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Where do all the canoes come from?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Easternrivers, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Easternrivers

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    Just wondering where you fols find all these great canoes in need of restoration?

    word of mouth?

    The odd canoe shows up here on the East Coast from KIJIJI or classifieds, but not that often.
    Maybe it depends on the geologiical location too....Ontario seems to be a good place, but the prices!

    Any suggestions?
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Word of mouth seems to work. Once it becomes widely known that you are looking for old derelicts, they begin to "fall into your lap", often for free.
    Patience, grasshopper,...
  3. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    For Free???? I'd love to see that!LOL.
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    From a midwesterner's point of view, east coasters are in a hot bed of vintage canoes!!
    Post a "wanted" ad on Craigslist, search local classifieds, E-bay, area auction bills, and estate sales. Tell the attendant at the landfill that there is a case of beer for every wooden canoe he saves for you.
    Also, like Rob said, once it is widely known that you are "that canoe guy" the friend of a friend, of a friend, network will make your phone start ringing.
  5. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have been given two extremely rare canoes for nothing.
    One was a Canadian Canoe Company vertical rib circa 1900.
    The Robert Maw is a cedar wideboard & batten built at Sunnyside Beach in Toronto circa 1900. Apparently it is only one of two known extant by that builder, the other being in the Canadian Canoe Museum.

    It took about 15 years of actively looking before they started looking for me. Now I'm hoping for a "user" that isn't a museum piece.
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    What Dave and Rob said.

    I didn't "find" my 1st canoe until I had looked for maybe 1.5 to 2 years, but after a while it is just "second nature" and they somehow find their way to your garage. It also depends on how far you are willing to travel to pickup a canoe. But you never know, my Morris came from just a few blocks away, and one came from the east coast. Most though were within 250 miles.

    I keep waiting to find one/some of those nice Charles River courting canoes, but they are a long way from MN.

  7. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Like many here, Denis and I make a habit of looking at the canoes on eBay and craigslist, which can be dangerous. Our first eBay canoe was only a few hours away, but we threw out the rule that a canoe had to be located within a few hours when a nice Morris came up on eBay and we realized the price would be right, even with the cost of gas to Massachusetts.

    What we've found interesting is that we can have a wish in our minds (hearts?) and that particular canoe-type will eventually show up... with some effort on our part, but it isn't impossible. Some day, Dan will get his courting canoe...
  8. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    I'm willing to travel abit to find these canoes. Just made a 10 hour round trip to pick up that 1920's Chestnut/Peterborough.
    I'll just keep beating the bushes.
  9. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    And if the canoe does seem a bit too far, you can post in the Travel Registry section of this forum, and see if the road trip can be patched together... or if there's someone close to the canoe who can store it for a short time, until you can make the road trip. If you don't ask, you'll never know...
  10. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

  11. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    WAY too much, unless of course a person just has to have it.;)
  12. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    That's what I thought too.
  13. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I don't know if the price is good or not, because I don't watch the prices of Peterboroughs.

    But the repairs needed are not just "a cracked rib and will need outside gunwales." There are at least 2 cracked ribs and some damaged planking -- to repair these properly you would have to replace the canvas. The varnish is, in my opinion, beyond the point where you can simply slap another coat on -- look at the decks, inwales. and thwarts -- I think stripping the old finish and revarnishing is called for -- and the watermarks running along the inside just below the sheer would make me want to check the rib ends for rot. And the bow bang plate is also looks broken.
  14. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    Oh yeah! Looks like complete stem repairs-decks a couple of ribs some planks etc-etc.
    Just an example...
  15. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    What are you looking for?

    I can point you towards a 1914 or so open gunwale Morris that needs inside rails (mahogany), a bunch of ribs and some planking...after you remove the fiberglass.
    Pretty restorable with heart shaped decks, original seats, thwarts...$350 asking price.

    Not mine (winning back some brownie points from my wife to make up for the Gerrish).

    PM me if there is an interest.
  16. OP

    Easternrivers Traditionalist

    Now thats enticing....but still long way to go. send me pics...I might change my mind tho.
  17. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    So far I have given away five canoes to other WCHA members who wanted a project. I have three others, one of unknown pedigree that's real cheap and two others, both Old Towns, that are almost cheap. PM me if you're interested. I don't know where you are at but the price is right!

    Jim C.
  18. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Thanks for the positive vibes Kathy. :)
    You never know what might come along.

    I my experience, what "comes along" is more a matter of chance than anything I do, and now that I have a few, I'm much more selective, but that's more me saying "no" and "sorting" the canoes that happen along than me actually doing anything positive to find a specific canoe. I turn down far more these days than I accept/go for.

  19. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Hm...offers of a line on a Morris in exchange for a PM... did not see one.
    Offers of a free canoe.

    You might not be hungry enough.

    The folks that seem to snag the deals have their hooks in everywhere and they have cash.
    Or they have established themselves as a regional contact and the canoes come to them.
    Or (Kathy and Dennis) they will the canoes to their door. Still trying to figure out that process....canoe whispering?
  20. mdouglass

    mdouglass Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I bought all three of my wood canvas canoes by daily searching Craigslist. The first, an 18 foot Old Town Guide, I bought just across town from my home. I paid $400.00, which was too much because I was too eager to restore my first canoe, and I did not know what to look for in determining condition. The second, an 18 foot Thompson Brothers Hiawatha, for which I traveled from Minneapolis to eastern Wisconsin and back in one day. I paid $200.00 for the canoe, but factoring in time, gas, and food, I probably paid too much, again. My most recent purchase, however, was something I had held in my heart as a dream. I wanted an affordable classic canoe which I could easily make seaworthy. I found it in a 1915 B.N. Morris for sale in a nearby suburb for $300.00, which I felt was a bargain price, and for which the seller was very pleased to sell. In my opinion, having looked at many canoes on the internet, and several canoes by actual inspection, I readily saw that it had been substantially restored years ago and was in terrific shape, only needing two small holes fixed, and a re-canvassing. I fixed the holes, repaired the canvas with glue, canvas scraps, and duct tape just enough to get it in the water this season. I expect to use it again next season, and refinish and re-canvas it in the fall and winter of 2012.

    So, I have a Guide in the basement which has been stripped of its fiberglass and old finish, and which I am replacing its ribs, rails, decks, and repairing seats and stems. I have a decrepit Hiawatha of undetermined age awaiting the same treatment in my backyard. And, I have my dream canoe, my B.N. Morris, which I am able to enjoy while I work on the other two.

    I find that I still yearn to acquire more canoes, but the size of my basement, my garage, and my budget----as well as the limits of my wife's patience---prevent me from acquiring any more until the three I have are finally restored.

    Buying and rescuing these old canoes can be addictive. Read a few books about building and restoring wood canvas canoes, read the numerous blogs about them on the internet, read and follow the WCHA forums, keep some cash on hand, search Craigslist and E-bay regularly, inspect several canoes, but don't necessarily buy the first canoe you see, and enjoy both the hunt and the final bagging of that special canoe.

    Mark Douglass

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