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scotttimm
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02/22/2021 07:08PM  
I've agreed to and am excited to buy this boat, 32" wide, 18'6" long, 45 lbs. The guy I am buying it from is a kayak guide in WI, says it is light and fast but he hasn't paddled it much, no rocker. He got it in an estate sale. I had him double check the weight, he hung it on his meat scale and it came in at 45 lbs exactly. He says it is 3/16” quartersawn cedar. He mentioned that it might have been made by Jensen racing but he is not sure, he did some research and says it has the same lines as a Jensen. He says it was never registered and doesn't think it has markings on it (he is going to look).

I've got a couple of kevlars, a couple of UL Alumacrafts - but my wife and I have always wanted a cedar strip canoe, and my son and I plan to do the border route this Fall...thought maybe this would be a good craft to make that trip.

Wondering if any of you might recognize or have any thoughts on this boat. Any advice appreciated. - Scott




 
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tumblehome
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02/22/2021 08:40PM  
Scott,

That is a racing hull and looks like a Jenson style canoe. I'm not a canoe racer so I can't be certain on anything. You definitely need to do some research on that hull to make sure it will work for a wilderness experience..

It looks like it might have polyester resin on it which will was a pre-curser to epoxy. Some of the builders using polyester resin were hesitant to switch over to epoxy because they knew how polyester worked and was much cheaper than epoxy. Polyester and cedar don't play well together which is why you often see some de-lamination on those older canoes whereas epoxy bonds like crazy to wood. I'm not sure of anything without close inspection.

Editorializing here, There are plenty of good strippers out there and even more very poorly built strippers. The reason is because 95% of those that build a stripper have never built one before so they are horrendously full of mistakes. A lot of builders don't know how to pick a hull and there are some really bad hulls out there. I have seen a lot of strippers that are better off as a lawn ornament than a useful canoe.

This particular canoe was probably not their first canoe. It might have been made by people in the MN canoe association seeing how the strips laid across the bottom were a popular way of finishing up the bottom. And the guys that designed this hull knew their sh**t. Not a first build.

In the case of the hull you are looking at. It was built as light as possible. 3/16" strips and no outwales, no decks, shaved off pounds. No rocker was for flat water racing. I'm not too concerned about no rocker or the length. The Wenona MNII is the same length and has no rocker.

That canoe is worth about $800 to $1000 on a good day. To the owner it might be worth 2k because owners always are attached to their canoes. This particular canoe would not be my first choice for a BWCA canoe.
I don't know what you paid for it but whatever the price, as long as you are both happy. I'm just sayin. Canoes (wood) are horrible investments unless you have a well known name like a Seliga, Old Town, or Rehbien. Otherwise, there is no value in the builder.

Tom

 
scotttimm
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02/22/2021 09:46PM  
Thanks for your reply, Tom, much appreciated.

I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but we have a verbal understanding that I want to come up and look seriously when the weather warms up. He is asking $950. I own a MN2, so I wonder how similar they may feel to us. As for researching whether or not the hull would be good for the BWCA, where would I start with that? What would be the main concerns of yours for it as a wilderness boat? I was thinking for the Border Challenge fast, long and light would be good but I’ve also got a perfectly good MN2 we could take.

As for the resin type - I’d also like to figure out where/how to tell what the finish is. I’ve done an epoxy job on my MN2, can the poly resin be sanded off and re-epoxied, or is 3/16” just too thin? I work with wood frequently, did a new resin job on the MN2, was pretty easy...not sure if that or prior woodworking experience would translate.

Again, thoughts much appreciated!
 
02/22/2021 11:31PM  
Yeah, it sure looks like a Jensen. Racing canoe.

What is the odd distortion on the hull on the port side of the hull by the stern seat? I doubt it was made that way. Polyester vs expoxy is good concern, too.

32" wide is a narrow canoe for 18' long.

Things to think about.

If you take it on a wilderness trip I'd add a yoke and gunnels, maybe deck plates. You'd probably have to remove, or re-position the center seat.
 
Voyager
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02/23/2021 08:01AM  
I don't know if I'd take this 1 on the Challenge, it's pretty skinny. The Pigeon River I'm sure will be low again. I know cedar strippers are pretty tough, but it would sure look nasty when you're done. I'll see if I can find the picture of my Voyager after the Challenge. I had refinished the bottom before the Challenge.
 
tumblehome
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02/23/2021 08:42AM  
If it's polyester resin there is no reason to remove it unless it's really coming apart. You can heat up the layup with a heat gun and it pulls right off.

I have always thought the MNII Is a near perfect wilderness canoe. I can't offer advice on the right canoe since there are so many designs out there. I only paddle traditional wood canoes but if I were to buy a synthetic boat it would be a Northstar for beauty and function.

The weird hull shape at the stern is for the paddler to dig his/her paddle into the water. Racing hulls are not condusive the aethetics.
Tom
 
02/23/2021 09:07AM  
Voyager: "I don't know if I'd take this 1 on the Challenge, it's pretty skinny. The Pigeon River I'm sure will be low again. I know cedar strippers are pretty tough, but it would sure look nasty when you're done. I'll see if I can find the picture of my Voyager after the Challenge. I had refinished the bottom before the Challenge. "
Also, the Mn II has flotation chambers; those can be handy, in case of taking on water or an uplanned dump (I reckon most all dumps are unplanned....)
 
02/23/2021 12:33PM  
Definitely a race-y looking hull. Maybe not the best for a 10 day fully loaded BWCA trip. For a lightly loaded border race? Sure, she'd be fast
 
Grizzlyman
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02/24/2021 03:42PM  
My .02

I’d be Most concerned about gear and space. 32” is narrow.

Mn 2 is 35”. A popular cedar strip tripping model “freedom 17” is 34”. A number of the bigger tripping canoes can be 36-38”.

I have a freedom and it’s a full load for 2 people and gear.

Also, I’d check how comfortable it is for the bow paddler - looks narrow since built for racing. Just my thoughts.
 
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