View topic - Help ID a mystery hull - 13'11" (or 13'4"?) tandem

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PostPosted: September 24th, 2018, 10:29 am 
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Hi,

I don't know much about canoe design, but I took a chance on buying a little canoe just because it's lines, and it's re-done woodwork, appealed to me. Here's hoping!

It's a fiberglass boat (mat-type fiberous fiberglass?) and it has no markings at all on it. Couldn't see any place it ever had markings, unless they were on the float tanks which are no longer there. Who knows, it may be homemade.

The guy I bought it from didn't know anything about the design or manufacturer, just that it had been in the family a long time. He liked it enough to do a top-notch job re-doing the gunwales & seats, so hopefully that tells me it's a good canoe.

Any thoughts on this design?...

Lines: From a distance, like in the Kijiji ad, it appealed to me as Prospector-like lines, something about the ratios just looked right. Looks symmetrical. Despite it's Prospector appearance, the keel line is quite flat, essentially no rocker. And it does have a bit of keel.

Length: 13'11" stem to stem, about 13'4" to the ends of the gunwales, so the ends have a little bump-out, like what I think of as a Greenwood canoe.

Width: 33.5" outside gunwale to gunwale, and about 37.5" to the widest point (tumblehome?), so it's quite wide/stable on the water and has notable "chubby cheeks". It's hard to see in photos, but about 2" of "belly" stick out from the gunwales on either side.

Depth is about 12.5 - 13" at centre. 17" at the deck plates.

Weight "feels" light because it's compact, but I'd say it's actually not light for its size, probably 65 lbs.

Have a look, and please let me know if you know anything about how such a canoe should paddle, or what designs it might be related to....

Thanks very much, Pat.

Attachment:
14 side.JPG
14 side.JPG [ 152.16 KiB | Viewed 1211 times ]


Attachment:
14 front.jpg
14 front.jpg [ 151.34 KiB | Viewed 1211 times ]

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Last edited by yarnellboat on October 5th, 2018, 12:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: September 24th, 2018, 11:33 am 
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Wow he sure did do a nice job on the gunwales!

Sorry but that's all I have to say :-/


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2018, 11:45 am 
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Yeah, that was a factor in the purchase - new ash gunwales with inlaid screw covers and handmade oak seats.

The overall lines and the care in the woodwork made me think it was worth the gamble to try it out.

I bought this a place holder because I've been looking for something like a Bob Special to fill this tandem/solo niche, but this size of canoe doesn't pop up too often, so I grabbed what I could, because it didn't look like junk, and actually it looked kinda interesting.

Once I find a Bob Special it will be interesting to see which canoe we keep (yeah, yeah, there's a good chance I'll keep both!)! We'll see how this one paddles (late September is a frustrating time to buy a new canoe!). Maybe I'll end up never looking for that Bob Special.

P.

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PostPosted: September 29th, 2018, 11:12 am 
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yarnellboat wrote:
It's a fiberglass boat (mat-type fiberous fiberglass?) and it has no markings at all on it. Couldn't see any place it ever had markings, unless they were on the float tanks which are no longer there. Who knows, it may be homemade.


Mat or woven roving?

Mat is more particle-board in appearance, basically choppergun glass in a mat. Woven roving is usually apparent as a wide weave, like a tightly knitted yarn blanket, on the interior. Either is thick and heavy, soaking up a lot of resin, and can be quite stiff. Woven roving was a step (or two) up from mat.

The mat or woven roving canoes I have seen all had gel coat and usually some regular glass cloth on the exterior. Neither was an uncommon material on economical manufactured canoes in the early glass era and up to at least the 1970’s, or in homebuilds.

I believe Sawyer used woven roving in their economy Oscoda line, as did Mohawk in some early composite canoes, and I have a vague memory of seeing a mat glass Mohawk.

I do not have much on the early Sawyer canoes, and less on the Oscoda models. The hull shape and ribs remind me of some vintage Mohawk “Sport” canoe, maybe a rebuilt Skipper or a Sportsman, or something from their earlier days.

Any chance there is a still readable Hull Identification Number, even just the first few letters, hidden under a coat of paint or near worn away on the right stern?

yarnellboat wrote:
The guy I bought it from didn't know anything about the design or manufacturer, just that it had been in the family a long time. He liked it enough to do a top-notch job re-doing the gunwales & seats, so hopefully that tells me it's a good canoe.


That appears to be a very nice rebuilding job; rabbet joint on the gunwales to hid the top of the sheerline, inset deck plates, probably new brightwork all around.

yarnellboat wrote:
Length: 13'11" stem to stem, about 13'4" to the ends of the gunwales


I am confused about the difference between those stem-to-stem and gunwale end measurements. The hull shape, materials and ribs really remind me of some vintage Mohawk. I don’t know what all Mohawk made in the early days, but they were making the Skipper and Sportman well into the 1990’s. FWIW:

Skipper, 13’ 1’ long, 37” max wide, 12 ½” deep center, 17” stems, 65 lbs

Sportsman, 14’ 2”, 35” max wide, 12” deep center, 18” stems, 65 lbs.

