Saturday, 5 September 2015

Chestnut Moonlight restoration, part one.

Time to start the Chestnut Moonlight we bought a while back, it needs an entire restoration but is a great hull with no lumps or cracked ribs. Outer gunwales were changed out for these extra deep ones crafted by a previous owner, along with a strip of fiberglass to bridge the gap between the canvas and boat. The canvas had been trimmed down no doubt due to rot, and extend its lifespan. The ends have the typical rot, and will be rebuilt. Originally green, then red, then finally blue. This one will be kept (for a while at least) as its a very slender 16' hull, at 32" wide and with the undercut heart decks. The seller stated they retrieved the boat from a cottage in Lac Megantic Que, where my family originated. Seems fitting to do it up right..

Original slanted decals, circa post-1956

Wide, tapered ribs and heart deck. 

Flaking interior finish

Gunwales,trimmed canvas and fiberglass strip

Bare hull, seats and thwarts to be removed

Typical end rots, will need rail and stem trips

Despite the drywall screws

Lots of help with  this one

Almost ready for stripping

Stems coming off, TONS of sealant and steel screws

Stembands were saved, to be cleaned up

Bites in rail from seat and thwart bolts

Nice original bronze carriage bolts. 4 wings under the head seat into the rails, reproductions made today lack this feature. 

Traditional weave, to be taken out  and redone. 

Rasp marks from fairing the hull, typical factory practice. 

Nice solid planking, hull will be faired after refinishing and repairs made, before canvassing.

Even got help with the cleanup

First results of stripping before the heat got to be too much and dried the goop too fast. 

Small amounts of varnish to be removed

Ash decks out, and all the steel screws

Ash stems, with serial number stamps, unusual for a Chestnut

Gunwale tips to be spliced

Most varnish off, one more pass and done.

Some vertical grain planking, some flat sawn 

One more pass with stripper and repairs, varnish and canvas.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Peterborough Model 1815 Minetta

The van grabs another one, but no camera was handy before it was unloaded. 
Today's find is a great little 15 footer, completely original. Up until recently it seems to have lived a charmed life, built some time in the late 1950s to 60s, it still wears its original canvas, seat caning and in fact all of its finish. One outer gunwale end is cracked, and its time for new canvas. The interior varnish is fine, after a light sanding it will shine after a couple of new coats. This will be a great solo boat, or tandem for kids or smaller adults. Ready for spring 2016, all it needs is the new colour chosen. Perhaps a new owner will make the choice, otherwise we'll choose an Epifanes colour for its newly filled canvas when its ready. 

Single thwart 15'

Decal and painter

Factory caning, bow seat

Stern seat

Stem stamps

Stern gunwales

Only damage, outer gunwales which are D shaped in profile. Much of the dark staining seems to be due to the boat having been wet. Now dried, once sanded the wood will be bleached and oiled to remove the staining and return  it to its natural colour.

Next is new canvas, cane, interior sand and varnish and paint colour to be chosen.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Thrill of the hunt..

Acquiring storied and antique boats is fun enough, but the real thrill comes in stumbling across them ( or finding them during a search), running down leads, rumours and vague stories and finally determining by features what they are. 
This week provides not only a Peterborough Minetta #1815, not much mystery there since it is plainly marked with stamped model number and decal, but also what just may turn out to be another pre-fire Chestnut cruiser. Hard to tell from photos, as well as having been heavily re-worked during a "restoration" - more on these later, but the term refurbished is often more appropriate for what is done to boats in order to bring them back to useable condition with little or no attention to the boats original features. 

Shoe keel, these are great solo boats. This one wont stick around in the spring after its redone. 

Strip, sand and bleach + minor tip repairs

Peterborough decal and painter

Serial number

Crunch end

Better end

Nice interior, shame it was left outside. Easy restoration on this one.

Cruiser - like sheer

Way too brown, needs to be stripped out!

Spacers and seat bolts likely incorrect, too much stain

More stain, but tapered ribs. Need to see decks and ends

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Random Kool photos

Crawling old photo cards, a few random shots for fun.

Dove gray paint job, on a Champlain i used to own. In the background is AG's handbuilt pram, historically correct down to the copper rivets and sail rig. 

Georgian Bay on an overcast day.

Georgian bay sunset from the canoe

Sunset from the shore. 

16/30 off Killbear. Need some more seat time in it soon...


One of the only Old Towns i've found in Ontario, from an estate in Muskoka not far from Millionaires row, and the worse for wear. 

Nice AA grade canoe trimmed in Mahogany, with sponsons. Sadly it was fiberglassed and spent too much time grinding away on rocks after it got free and floated away and sank. Too far gone to be a candidate for restoration with no real provenance to warrant the work 

Nice shape,  but sent down the road eventually

3 boats recanvassed and filled. 15' Chum on top, 16' Prospector middle and a 17' Cruiser bottom

Bow and nameplate from a late '80s Fraser, before restoration. From Keewaydins fleet, it was in fantastic original condition with no repairs. 

Georgian Bay. Dont know how this would score with professionals, but sometimes a point and shoot does some kool stuff with an image.