Headwaters Canoe

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Located an hour or so north of Ottawa in Quebec, Headwaters Canoe has it right....

They close for the summer and go tripping, here is a Yukon trip in wood canvas canoes. Just turn the music down, (imho), so many better choices available for a wood canvas canoe trip, or just the live sound, but hey, who am I to criticize, nice trip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hscUVF6MKkc

And here is a video of their shop, nice canoe building going on,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ICTqwPmd530#t=0

and some really nice w/c canoe tripping pics here,

http://headwaterscanoes.ca/thunder-bay/
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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483
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Ontario
Really like the w/c tripping pics in their Thunder Bay and Yukon galleries. Got me real tempted to build a wannigan this winter.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
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231
Location
Vermont
Ahhh yes. I am waiting to take delivery on a 16' Headwaters Prospector. Can't wait. Its my old age crisis canoe.
 
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Mar 3, 2014
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Vermont
Here is a pic or three of the canoe under contruction -

Here is a pic or three of the canoe under contruction -

Headwaters 2.jpgHeadwaters 11.jpgHeadwaters 21.jpg

The plan is to cover this canoe with light weight canvas - #10 - and then fill with Butyrate. I hope to run up to the shop in late April or early May to pick it up. I have a trip planned in Maine in late May. Headwaters has covered a lot of canoes in this fashion and they have received excellent feedback. These folks do a lot of tripping and the staff at Headwaters prefers butyrate over standard canvas and filler for their personal canoes. It has advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages are that it is quite labor intensive to apply correctly which means it is expensive if you aren't doing it yourself. Also, you cannot simply throw a coat of marine enamel over it to spruce up after a few trips. You have to apply a "rejuvenator" and re-coat with pigmented butyrate which is not difficult but requires a bit more work and expense. Advantages are that it is significantly more durable then the traditional cover methods both in the area of abrasion resistance and tear resistance. Also, it is lighter, saving 5-10 lbs. depending on the canoe. Also there is zero cure time required.

The expectation is that this 16 foot canoe built with standard lumber will weight in at about 70 Lbs. I was persuaded to give this butyrate covering a try. We'll see how it works out. My hope/expectation is that this little canoe will see a fair amount of tripping in its life and take me in and out of some nice places. I hope/expect it will see a fair amount of tripping on class 2 and class 3 water. When I'm done tripping maybe my son will put it to use - if not him, surely someone will.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Nice looking canoe, and I like the idea of using butyrate to save weight. I think you made a wise decision having the canoe built by trippers like Headwaters. The Bob's I'm restoring is built light for weight, thin plank and ribs so to help improve it's strength I'm going to add a "football" shaped extra piece of #12 canvas to the bottom of the canoe.
Also, looking forward to hearing about your canoes performance out there on the trail in Maine.
 
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Mar 3, 2014
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231
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Vermont
Looks like a great project you have undertaken with your Bob's and I am sure it will be well worth all the work. The Bob's is a lovely canoe. I have no clue why this is - but - I was instantly drawn to many of the Chestnut hull designs, including the Bob's, the Pal, and the prospectors, the moment I first saw them years ago. Personally, I think that I fell for some marketing hype some years back and I bought in to the notion that ultra light weight canoes built from kevlar and the like are the thing to paddle. I have tried such canoes and in the end I am coming back to wood canvas and, to some extent, royalex, (I am not going to be selling my two 30 year old trippers any time soon). I've made this change because I could not truly "bond" with any of the ultra light canoes. I think to some extent it may be attributable to their weight and stiffness - things I know some folks value. The modern "advanced design" hull shapes just don't do it for me either. For me, even though I am in my sixth decade on earth and my shoulders are shot, a canoe that has a bit of flex and some heft is far more enjoyable to paddle. I know the portages are tough, and even just loading the canoes on vehicles, but my choice is to pick the craft that settles into the water and performs best in the water. Ultra light canoes made from kevlar really are not satisfying to paddle from my perspective. I admit I avoid trips with lots of portages but of course they cannot be totally avoided. Obviously this is all personal preference and most people see it differently than I do. But, this is how I see it.

The day may come when I try to pick up a 17 foot w/c prospector (Garry). Then I will be all set. :)
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
Looks good, old school, they use tacks to hold the canvas on rather than staples. I did that with my Pal twice, but broke down and bought an electric stapler.

I like the tacks for no other reason than it's traditional. Nice!
 
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Mar 3, 2014
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Vermont
Its really nice of them to send these pics. Makes me feel a part of the process even though I have not clinched a single tack. They have been wonderful to work with. They advocate for babiche seats. I ordered hand caned seats which they also do. They feel babiche is more durable. I'm wavering.
 
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Jan 31, 2013
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2,290
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Warren, Manitoba
Durable sure, but what about comfort? My old Bastien Bros Huron came with the original babiche seats and they didn't look comfy at all.

 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
I would stay with the cain if it where my canoe, but I'm partial. Caining is easy to learn, but expensive to have done by someone else if it's not the pressed in type like Old Town used.
My first attempt turned out ok, and has held up for quite a while.
 
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