When Old Meets New – Rebuilding My Old Town Canoe

Where To Begin?

In the middle of the winter of 2014, my 88 year old canoe rested comfortably on the same saw horses that have held her up for the last 30 years or so.  Well, maybe one pair had been replaced, but I think it was my cousin Bob who made a pair for me way back around 1976 – to help support my 54′ wooden mast. Taken care of, the age of a saw horse can go on for many years.

Later, during the same winter 0f 2014, the snow really piled up, the saw horses let go, and the canoe came to rest on her side, up against my neighbor’s fence.  The fence posts were rotted, and three of the posts took a hard knock and the fence itself leaned over precariously.

As spring time rolled around, I began to think “What should I do with this great dame?  I had rebuilt the canoe once, rescuing her after a fire had damaged the hull, and several ribs had been broken, and the hull itself was badly in need of repair.  That was 30 years ago, did I feel like fixing her up again?  I mean in 30 years, I had only gone for a canoe ride twice, so it wasn’t like I was aiming to go canoeing again anytime soon.

The Old Town Covered With Snow
Overturned For The Winter

Would You Buy This Boat?

Below is the photo that I sent to several curious individuals who responded to my ad to sell the boat.  I had decided that Craig’s List seemed the perfect place to hopefully land a potential buyer.  Price would not be an issue, but I did want someone who was handy with fixing boats.  The boat is over 17 feet long, and one end, well both ends, were literally coming apart at the seams.  The gunwales were almost gone on one side, and badly rotted on the other side.  After a pretty good rainstorm, I saw that the hull actually held water, and I began to think differently about selling the boat – especially since no one was running over to buy her!  Well, first I had to bail out the boat, and then I dragged her over the lawn to some benches that we had built – for taking team photos, but now the teams were gone, and what better use than making a nice elevated platform for the canoe?  Up next, part I of the rebuilding process…

The rotted gunwales are clearly shown in this picture.
The rotted gunwales are clearly shown in this picture.

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