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. 

Form Progress update

After a hectic spring and summer, new projects are all put on hold and efforts will be directed at the form until its ready for stems, gunwales and ribs to be bent on. This week the gunwale backers are bent, with extra curve for springback, to help them take the heavy bend from midships to the stem tip. 

Bending foms, with extra curve. 

18' stock, bent to take the bends for the 16' boat. Ash for the backers, to take the spruce rails.

High tech aluminum downspout for a tube. 

The most reliable of steam generators

Steam rising

On its way to 210 degrees

Soaking in the pool for a day or two..

Nothing more useful than a B&D Workmate

Have to start milling ribs and planks and rails. Thwarts and seats and decks will be started next week, determined to have a boat off this fall and ready for spring ice out. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Maine Guide Canoe, continued

Link to photos here

The van snags another one, this time from Maine on a family trip to visit relatives. Found on a whim looking on Craigslist a week prior to leaving, this canoe exhibited features identifying it as a very early canoe, seemingly from the era when cedar canvas construction began to overtake birchbark constructionnd drew its influences from the former. 
The boat came from a family camp purchased by the sellers Grandfather in 1925, with the original lease on the property dating to 1895.  All that is known is that the boat was at the camp in 1925 and had been for some  years.   Best guess at the WCHA annual assembly this summer was a build date of approximately 1895, or thereabouts.  The boat has features common with EH Gerrish canoes, such as the deck and seats, and has ribs taperd in width as well as thickness after the turn of the bilge like an EM White, though isnt thought to have been built by either. 
A true survivor, it survived hard use and rot by living high in the rafters for years. It also managed to avoid fiberglass, and appears to be in its original canvas. Aside from some stem damage, it displays the usual alligatored varnish and cracking canvas paint, along with gunwale caps that had been crudely done. 
More photos to follow of the boats specific details.

18 feet long 

Heavy tumblehome evident

Full,deep ends and a low, wide midsection

Similar bircbark canoe

Almost its twin, remarkably similar recurve on the stems, heavy tumblehome etc. and more pictures to follow

Penobscot birch on the water, showing almost the same lines

Penobscot birch restored by Rick Nash for the Canadian Canoe Museum

Heart deck with lobes like Gerrish used

Typical Gerrish deck, courtesy Dragonfly Canoe

Woven  cane seats

Early seats from a Gerrish canoe after restoration

Lapped seat pieces, rather than solid pieces

Tumblehome , bow deck and rails need repair

Stem profile like Penobscot birch canoe

Rails extend past the stems as with early eastern canoes

Ribs taper in thickness through the turn of the bilge, an EM White characteristic - apparently done by whoever built this as well, as it is not a White.