Sunday 5 February 2012

16' Chestnut Cruiser

A couple of months ago I wrote briefly about the 16’ Chestnut cruiser slated for restoration over the winter.

Chestnut Cruiser with Verolite  canvas covering.

Bow deck with a faint trace of  an
outline of a Chestnut decal.
I brought it into the shop a couple of weeks ago. There
was no serial number stamped into the stem, but I found
a faint outline and a small remnant of a Chestnut decal
on the bow deck. It's measurement; 16’ x 33 ¾” x 11¾”
the very narrow decks and the slightly rounded hull
bottom definitely identify it as a Chestnut cruiser the
“Kruger” model. I estimated the build date to be mid to
late 1950’s.

A number of building details, however, point to an earlier
building date, most likely in the 1930’s or perhaps even
earlier. Almost all the planking is slash cut (vertical grain
angled about 30 degrees) and so are most of the ribs,
seats are bolted directly to the gunnels, the thwarts have
the typical earlier well rounded shape with tapered ends, and the decks are slightly crowned and nicely undercut.  There are also signs that the bow and stern height have been cut down slightly, which indicates that it once had the early higher cruiser ends.

16' Chestnut Cruiser the "Kruger" model.

I have removed the last pieces of the Verolite canvas, the outside gunnels, the keel and almost two rows of the cheer planking. All of it more or less rotted away. The rot has spread to a good number of rib tips resulting in that at least 45 ribs need new ends scarphed in and three ribs need to be completely replaced. The hull interior needs a complete stripping of the varnish, which means I will have to wait for warmer weather as I don’t like to perform this work inside. More about this canoe later in the spring.

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