This year, a special canoe is being raffled off - a completely restored Chestnut Cruiser from camp Keewaydin with quite a tripping history. Here are some details obtained from a recent post on CanoeTripping.net
A 17 foot Chestnut Cruiser, # 36 from Keewaydin will be raffled at the WCHA Assembly at Paul Smith's College on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
#36 was made by the Chestnut Canoe Company in Fredericton, NB in 1973 and delivered to Keewaydin Camps on Lake Temagami that year. For thirty five summers she was used in the Keewaydin tripping program. From the Rupert River in Quebec to Hudson Bay via the Winisk River in Northern Ontario, she has seen it all. Imagine the stories that this canoe could tell!
Saved from the burn pile by the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association the canoe has been rebuilt in the manner of the Keeywadin canoe shop and is ready for another round of extensive canoe trips. All the broken ribs were replaced along with quite a bit of planking. New seats and thwarts have been installed and the canoe has been covered with #8 canvas. The canoe has been painted Hunter Green and the distinctive letter "K" has been stenciled on the stern sides and the fleet number has been applied at the bow, just as it was at Keewaydin.
What caught my eye was the traditional temagami style carrying bar and tumpline on the centre thwart....
Some readers might remember my own re-interpretation of this piece of traditional gear to work with some non-traditional portage pads. After trying it out for a season, I concluded that I could have made the bar a bit thinner and so spent some time on rainy day to recut the piece and shave it down with better angles. To make gripping a bit easier, I also cut the profile to match the slightly curved thwart below...maybe not traditional, but I found this easier to grip when flipping the canoe onto the shoulders for a portage. Here are some shots
Frontal view after reshaping and rough sanding
Side view after reshaping and rough sanding
Oiled up and installed
My camera batteries died before I could take pictures of the tumpline lashed in, but I have pics from a recent day trip where you'll see the system in action better. The tiny leather straps with snap closures you might see in the pics (inserted through the ribtop gaps in the gunnels) are little things I put together to hold the canoe pole in place. Found that when I heeled the canoe over while paddling, the pole would role around and be annoying. So with these, the pole is can be loosely secured enough to quickly access when needed.