, there does seem to be a Maine boat registry # on the bow. Any chance you could check with the boat registry folks to see what info they may have, along with owner's name? I'm thinking there should be some identification of the maker in their records, or at least info as to who the former owner thought was the maker.

    Secondly, since this boat has 'arrived' in your life in a near 'death-like' state (and is about to become your 'baby' as you labor to restore it), maybe you ought to consider christening it the 'Benjamin Button' if you ever get it back to its original, 'birth-like' appearance.
     
  5. Kevin French

    Kevin French Paddler

    Great pics of the boat.

    We'll be close to it tomorrow. We're headed up the Golden Road to Churchill Dam for a wet week on the Allagash.

    Now I'm feel better about my restoration project.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    You'll be going right by it, a few mile's off, but you'll be going right by it. And I'd feel better if I were you too, you have alot more to work with!! Don't forget the listeren, and watch out for the black bear on the golden road. There moving around alot lately and when I stopped to "see a man about a horse" I got out, and jumped back in as there was a sow not 25' from me. I didn't see cubs but I wasn't about to press my luck!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    An idea that I hadn't even thought of, but I will pursue once I get her back home. Hopefully between both sides I can get a complete set of numbers. I know who the former owner was, but unfortunately he passed away last year, so he won't be much help. The next to kin is in the final stages of her rest home stay, so no joy there ether.

    Now THATS a grea idea for the boat, perhaps I should stop calling it a "her" and start calling it a "him"?
     
  8. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    ... or maybe 'Benjamina' if you didn't want 'her' to have to undergo the change of gender. :D
     
  9. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I will be going up to see "Chuck" at the Amberjejus Boom house soon and probably making more than one trip....If you can let me know in advance, I would volunteer an extra pair of hands and I have a balloon tired canoe portaging aid that I could bring to use when suitable.... Always interested in the "Good ole ladies!" would be worth it to see this "lady" first hand....I live here in South Paris.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That sounds absolutely great, I'll see when I can gather the troops and try to set this up. The actual portage isnt that far, it's just the terrain thats going to be a challenge. If I happen to get her out before then, your more than welcomed to stop by and meet her in person, if your heading out to the Amberjejus Boom house you'l be driving right by the house.
     
  11. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Yup!....I go thru town and then go up heading to the south gate, past the Millinocket Inn and Trading Post store and then turn left at the sawdust pile road where I launch mine and make the short run over to Chucks... Her is a pic of the portaging wheels on my 18 Chestnut to give you an idea of what it is...very handy devise and saves a lot of "grunting"
     

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  12. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Saving Benjamin Button

    Well at the spur of the moment my neighbor decided today was a good day to rescue the boat. That's what rainy days are for right? After trimming a few branches the way was clear for Benjamin to hit water for the first time in over 25 years.

    After we got him in the water, I climbed aboard and pushed off. My first thought was to savor this moment and paddle Benjamin around Hurd pond for a bit. (now I can release where he's been hiding for 25 years) However when I noticed the amount of water that was accumilating in the boat, and the rate that water was accumilating at the bottom of the boat, my sentimental journey became a race of survival. Pausing long enough for the picture, sorry that this was the only one, (but once the grunting and groaning started the camera was soon forgotten), I headed for shore quickly.

    My neighbor Mark and I struggled for quite a while pulling/ lifting/ pushing Benjamin until fortunately six young men showed up and offered their assistence. We made a craddle out of the rope and carried Benjamin to the truck.

    Now he sits on the truck until daylite to re-access Ben's overall condition. He made some funny cracking sounds during his juant out to the truck. Im not sure if it's from dry rot, or the old fiberglass thats basically holding him together for now. If I do decided to restore him, it will not be a small job. If I decide NOT to restore him, I will be offering him here in the forums, free for the taking. I really hate to see him end up in a land fill after all he's been threw.

    If anyone has any idea who his builder maybe, Id appreciate any hints or ideas. Im going to be calling MVD to see what kind of records they may have on him. I will keep you posted.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  13. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Tp

    I'm no photographer. (My brother is tho) But that photo is amazing. Great composition. Looks like a fine vessel.
     
  14. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Just from that picture, I would say "Ole Ben" is not ready to give it up yet.
    Wish I could have been there....Who took that photo anyway...did you hire a PRO? :) ..I may be heading up weekend after next...If so would love to see the old gent!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ole Ben, up for adoption

    I couldn't believe how well the photo came out myself, it was taken by my neighbor Mark who I had to show how to use the camera. Im going to show it to him in a few minutes, Im sure he'll be floored.

    Blue Viking I apologise for not taking you up on your offer, we sure could have used your portaging wheels. We were just sitting in Marks garage working on his Old Chevy truck Marks restoring and he looked up and said "I need some fresh air, let's get that boat." and off we went. Your more than welcome to stop by and meet him on your next jaunt into the northwoods.

    Ive decided that Ole Ben is a step or two beyond my capabilities. Daylite revieled that Ole Ben was a one of, the irregular seat supports tell the tale. Anyone with a pickup truck and a friend or two who want's to give Ole Ben a good home he's here in East Millinocket for the taking. I can post as many picture's as you'd like but here is the low down.

    Ole Ben is in pretty rough shape, I'd say that over 1/2 of the ribs will need to be replaced, from midship back. The front deck is there for a pattern only. He's covered in fiberglass over canvas. Removing the fiberglass won't be a problem, it's already delaminating. I think a afternoon with a heat gun will take care of it. His stern is there for a pattern only, what's left is pulky. As you can see he does have nice line's and in his day made his creator proud. This isn't a project for the fant of heart, but I honestly think it would be worth while. But for myself I'd be getting in over my head, I'll be looking for a little easier project to tackle.

    So Im willing to keep Ole Ben here for a few weeks in hope that someone is willing to give him the second chance I feel he deserves. Otherwise unfortunately he's going to have a date with a payloader... :eek:
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Twin Pines

    Twin Pines Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The unexpected death of Ole Ben

    Ive finally calmed down enough, (well almost) but as we were taking ole Ben off the truck rack (in the rain) I lost my footing and dropped Ole Ben bow first from about 7'. The results were terminal, he split open like a sardine can. After a few moments of turning the air blue Mark and I looked at each other and picked up the remains of Ole Ben and took him to the transfer station. The dry rot was alot worse than ether of us had thought, the planking was completely shot.

    Well, at least he had his last paddle on the lake he spent his life on.....
     
  17. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    the photo

    and he posed for a fine photograph.
     

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