Anyone else have an appreciation for stripper canoes

11:16 a.m. on August 10, 2019 (EDT)
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2:59 p.m. on August 10, 2019 (EDT)
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Hi Paul.  I have never owned a stripper, but I took the canvas off my 1951 OT Guide recently.  It kind of looks like a stripper with all of the WRC planking and white cedar ribs. 

4:11 p.m. on August 10, 2019 (EDT)
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I have seen a few of those ( restored ) They recovered the hull with fibreglass and epoxy Also used brass nails and then aligned then in a straight patten for the planks and ribs. They really stand out under the fibreglass 

7:48 a.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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They are beautiful. Functionally, Paul, aligning the clinch nails in straight line, creates weak points in the planks and ribs. The fellow who taught me(I worked in his W/C shop for a while) would never allow that unless it was on plank ends, and then there would still be an attempt to stagger them. Willits canoes, which are technically not strip planked in the modern term, though ribless like modern strip planked canoes, are highly sought after.

8:59 a.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Thanks for the heads up on the aligning of the nails. I wonder if they may have reinforced the planks another way. I have seen a few. 

As for strippers being functional they are strictly a lake canoe. The fibreglass bruises quite easily. 

10:30 a.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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I have run a lot of rivers in the Old Town.  It has taken some rock hits over the years.  The planking is in remarkably good shape.   I need to replace some ribs that were broken 25 years ago when I bought it. 

11:20 a.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Paul, strictly speaking, a strip planked canoe is a modern innovation using very thin strips of, typically, cedar, built on a mold. Once finished they are covered inside and out with a layer of fabric. The technique is used in sailboats and is often called cold molded. Usually they are edge glued using epoxy. While you are correct in that they are more fragile than w/c canoe, we have a club member here who has a strip canoe who has paddled 2+ rivers in it. In the late 19th century, there were planked canoes, built with tightly fitted planks. Again, more fragile and less easily repaired than w/c canoes. Willits canoes were unusual in that they were planked diagonally with two layers of thin planks at roughly 90 degrees, with a layer of canvas in between. They were hot molded. Beautiful, stiff, but quite heavy. With any boat which is sealed such as a strip canoe, once moisture enters the wood, they begin to discolor and rot. The beauty of a w/c canoe that it can easily be recovered with canvas, which I have done on a number of canoes. As well, planks, ribs, stems can be fairly easily replaced. One advantage of w/c canoes, is the substrate(ribs and planks, are designed to flex, separate from the canvas. On rivers, I have watched the planking and ribs flex as the boat passed over a rock. Conversely, a strip canoe,  or w/c canoe covered with GRP will be stiffer, but if it flexes, you will break the resin.The boat will be less stiff then and the possibility of water intrusion will be an issue.

6:32 p.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Paul Lapierre said:


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Yes, I can surly appreciate them. Beautiful. Is that yours or are you crafting one?

I’ve owned some aluminum canoes and appreciate the whole canoe experience and how they glide and clear hinges that are inches under the water. I appreciate how they carry luxury items and coolers full of fresh foods.

The canoe you show is your own Viking paradise. That is a sweetheart.

8:26 p.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Erich

i built this about 15 yrs ago and still use it about 10 x a year it has held up well . I don’t run rivers in it I have another for that. It came in at 58 lbs but doesn’t bounce very well  

The design was taken from a Algonquin rice harvesting canoe. It’s called a Redbird. 

If your interested a guy name Ted Moore wrote a book called Canoe Craft ( a very detailed guide to building one ) and has a site Bear Mountian Boats 

10:31 p.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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Wood boats have a certain feel and life to them.  The Guide 18 creaks and growns in rough water.  Now that I am approaching 70 the weight at over 90 pounds dry is troublesome.  Now I am paddling a kevlar boat that weighs 51 pounds. 

I built a Pygmy sea kayak a Coho out of Africn mahogany. .  A very fast and seaworthy boat at around 17 and half feet.  I do not like kayaks much.  No place for the dog and Coleman stove.  I sold it and went back to canoes. 

