Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly 2010

As a first-time attendee of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association's annual Assembly, I was boggled by the number, diversity, and quality of canoes on display. This year's event was held July 14-18 at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire.

The photos below show just a sampling. Some are owned by private individuals and were for sale; others for display only, although it's said that most of the "not for sale" boats would sell if the right price were offered. Still others were displayed by small canoe businesses -- builders and/or restorers of new and/or replica boats. (Click any photo to enlarge.)

Boats on display in "Cedar City" ranged from near-basket cases to pristine. While cedar-canvas construction predominated, strippers, lapstrake, board-and-batten, birchbark, and dugouts were also present.
Another view of Cedar City.
Fancy paintwork on a nice pair of courting canoes.
Long mahogany decks on a courting canoe.
This 20-foot dugout was built recently by a WCHA member from poplar. It weighs 200 lbs. Just visible to the left is a birchbark canoe.
This E.M. White was my favorite of the show. It has a wonderfully smooth matte-finish paint job. The boat's name, Elizabeth, also appears transliterated into American Indian syllabics (sorry, I don't know which language) and this made for an appealing graphic. Note the unusual sheet brass stem protectors and end caps on the gunwales.
I love the shape of the White's decks and the way the gunwale caps cover its edges and provide color contrast.
The classic E.M. White bowed stern seat. Note the brass seat hanger.
Stern of the White, with a traditional Indian symbol. Note also the brass protectors on the gunwale ends.
One of the show's needier basket cases. Many of these could be picked up for just a hundred dollars or so.
A wide-board-and-batten canoe in need of work.
Builder/restorer Kevin Martin of Epping, New Hampshire, was delivering this new construction to a delighted client at the show. Wonderful work, but I worry about the onanistic implications of a solo courting canoe.
Another view of the Kevin Martin courting canoe. The thwart is wide enough to use as a kneeling thwart, although you'd be facing the stern to use it.
The event included several vendors of related goods. This display of pack baskets was particularly attractive.

I'm fond of this tubby little Old Town, only 11 or 12 feet long.
A 20-foot square stern freighter-type canoe built by Rollin Thurlow and Peter Wallace of Northwoods Canoe Co., Atkinson, Maine.

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