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UFO possible Chestnut

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by mccloud, Jun 5, 2020.

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  1. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac

    Doing my part to stimulate the economy, I picked up this w/c canoe last week. It had been hanging in the rafters so I didn't get a real good look before hauling it home. 15' long, 12" deep Has ribs 1.5" wide spaced 1.5" apart. Thwarts held by steel bolts with square nuts. Was built with brass canoe tacks, but also has a lot of copper tacks where repairs were made. It was built with a shoe keel, as is shown by staggered holes in ribs. The inwales, outwales and thwarts are all oak and all appear to be too bright to be originals. The edges of two thwarts toward the bow are tapered, causing me to think the canoe was rebuilt at some time to be a "boy scout" canoe. I doubt the decks are original. Looking at the planking, I see similarities to a Chestnut I worked on. The measurements seem to match most closely with a Chum.
    And now for the bad news. There are cracks in 14 ribs, and poorly done rib tip splices made with oak strips have been made to 10 ribs. On the bow stem is stamped two sets of numbers: 652?? 1815 So a whole lot of bad repair should be un-done. Now I can see how much work is ahead, if I decide to bring it back.
    I know that Chestnut records have not survived, but what is this canoe? Am I on the right track with Chestnut Chum? Are there any clues to suggest an age?

    STH72512Chum resize.jpg
    STH72518resize.jpg

    STH72513resize ribcrack.jpg STH72516chum rib resize.jpg STH72514resize number.jpg
     
  2. Murat V

    Murat V Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    1815 is the code for a Peterborough Minetta. I remember reading somewhere that it was built on the same forms as the 15' Chestnut Chum and the narrow, 1-1/2" ribs were introduced in the mid to late '50s as part of the Pleasure class of canoes. Peterborough went out of business in '62 to give you an idea of the tail end date range for your boat. I have a 14' with similar 1-1/2" ribs and original chestnut sticker (making it a 'Playmate') but with a Peterborough code stamped on the stem (aka a 'Mermaid'). Turns out they were built on the same form as well and then branded based on the demand. Do a search on the forums for 'Minetta' and you'll see a few more that have been restored over the years. Good luck
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac

    Great Information! Thanks , Murat, you hit the nail on the head. I've got the WCHA Canadian canoe catalogs stick, and looked at a 1955 catalog today. It even states that the Minetta was heavily built, intended for scouts, camps, etc. TM...
     

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