11:06 p.m. on August 11, 2019 (EDT)
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There is an old saying as a boat builder.

” Paddling a plastic canoe is like dancing with a mannequin it has no life .

Come from the same mould of avoid lawyers at all cost.  

PP I am trying to talk my wife into a 16’ kayak . But you don’t build them .

You carve them with sanding , ripsaws , sanding , block planes , sanding ect. 

3:10 a.m. on August 12, 2019 (EDT)
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@Paul: regaurding your "dancing..." comment, this video came to mind. This is what I do at 2am sometimes. 

The clip is from a show called "Portlandia," spoofing an actual events you may be aware of. Elegant, to be sure.

8:56 a.m. on August 12, 2019 (EDT)
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Nice boat. Could use a few better moves 

10:59 a.m. on August 12, 2019 (EDT)
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Hi Paul,

Yes, I am familiar with Ted's book and met him once. I think it may have been at a WCA symposium.Some of his designs(as expected) are based on Chestnut Bros. designs. Like others, though, he reduces the rocker so they are more easily paddled with a light load. He says only the ends of his Redbird are based on an Ojibway ricing canoe. Those canoes were often beamier and flatter for stability. BTW, you would get in trouble calling an Ojibway an Algonquin. :-) They usually call themselves Anishinaabe which I think means, "the people", not unlike "the Dene" when I am in the YT. Currently, I only have one w/c boat, a 17 foot Prospector built by Glen Toogood. I have seven others, a couple of NovaCraft, a Hemlock, a Bell and a couple of Mad River.

12:45 p.m. on August 12, 2019 (EDT)
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not the "stripper canoe" I was anticipating.  Educational still.

8:54 p.m. on August 12, 2019 (EDT)
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Erich.

Damn lad we gotta meet. I am getting corrected here left and right and loving it. 

Your right it is Ojibway on the plans not sure how I came up with Algonquin.

i really like the long nose on it. I had also shortened it to 16.5 ’ works well as a solo lake boat with a pretty good rocker.

My other is a 14‘ fibreglass that I turned into a river basher. 

Thank’s  for the education 

Paul 

1:25 a.m. on August 13, 2019 (EDT)
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Paul, you are very welcome. Don't worry, it took me years to learn to be more cognizant of indigenous names, culture and perspective. The Anishinaabe speak an Algonguin root language, so that may be where the confusion arose. When Tim Miller designed NovaCraft's Prospector series, he used Chestnuts to make the molds. But the Prospector was built to haul big loads and still turn well. Everyone likes to imagine themselves Bill Mason who liked the Prospector. Bill said that if there was only one boat he could paddle, it would be a Prospector. His solo boat in his films? A Pal. Much better for light solo work. So when Tim outfitted his Prospector designs, he made them narrower so less rocker. When I got my 17 NovaCraft Prospector, I pulled the gunnels and thwarts out, and pushed the sides out to Chestnut specs, increasing the rocker. I made new gunnels and thwarts and decks from spruce, which was the choice of Chestnut until the forties. Lighter, but more prone to denting. Now, my 17 foot NovaCraft Prospector has roughly the same dimensions as the Chestnut it was based on. If you ever come out this way(Seattle) I can get you a boat and a river to paddle. Dry suits are the norm here and don't expect pool and drop. Lots of drop, drop, drop, pool and then another drop!

10:24 a.m. on August 13, 2019 (EDT)
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Erich,

Since we have your attention, and the subject is canoe design what do you know about the OT Canadienne?  I believe the arch bottom and design comes from around Peterborough Ontario.  That is how Ralph Frese used to describe it. 

This boat I just got a hold of is fast, really fast.  32 inch beam and sheer entry.  

