17' Chestnut Prospector

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Another project that's finally getting finished. I bought this 1970's Prospector at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association's assembly a few years back. It needed 5 ribs and some plank, canvas and outter rails (gunnels). I finished the ribs, plank, canvas last August but left it sitting on the rack over the winter. I recently pulled it down and started sanding the filled canvas for it's first coat of paint.
Today we (my friend Bob and I) applied the 3rd coat of paint in Schuyler Thomsons shop. I could do it at home, but the lighting and advise I get at the shop make it worth the user fee tacked on to the parts bill (parts as paint, gunnels, etc). All 17' Chestnut Prospectors came in this green, or pretty close to it.
lalonde-03.jpg



The original color isn't available now, but Skyuler mixed some green and grey and came up with this. About as close as we are going to get. Not my first choice of green, but it's pretty close to correct and I read once where a paddler spent alot of time in the north and he saw many Prospectors, always this color. I like that.
What with the bright lites, it might look different, but we painted the can and took it outside with an old Chestnut catalog and the colors match pretty well.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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3,692
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Appleton, Maine
We installed the gunnels today, sanded them with belt sanders and then palm sanders. Applied a little 5 minute apoxy patches to some old flaws around the decks and applied a coat of thinned varnish to them, tomorrow another quick coat of varnish. Next week final coat of paint to the hull, stem bands and seats/thwarts go on. Finished.
Frank from the shop had spliced 2 pieces of ash to make the gunnels and I was surprised how well they came out. It's hard to even find the splice, quite the craftsman.
 
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Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
I had had plans of selling it, but in all honesty, I found a cracked rib that I had missed when I was replacing the other bad ribs.
I was sanding the interior last week for a final coat of Epifanes varnish when I noticed the crack. Schuyler said it filled with sawdust and that made it visible. My eyes are not what they used to be and the lighting in my shop is poor, combining to my error. There is no movement at the rib like a broken rib would show, but it's cracked and probably will be an issue down the road.

Anyway, it's hard to ask a decent price for a restored canoe with a cracked rib (it's a smaller rib up near the stem), so I will probably hold onto it.
 
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Mar 3, 2014
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Vermont
Maybe you could be persuaded. Recoup your investment anyway. If you do decide to move it please let me know. Even with the rib issue, I might be interested. Especially if it is next year. Must be a price that makes sense to you and to a buyer. Was there rot in the stems?
 
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Mar 3, 2014
Messages
231
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Vermont
Truth is as of 12 hours ago I own a 16 foot prospector. It is a new boat built by Hugh Stewart at Headwaters Canoes. Not been in the water yet but it is a boat that I know I will love. No doubt in my mind. Meets my needs exactly. But, I am already thinking about a 17 - maybe next year.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
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Appleton, Maine
Finished the Canoe this morning, added the seats and stem bands and brought it home, another project done. My wife's patience was wearing thin and now I can address some of her projects.
It was fun working on this canoe at Schuyler Thomsons shop and my next project is my 16' Chestnut Pal (well, I think it's a Deer, same as a Pal, different year).

Now, Which way to Yellowknife?






 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Awesome, i like that you kept the slat seats. They're a lot more comfortable than they look, I had them in my original Pal.
 
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Jul 31, 2011
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Dodgeville, Wi
WOW! I was not sure about the color ... I was wrong. Robin, that boat is fantastic. You have done a remarkable job.

Bob
 
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Mar 3, 2014
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Beautiful.

I want it.

I noticed a new model prius today that looked to me to have almost exactly the same color - I think some call it Chestnut "grey."
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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3,692
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Appleton, Maine
Thanks. I was on the fence about the color and how close it would look to original, but as has been the case working in Schuyler Thomson's shop, his advise was right on and it worked out well. I was against scarfed gunnels, he assured me they would be fine and the way they came out, it's tough to tell, he adjusted the color after that first coat and he hit it just right. BTW, after 1500 restorations, many years of downriver racing, building his own forms, he still thinks the Chestnut Prospector, 17', is the best canoe ever built. (he probably isn't up to date on modern hulls, so take it for what it's worth)
I like those slat seats, they say Prospector loud and clear. It's been fun working on these canoes this spring, I'm glad it's over for now though so I can get out paddling them.
 
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Maybe canoe colour is like art; I know what I like, even if I don't know much about it. I think Robin's 17' Prospector is my new favourite canoe colour. I don't remember having seen slat seats before. I like them. Really nice looking canoe Robin, and a great job.
 
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I agree. The color is nice. I was on the fence seeing it in the first photo but the finished shots nailed it.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
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Long Island, NY
That looks great!

You have much to be proud of.

Best of luck with it. I hope you enjoy time spend in and around it.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
Thanks Again. I doubt if I'll take it to Paul Smiths, I like to leave space on my truck for restoreable Chestnuts that I can't pass up. I'll probably bring my Bob's if I go. (still not sure if I can get up there, family events going on)

The nice thing about working on these wood canvas canoes is it gives me some canoe time even when the weather conditions are not fit for paddling.
 
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