Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adding to the Fleet: Possible Chestnut Chum

We'll I've been out of commission again with illness and a severe allergic reaction to some prescription medication I was put on for my back...just miserable. The bright spot in all this is that I acquired a cedar canvas canoe as part of trade while getting rid of some stuff.

It is completely usable as is with perfectly intact canvas and no cracked ribs or planking; but the previous owner never really maintained the gunwales or decks - some rot is beginning to set in. There are no markings or a serial number on it but from the dimensions (15ft x 33" wide), narrowish ribs (1 1-2" to 2" wide), narrow planking and basic sheerline, it looks to be late 70s era Chestnut Chum. In addition, it shows the poorer build features that plagued Chestnut before they closed shop in 1979 - poorer selection of wood (knots & imperfections), gaps between planking, cheaper fastenings, aluminum bang plates.

Still, I'm happy with it. I've already taken it out for quick paddle and pole. It was apparently restored at least once before getting to the previous owner with a scarf joint near the bow and while the seats simply have wood boards nailed to them, the underside reveals holes where the original cane would've been used to form the seat tops.

Previous Scarf repair

This'll be my first attempt at a restoration and I don't think this one will be out of my league. My plan over the winter is to slowly restore the canoe with new decks, outwales, replace the cumbersome centre thwart with a chestnut-style carrying yoke (thanks to Mike Elliot's wonderful plans) and a few other bells and whistles. In the end I'll have another canoe that I'm planning to be a bit more rough with that my other boat.

Centre Thwart - too painful on the shoulders

Sept 15, 2015 UPDATE: With some more detective work and some online assistance, the canoe make and model have been confidently determined. It isn't a Chestnut at all (very obvious now in retrospect) but from a local builder in the Muskoka region. For the full post and update - click HERE


P A D D E L B L O G said...

Just beautiful. Congratulations!

Mike said...

Murat, nice find....will make a great addition to fleet....let me know if you need any help with restoration....

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of the exact make of this canoe. What I can say for sure is that it is not a Chestnut canoe. A number of builders made canoes like this -- among them Richardson and Evergreen. It looks like a nice little canoe.

Alex Guthro said...

Nice canoe Murat. I paddled one at the WCHA assembly this year (courtesy of Ray Schell). It took a bit of getting used to as I paddle larger canoes, but it was a LOT of FUN!. Hope all is well and your fall is better than the summer was!
Alex G.

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