11:29 a.m. on August 13, 2019 (EDT)
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Paul, I don't much about the Canadienne and not seen one. As with the Chestnuts I mentioned earlier, some modern designs are based, at least in part, on the designs of classic w/c, wide plank or hot molded canoes of the past. With Chestnuts, there were dozens of designs and as molds wore out, new ones were built, sometimes with differences from the original model. As well, at least once in the 1950's or 60's, a Chestnut mold wore out and they borrowed a mold from another model and kept the original name. I can't recall which model it was, but the "new" canoe was definitely different from the original. Your Cannadiene sounds a bit like the Chestnut Cruiser series. Peterborough was a major canoe and boat building center. The biggest maker was The Peterborough Canoe Company, though there were others...William English, Ontario Canoe Company. Peterborough was bought out by Chestnut in the early 20's, after the former had bought William English, (or William English closed and Peterborough got their workers and designs). After Chestnut got them, the designs began to merge. Peterborough eventually was building some Prospectors with the Chestnut name on them, until they closed in about 1960. Chestnut lingered fo a while. Remember that as molds aged, the shapes often changed subtley. A customer could order specific things like extra ribs, wider ribs, wannigan ribs, an extra plank for a slightly deeper boat. Materials were usually white cedar for ribs and planking, ash for stems. Spruce was used for gunnels and thwarts and then switched to ash, which is a lot heavier. OT always seem to like WRC for some reason. It is pretty, but also heavy, as PPINE can attest.They only used it for planking as it splits easily and doesn't bend well.

8:22 p.m. on August 13, 2019 (EDT)
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Erich

Great piece on the history of the Peterborough Canoe Company and the mixing of moulds

 I originally grew up in NW Ontario ( Lk Superior North ) Some lakes where 25 miles long

The Prospector Canoe was the work horse of my area.

Through a couple of hundred dollars in to a 14’ fibreglass and just getting into Rocky Mountain river running.

It seems like you and I are fans of Chestnut Canoes 

This is a pair 25‘ Centennial 1967. Built by the Chestnut canoe co. for Canada Birthday

That I get to maintain and play with at work. 


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I also like there snowshoes these are some I restored and refurbished last winter 



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10:36 p.m. on August 13, 2019 (EDT)
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Canot du Nord! I have raced a smaller version, a 22 in composite. I have a good friend in Prince George who has a Canot du Nord and participates in recreations. Have another friend who did a couple of stretches of the David Thompson Centennial. I was going to do one(the middle one from Rocky Mountain House to Fort William) for a couple of weeks, but couldn't get away. I do like Chestnuts, but not all models. The Prospectors are great boats, but big and more boat than most people want or need. Some years ago the BBC did a doc on McKenzie and had a Birchbark Canot du Nord built. My friend in PG got to paddle it and said it was very light and responsive. About 180 pounds as I recall. It was donated to a museum in Hudson's Hope. However, about 15 years ago or so, some kids broke into the museum and burned it. Very sad. My expeditions often follow the routes of explorers. I did the Finlay in 2011. It was first done in 1824 by Samuel Black. The next complete descent that we could find evidence of, was in the 1990s by a group of solo ww canoes. We believe that we were th third party to descend from Thutade Lake to Lake Williston. Of course, Black would have done more, since there was no Williston in his time. 2 OT Appalacians and a Helman Slocan. We did in September when water levels should have been lower, about 225 meters per second. It was over 500 when we did. Big, big water. It made the rapids on Oregon's Rogue River look sort of wimpy, though there was bait more maneuvering on the Rogue. However, paddling in the boat of the Slocan, I had green water at my chest a couple of times. All boats had spray decks. Here is where I pitched my tent in one spot. We took two days to portage the drop in the distance. Interesting research came up with an article fromBC Magazine in about 1910 from a prospector who claimed to have descended it. Mostly, the article was about the natural resources available. When the author, LM Bower said the wrecked their canoeing "built" another Peterborough, we decided there was a lot of literally license. Black's account was the very thorough, better than form the WW canoes that did. He was very detailed and the river was very much the same as he had found it.
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12:47 a.m. on August 14, 2019 (EDT)
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Sorry about the typos, no way to correct!

