Bluehole canoe age

How can you tell the age of a Bluehole canoe? The serial # TBH09968M81A. The model is MGB0167. Does anyone know if it is made of Royalex?

I don’t recall any production Blue Holes
that were not made of Royalex.

Built in 1981…
It’s Royalex.

I am thinking about buying this canoe, but I am a novice. It looks in fairly good shape to me for its age. The bow is worn through on the nose about 7 inches into the foam core. It is missing a thwart. The gunwales look decent and the cane seats are intact. I don’t think the hull is oil canning. I would primarily use as a recreational family boat on calm water. Is it worth $250 based on the description I have given?

doesn’t sound like it
Sounds like a about $150 to me. You’re going to have to put around $100 materials and considerable labor into it. I’d hold out for something in better shape.

I agree with Brian. I wouldn’t pay that much, and I like old Blue Holes.

I agree It’s an 81 and if worn through into the foam, an ABS boat. Despite my oft mentioned contention that any dry hole in the water is worth $300, this one isn’t, because you’ll need to invest in a bow Bang Plate to make it usable. Maybe a stern one as well?

As I remember, BH came out with a Steve Scarborough designed composite line named Evergreen for, maybe, two years before BH imploded, but there would not have been foam stems.

MIke Galt model B
The MGA and MGB Blue Hole canoes were royalex. The were designed by Mike Galt and were very different from the Blue Hole OCA & OCB and the Steve Scarborough designed tandems. The MGA & MGB were river cruisers according to the old Blue Hole adds. The had angled stems, not recurved like the OCA. The hull had flare thru most of its length and a shallow arch bottom. It did not have the full bow of the OCA and as much rocker. It was a very nice paddling royalex canoe and the “B” variation was wood trimmed by Merrimac canoes.

There was a very short run of composite canoes based on the Mike Galt design and they were multi-state mongrels. The hulls were made by a company in New England that produced Lincoln canoes, the trim was done at Merrimac, the boats labeled as Blue Hole Kingfishers. They were made in two lengths and labeled by the metric length in centimeters for the 16’6" and 17’6" variations.

This was about the time that Blue Hole was acquired by Meyers of Ohio, who owned MichiCraft and SportsPal.

Blue Hole went extinct shortly after and where the molds for all their models went is lost history to me.

If the bow damage could be covered with a skid plate and if the wood trim is in decent shape, it might be worth the price to own a rare Mike Galt design.


What plaidpaddler said
That’s the Mike Galt design. Lots of flare and overhanging ends. I’d buy it just for its historic connection to Galt.

I’m confused. How did the MGA and
MGB come into the conversation? Were they even made in 1981? I only saw one in the flesh, boat inspecting for Nantahala races.

Some of the Blue Hole molds evidently went to Evergreen in Canada, and they offered a Sunburst and Starburst for a while. Lately, potential customers have had difficulty contacting Evergreen. Appears they have gone under.

"How did the MGA and…"
Probably based on the OP’s comments above:

“The model is MGB0167…”

OK, I didn’t pay attention. But when
people make these inquiries, it would help if they could provide the boat length, beam, depth, and a brief physical description.

Whether it is worthwhile to patch up an old MGA depends on how the owner values it, because it is not headed for the Smithsonian. At the time, we thought it odd that Galt would bother trying to realise his thinking in Royalex.

You are forgiven

In this case the model number was more informative than the length, beam, and depth would have been. The three different designs, OCA, Galt, and Scarborough are very close dimensionally, inches at every point, but very different canoes. A photo would have been best, then we could have seen the bow damage.

You are one of the best technical references for repair, and your whitewater experience and viewpoint always bring a different angle to a boat discussion.

With all the acetone and resin fumes you have breathed in your canoe career; we are lucky you are still on this side of the grass and able to add to the forum.


I don’t think the OCA and MGA dimensions
are that close. I would have seen that I was not dealing with a standard OCA.

The problem with measurements is having people who are not familiar with canoes working a tape measure. Having a 2" difference in canoes is hard to accurately disern when you can’t trust the measurements closer than ± 2".

Just a glimpse of an OCA gunwale or the bow on a Sunburst would give you enough information to make the determination. But a depth measurement taken by a novice in someones backyard that fell between the OCA and MGA would be inconclusive.

We have had people supply measurements that pointed to one model and then a photo sent that proved it was something else.

Thankfully between the various people on this board, we are familiar with a lot of obsolete hulls from WW to racing. Still no computer substitute for a good human memory and experience.


What was the stated beam of the MGB?
It was a flared hull, almost always used tandem, while the ubiquitous OCA was relatively narrow and often used solo. What was the MGB length? Didn’t Galt push it closer to 17’ to help the speed?

Length 17’6"

beam 36"

beam at 4" waterline 32"

center depth 13"

bow height 22"

stern height 20"

weight 85#

The MGA does not really look at all like the 15’9" OCA or the 17’3" 17A. It has a flaired assymetric hull with a sliding front seat that can be adjusted forward or back. It is a river touring boat and not a hieavy duty whitewater canoe.

MGA = Mike Galt model A

The ones I have seen had molded plastic/aluminum seats. I did not know they came with wood trim.


To see a real collectable MGB, links

Probably sold by now, so don’t let that $2500 burn a hole in your pocket.

That is a pretty canoe, the lines are so smooth. The rarest of this model, rarer than the Kingfisher i mentioned above; is the Merrimac version of the Kingfisher version of the MGB. I will have to dig out my old Merrimac poster because i can’t remember the model name Merrimac hung on it. It was the composite version of the MGB done at Merrimac. With the inlaid wood ribs and laced seats, mahogany decks and dark stained trim. Their pretty trim in a canoe that paddled well. The only Merrimac that didn’t look like a wood canvas hull.


B denotes wood trim
Blue Hole nomenclature used B in the model number for wood trim. The later economy vinyl trimmed hulls used V.