I love a good mystery canoe.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2018, 9:04 pm 
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Thanks for weighing in Mike, I was hoping to hear some educated guesses like this.

What I mean with the length is that the longest possible end-to-end measurement of the hull is 13'11". Measuring between the peaks of the gunwale points is shorter, 13'4". So (like in the picture of the canoe at the top of this webpage), the rounded ends of the canoe stick out farther than where the gunwales end. I've had other canoes where the measure of the gunwales would also be the longest length.

For the specs of a length measurement, I'm not sure what a manufacturer would cite. So, my boat is either 13'11" long and 37.5" wide (by biggest measurement), or 13'4" long and 33.5" wide (by gunwales).

I'd say the fiberglass is mat. Looks kinda fiberous and random on the inside, no sign of a weave/pattern I don't think.

The outside is a smooth finish, no sign of mat or weave, just boat, which I guess is gel coat. In some places where it's cracked or chipped the gel coat seems pretty thick, though the chips are mostly along the keel. It does have a variety of minor bump & bruises, like surface impact cracks, which don't seem particularly alarming, but at some point I suppose could use refinishing. (How does one repair chips and cracks in the gel coat?)

Anyway, about the design, no trace of any numbering or plates etc.

It's most distinctive feature, in addition to its cute size/scale, is probably its "chubby cheeks". I assume the goal of a wide bottom below narrower gunwales is primary stability? I totally trust it as a good kids boat.

Paddled it tandem for several hours on a little river this weekend - good mixture of speed, stability and manouverability, happy with all that!

Looking forward to paddling it more solo & healed over. For soloing backwards from the bow seat, there's a rib in a bit of an awkward spot, but they're not too big and I'll glue in a foam pad to help with that.

Thanks for the info on the old Mohawk and Sawyer boats.

Pat.

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Last edited by yarnellboat on October 1st, 2018, 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2018, 9:16 pm 
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Interesting that Sawyer Oscoda shows up more in Google Images than Mohwak Skipper or Sportsman.

The Oscoda 13' solo looks pretty darn close to what I've got. Hard to judge by some of the photos, but I'd say the ends look deeper on the Oscoda and the cheeks look chubbier on what I've got, though that can be hard see in pictures. Similar for sure, but not identical, as the Oscoda is longest at the gunwales - it doesn't have those "Greenwood" ends I described. Also seems like the Sawyer Oscoda was only a solo, and that perhaps Sawyer never did "chopper gun" fiberglass.

As seen on the web of Classfive canoes, Skipper and Sportsman don't have the low cheeks, they are widest at the gunwales and pretty straight-sided. May have v-shaped hulls too, and mine is flat-bottomed.

So, defining characteristics of mine seem to be the width at waterline and the rounded sticky-out ends.

Good to see specs for these sorts of boats, I'm taking note that the capacities tend to be around 450-550 lbs, and I'm half way there just by myself.

P.

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2018, 10:12 pm 
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Hey Pat,

It's not an Oscoda for sure. (Sawyer)
I had one for quite a few years as my first solo.

It was a thicker weave cloth and the gelcoat slid over rocks more similar to Royalex than gel coated glass. (barely left marks and the sound was dull)

Good score though!


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2018, 10:22 am 
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Here's what the fiberglass looks like on the inside of the hull. Pretty sure this is what you refer to as mat or "chopper gun", no weave...

I'm a little disappointed that it's an "econo" layup and heavy, but happy with the look, the performance and of course the new wood.

Overall much better than buying a new plastic junker!

Attachment:
fiberglass mat.JPG
fiberglass mat.JPG [ 175.91 KiB | Viewed 913 times ]


P.

p.s. Also took some photos of some pretty good cracks in the gel coat at the stems (shoulda looked more closely when buying!), but will address that in a separate thread.

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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2018, 1:59 pm 
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As you stated, nice looking lines.

Initially I would have guessed it was pinned and put back together in a shortened form.

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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2018, 2:04 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
What I mean with the length is that the longest possible end-to-end measurement of the hull is 13'11". Measuring between the peaks of the gunwale points is shorter, 13'4". So (like in the picture of the canoe at the top of this webpage), the rounded ends of the canoe stick out farther than where the gunwales end. I've had other canoes where the measure of the gunwales would also be the longest length.

For the specs on length measurement I'm not sure what a manufacturer would cite. So, my boat is either 13'11" long and 37.5" wide (by biggest measurement), or 13'4" long and 33.5" wide (by gunwales).