10:53 p.m. on August 14, 2019 (EDT)
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I have one my dad made about 30 years ago. I love it but it needs some TLC. The brace across the middle has come unglued on one side, the back seat is a mess, and the gunwales’ varnish is his flaking off. I repaired it 15 years ago, but don’t remember what I used. Dad is gone now, so I’d appreciate any advice from those in the know!

3:23 a.m. on August 15, 2019 (EDT)
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Deanna, if you mean a strip built canoe, the finish on the gunnels may be epoxy, rather than varnish. Whatever the material is, and it is flaking, it willed to be completely stripped, typically by sanding. The center "brace" is called a thwart. If it is shaped to carry, it is called a carrying yoke, or just yoke. It would be unusual for a thwart to be only glued. Typically, they are through bolted to the gunnels. If it is not a yoke, I would still recommend bolting. Any adhesive is likely epoxy. Gudgeon Brothers made the earliest epoxies which ere compatible with wood. The issue with any varnish or epoxy, is that if moisture enters the wood, it will begin to discolor, rot may begin, and the surface material will begin to come off. Some photos would help. You can email me at <evolkstorf@earthlink.net> if you like and put canoe repairs in the header.

5:27 p.m. on August 15, 2019 (EDT)
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Ralph Frese the designer of the Canadienne was involved in many historical reainactments in the upper Midwest.  His shop produced both the Canot du Nord and the Montreal Canoes that were around 36 feet.  The Prospector endures to this day for a reason.  Bill Mason was a huge proponent of them.  I think the Candienne is a slight variation on the theme, with narrower beam and the use of fiberglass and kevlar to create faster entry lines than were possible with cedar. 

Canoes are exceedingly beautiful and it is no wonder that so many people have put effort into designing them.  I was in a popular sporting goods store today, full of canoes and especially kayaks.  All were polypropelene or some other man made material and ugly as sin.  The elegant canoes of the past have turned into cheap junk.  They are 14 feet long with beams of 40 inches and would paddle like bath tubs. 

9:48 p.m. on August 15, 2019 (EDT)
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To add to Erich post Deanna

if the material is flaking off it is probably varnish . It is always a good idea to seal the gunnels with epoxy . They take a lot of wear and tear. My epoxy of chose is west system epoxy it soaks into the wood really well . Also works as a excellent wood glue.   Before you can do this . You need to make sure there is no mould ( black ) has grown on any of the ash wood . Then coat it with a Marine Spar Varnish there in no such thing as too many coats 

As for seats new ones can be bought with hanging kit . From the inter-web 

This forum might help with the repairs

http://buildersforum.bearmountainboats.com/viewforum.php?f=1

Paul

12:32 a.m. on August 16, 2019 (EDT)
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I built a pygmy kayak of African mahogany.  I painted the hull but left the epoxy and glass showing on the deck.  After removing the amine blush and light sanding it is best to use a very UV resistant varnish to protect the epoxy.  Several coats are good. 

12:44 a.m. on August 16, 2019 (EDT)
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Paul, I have seen epoxy flake off as well.  To clarify, West System is the same as Gudgeon Brothers, who developed the first epoxy system which would work with wood.

ppine, you and others may not know this, but while Bill Mason said that if he had only one canoe, it would be a Prospector, it wasn't the boat you see him paddle in all his films. When you see him paddle solo it is usually a PAL. I have seen many "Prospectors" built today that bear little resemblance to the Chestnut Prospectors I have paddled. Always much less rocker. Remember, a Chestnut Prospector had almost 4 inches of rocker in the 16 foot version. The PAL has slightly less rocker than a Prospector and much less depth. The Canadienne, is more like the Cruiser series,  than the Prospector, both of which I have paddled(Prospector and Cruiser), with an even flatter run. The Canadienne has less arch to the bottom than a PAL, Cruiser or Prospector. It is more similar to the Chestnut Cronje.

