2 Chestnuts for sale, or maybe not really for sale....

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
I received my newsletter from the WCHA chapter (Norumbega, Boston Area) I am a member of and saw an add for two wood canvas Chestnuts for sale in Springfild, Mass, not too far from my home.

One was a 15' Chum (my favorite canoe of all time) and the other a 14' Chestnut Playmate, which I believe was before the 14' Fox, and is a little narrower. Not sure though.
Excellent condition, stored inside, must go to owner who will use them.

That's me I cried as I lunged for the phone. No one home, left a message.

Last night I got a call back from the owner, oh yes, they are here, right here on the racks, looking as good as ever. Mid 70's canoes, Playmate has the original canvas in excellent condition.
I once saw the Chum up at Paul Smiths, we had talked there and I remember how nice I thought the canoe was then.
He says he's in his late 70's, needs one of those Kevlar canoes (so I found something I like about Kevlar canoes, they make old guys like him sell their heavy canvas canoes), but you know, he says, I could just as well keep these two canoes and just enjoy looking at them.

Ok, this guys a salesman, trying to play uninterested in making a deal.

I said, well, I'll give you $2000 for both of them. (I watch those Pawn Shop shows, I know how to make a deal)

He said he wanted $2200, EACH....Each?

(don't I feel like an ass) I told him I couldn't afford that, but I would spread the word and see what happens.

It's alot for a Chestnut from what I have seen, but I could be wrong, he might well sell them.
 
G

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Well if he gets $4400 out of them he'll have just enough to buy that Carbon/Kevlar boat and some carbon paddles after taxes ;)

I have no idea what those boats go for, but to me, it seems $1000 (I mean that will hardly buy you a decent plastic boat new) each is pretty cheap for what they are. Now if nobody really wants them anymore except to hang on the wall of their hunting lodge, then you might have had two new boats.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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You have to look carefully at those 70's chestnuts, I believe the factory was winding down then, and had some quality control issues. The guy who ran the school club before me said that some of the chestnuts they bought in the 70's were quite whacky. Might be a bargaining point:rolleyes:
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
How can I get four boats on the truck?? :) Just kidding. I have to take gunwales and decks for a Morris from Cleveland to Greenfield.

Plus I don't have that much money either.. We just found out that we are buying lots of cedar... decking for the house.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Location
Appleton, Maine
You have to look carefully at those 70's chestnuts, I believe the factory was winding down then, and had some quality control issues. The guy who ran the school club before me said that some of the chestnuts they bought in the 70's were quite whacky. Might be a bargaining point:rolleyes:

Good point,I should have thought of that because I have heard that every time I mention I have Chestnuts to an Old Town/Morris owner. But they make GREAT tripping canoes.
BTW, What happened to those Chestnuts the school bought-just wore out from too many trips? What a way to go for an old canoe.

Well if he gets $4400 out of them he'll have just enough to buy that Carbon/Kevlar boat and some carbon paddles after taxes ;)

I have no idea what those boats go for, but to me, it seems $1000 (I mean that will hardly buy you a decent plastic boat new) each is pretty cheap for what they are. Now if nobody really wants them anymore except to hang on the wall of their hunting lodge, then you might have had two new boats.

Right now it's a buyers market, many folks selling canoes remember the old days of a few years back. It was big bucks then, not anymore. Today, if you have a canoe in your garage that belonged to your father and want to sell it restored, you had better restore it yourself with excellent talent to get any sort of return, your labor will come out to something in the range of that neighborhood kid cutting lawns for the summer.
I saw a 50's Chestnut Chum selling for $750 in the Syracuse NY area this past spring. I called and had first dibs, but passed on it in the end (gas prices plus other hobbies:rolleyes:). It needed canvas and varnish, wood was excellent. They are out there, you just have to weed through those who have alot of emotional value added into the real value of the canoes.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Ya, most of the cedar canvas canoes were worn out, although i still have two tremblays in minty condition. I remember the previous leader telling me a story about when he had first started with the club. This was in the early 70's. The Leader at that time was one of those hard core bushman/prospector types, and he had just purchased a new chestnut for the annual 14 day trip. I believe it was the Gravel River they were running...anyway, something happened, he got stuck broadside in a narrow chute and the chestnut got snapped in half, instant book shelves. Apparently the fellow made up a bunch of pitch on the spot with spruce gum and ashes, lashed the two ends together, gummed up any holes and carried on to finish the trip.
 
G

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Yeah, I know you aren't into them but the same can be said for glass boats. I don't know if you saw this one on the ADK forum:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerseyhighlander/

$1000. I think that is a steal for such a nicely maintained boat with wood trim. I paid more for my glass Eagle, probably too much, but whatever, it is a really nice boat, but not as pretty as that OT. Looks aren't everything, I really love the way my boat paddles and hence why I was willing to shell out the coin.

From what I can tell from talking with people is that the market for Kevlar boats is so strong, no one is willing to spend the money on anything else, and thus the value of these heavier boats is really declining.

Honestly I think the guy set his price based on what he expects to spend on a new boat... I was serious. With tax and paddles that is about right.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
Don't agree in a declining market for wood boats at all. WCHA enrollment growing and prices are fair. Continue the debate. I'min PA transporting two wood canvas boats and bringing back parts for a 1907 Morris. But you can have any opinion you like. Meanwhile I'll makea few bucks
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
My last post was pretty curt. There are wood boats that are best carried via cart and others quite portage friendly. I hAve on my truck two, one is 36 lbs and the other a 15 footer at 48. Neither are old and both have Ben sold recently for rather high prices, not mine though, I have a hard time posting on a phone though, greetings from Midwest Canoe Symposium in. The woods of Cuyahoga N P
 
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Good googly moogly, that's a thing of beauty! And it's yelllow! Who paddles yellow canoes?!!!! :eek:
 
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Warren, Manitoba
I paid $400 for my Chestnut Fox with it needing some work. We've been eyeballing another 14 footer but they want $900 and would need canvas at least and I won't pay that much unless it needs only a coat of varnish. If I need to put work into it, I won't pay a lot for it. The guy is dreaming if he thinks he can get $2200 for a Chestnut, it would need to be pre-fire and mint condition. There is a fellow here in Winnipeg who wants 3k for a Tremblay. We just got a Tremblay for $300 and they seem to be a dime a dozen around here of late.
 
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