Pat, when I get back from a trip I’ll take a run through some old Buyer’s Guides ISO something in the 13’ 11” x 33.5 at the gunwales range.

The vintage Buyer’s Guides I checked in vaguely define length as “overall length from end to end”. That’s not much to go on, but hopefully the longest length of the hull, including the apex of recurved stems (____)or the projecting stem ends on boats with layout \_____/

Of course the old Buyer’s Guides are simply printing the information the manufactures provided, so plus/minus an inch may be a crapshoot. Even so I really wish I had a full set of Buyer’s guides from the 1980 (or before); there is a lot of canoe manufacturing history therein.

About the length conundrum, at least on composite molded canoes the length is somewhat consistent. The same-model composite VS Royalex hulls are often different, with the RX usually being a bit shorter. Different molds, different processes. And sometimes completely different feeling hulls. See for example a composite Wenonah Rendezvous vs a Royalex Rendezvous.

I had our RX Cronje 17 out and, after 10 years, finally measured it out of curiosity. The Cronje is listed in every catalog and guide at 17 feet/518cm. OK, I can see rounding off 518cm = 16.9948 feet to an even 17. But it isn’t 518 cm in Royalex.

Even allowing for the (not as recurved as on the composite version) stems that hull is more like 16’ 8” or 16’ 9” at most (although the listed width and depth are right on the money).

Funny thing is I like that canoe even more now that it isn’t quite fully 17’ long. The bow seat is a whopping 6 feet back of stem, and only 30” away from midships. It is a fine solo tripper paddled bow backwards with some gear weight forward.


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PostPosted: October 5th, 2018, 9:57 am 
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I like your drawings Mike! My canoe looks like (___) end-to-end (recurved) and side-to-side (tumblehome).

I've added that the depth at the ends (at the deck plates) is 17". Seems like a symmetrical hull.

Cool that you have so many old buyers guides, and I appreciate you poking around for something like this shapely, chopper-gun little tandem.

P.

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PostPosted: October 5th, 2018, 10:14 am 
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Think you guys are in the wrong country, lol. If it's a decent chopper and found in Canada, there is a very good chance it is a Scott canoe. I've owned a few myself. This could be an older version of their current offering called the Echo.
http://abitibico.ca/en/products/recreat ... es/echo-14

The older scotts were almost always that exact shade of green, and the gel coat, or whatever was used, was very very thick.


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PostPosted: October 5th, 2018, 9:01 pm 
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Could be an old fiberglass Scott, but not an Echo unless its changed a lot.

Echo's ends are 3" deeper, and mostly we're still looking for the shape of re-curved ends relative to the gunwales (___).

In this boat, I'd be surprised if a manufacturer's description didn't mention the wide bottom (tumblehome), as its 2" of belly on each side are fairly pronounced.

Any 14' tandem will be in the same ballpark I guess, and we may never find the same specs, and the specs are a bit of crap shoot anyway, but I was just hoping somebody might recognize it.

P.

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PostPosted: October 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm 
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Wolverine canoes from Wawa ON made some solid fiberglass canoes back in the day. They sent some to Manitoba as well. I have seen a couple, and they were built tough.

http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 97&start=0


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PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 10:48 pm 
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From a post elsewhere by the owner of Wolverine (selling the moulds in 2008)...

Quote:
...the [Wolverine] canoes are based on the chesnut olgivy henry model... basically a nice flatbottom canoe with a ton of tumblehome. The canoe is bomber stable and looks great. Great for families, boy scouts and fishing.


Sounds like winner! Especially knowing they were coming to Winnipeg.

Originally designed by Chestnut to be a stable, low-draft "working canoe" for fishing guides out east, including for poling up shallow rapids and standing for fishing. Introduced in 1931 by Chestnut, with some talk of Chestnut "borrowing" from Vic Miller canoes (never heard of Millers). I think the 14' version must just be Wolverine's, and I'm not sure Chestnut had all that tumblehome, so "based on" may be key words.

Background from here:
http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?th ... uide.7065/

I'll look for some photos, didn't find many of Wolverines on a quick search, but the description re: tumblehome and flat bottom is exactly what's stood out for me, and the Chestnut's did have the curved ends.

So, my 14' fiberglass canoe in Winnipeg with these features seems very likely to be a Wolverine.

Thanks :clap:

Pat.

p.s. Shawn/"Taiga" from Cobalt, ON said on here in 2005 that he'd still make a custom Wolverine, and then in 2008 was selling the moulds. He said Wolverine Canoe Company in Wawa operated 1988-1996, and then continued by him. In his post on here he said something about Algoma Fiberglass (1976-1982) first bringing the canoes to Wawa. So, if a store in Winnipeg was bringing them in in the mid-70s, not sure they'd be "Wolverine" before 1988? But then somebody else posted they'd lived on the Wolverine Canoes property '73-76, so who knows.

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