9:57 a.m. on August 16, 2019 (EDT)
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I'll add that "When Chestnut Was in Flower" is a great book on the history of the Chestnut Canoe Company. One thing that is confusing to many, is the the plethora of models of the just Chestnut. For instance the Prospector series were called by their length names. Fox, Fort and Fire, as I recall, for the 14', 16' and 17' models. I can't recall the name of the 18'. As ppine says, Bill Mason popularized the Prospector Fort, but when modern builders copy it, they invariably decrease the rocker considerably to make it easier to paddle lightly loaded. Most don't use an original to make their molds, so they aren't really Prospectors, but a new shape and use the Prospector name as a marketing tool. I do like Prospectors, having a Fire that was made from a Chestnut mold but it is a big, big boat with lots of rocker.

12:17 p.m. on August 16, 2019 (EDT)
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I like plenty of rocker in all canoes, especially the larger gear haulers.  I have paddled rivers solo in larger boats like a Sawyer Cruiser which was 17'9".  I had a Wenonah Odyessey that was 18'6" that I paddled solo with very little rocker so I sold it.  Even for lakes rocker is your friend when the wind comes up. 

It is unfortunate that names have been tossed around so much associated with canoes.  Erich is the storehouse of information when it comes to canoes design.  The good canoes are still being made but no longer seem to be main stream.  I would not trade my latest find that I paid $250, for two of the $1500 canoes I saw at the store yesterday. 

10:03 p.m. on August 17, 2019 (EDT)
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Great discussion, and I see there are a lot of knowledgeable canoe enthusiasts out there.  But getting back to the original question, yes I’m a big fan of strip canoes.  I built four of them back in the seventies (I can get a little obsessive sometimes), using the classic instruction manual “The Stripper’s Guide to Canoe Building” by David Hazen.  These took me and my family on many memorable trips in Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec.  They’re “wet foot” canoes - you don’t just ram them into the shore to get out.  The only one I still have is the USCA Cruiser, a Lynn Tuttle design.  It was an excellent tripping boat, and weighs 56 lb; it doesn’t see that much use here in northern Arizona.

Those of you who are interested in the Native American roots of the canoe should try to find a copy of “The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America” by Adney and Chapelle.  It’s a very comprehensive source of fascinating information, and includes well over a hundred designs, showing rather amazing diversity. 

8:32 p.m. on August 19, 2019 (EDT)
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Rick

I like the term wet foot canoe. I know what you mean by obsessive. After 2 canoes I am warming my wife up to me building a kayak. Yet I have no more room to store them. 

10:10 p.m. on August 20, 2019 (EDT)
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I also like the term, "wet foot canoe". Even with my composite canoes and Royalex canoes, I still get my feet wet and adhere to the precept that if the canoe won't float with the load, it needs ot be in deeper water. Two decades ago, I was planning a Yukon trip. The father of one of my son's friends was interested and his brother in law was supposedly an avid paddler. We decided to take them out on a local lake, just to assess their skills. Despite it being summer, and they were wearing sandals, the insisted on finding some swimming steps so they wouldn't get their feet wet. Needless to say, they didn't accompany us.

10:34 a.m. on August 21, 2019 (EDT)
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This is important.  I have taken all kinds of paddlers on river trips.  I agree that the first thing to do is take them out on a lake watch what happens.  It makes me nervous when people run one of my canoes into the shore bow first and then they want to walk the length of the boat unsupported. 

A friend told me he grew up paddling in upstate NY.  He was out with his nephew and the wind came up.  They could barelly get back to shore. I separated them and put both them in the bow of canoes with experienced paddlers for river trip.  The nephew was athletic and took instruction.  He was a pretty competent paddler after a week on the Willamette R in OR in my wooden OT.

I think all canoes are wet foot boats.  They should be landed parallel to shore and supported by water.   In moving rivers it is best to land with the bow upstream.  Then you can ferry in against the current. 

August 22, 2019
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