I just bought 3 canoe paddles out of the paper $8 each..Two of them are 75 inches long and the other is 70 inches long...they look to be a otter tail pattern and the shipping pappers attached to one of them is from Seattle 1954..The first thing that entered my mind was what kind of canoe would they be used for....anyone know ?..i JUST GOT AN INSIGHT..MAYBE THE PADDLER WAS 8 FEET TALL...?
Those were made in Seattle…
…specifically for Sasquatches, most of whom now paddle kayaks.
I betcha …
I betcha that the paddles are surplus life raft paddles that were designed to be used as either paddles, paddle rudder, or oars.They could also be used in large life boats that hung from davits on the sides of large ships. Long paddles would be needed to reach the water, as the boats had very high sides.
I have one myself; it is about 6'2" long. The top of the hand
grip has a wooden peg inserted to reinforce, or hold the pieces of wood in the handgrip together. 2 pieces of wood, placed on either side of the top of the paddle shaft form the handgrip. The blade of the paddle is actually inserted into the paddle shaft, and held in place by some dark looking adhesive.The paddle blade is made of some sort of laminated wood, with a darker type of wood sandwiched between lighter wood on either side of the paddle blade. Probably weighs at least 5 to 6 pounds. Appears to be mass produced for function, as opposed to style & beauty.
The lake country canoes from that era tended to be: tandem canoes, high sided, flared hull that forced paddling out to the side more rather than vertical style today, rib and canvas construction, considerable rocker in the hull, high seats OR no seats (must kneel be in bent knee position when paddling). With the paddling style of that era, the sternman had an advantage with a longer paddle for holding course without switching sides. There was no hut stroke back then. All these things added together favored a longer paddle.
It would be a shame to cut the paddles. Paddles from that era are generally hand carved from a single piece of clear wood. My guess is they came from Seattle because they are made of fir or cedar. Before you cut the paddles, I’ll offer you your $8 a piece. E-mail me if interested.
Special use paddles
Just use them to paddle while standing up in your canoe. Soet of like polling, only with a paddle
Could you post some? Would like to see the paddles in question.
They are one piece and one of the
longer ones is surprisingly lighter than the other two…The gent that sold them to me said that the person that owned them, who died, also had a sluce(?)box and was going prospecting (back in the 50’s)…so me thinks that it may very well have been one of those high sided canoes from those days… I won’t cut them…I plan to frame my front door with them…
Sorry…I don’t have a digital camera…
They look just like a larger version of the 60 inch $95 custom paddle I just had made…
If I were you …
I wouldn’t cut em! Sure wish I could see them.
Do they appear to be old? Any markings at all?
Appear hand made? What about possible use by native americans in whale boats?
yes they appear to be hand made
and the sealer is blochy, probably just due to age..the wood is dark in places due to age.. they are at least 50 or so years old..one of the longer ones has a small strip of metal to protect the edge of the blade...I doubt that they would be used in whale boats..the many pictures of native whaling gear/boats I have seen would eleminate that..I'll ck them for markings when I get home tonight...I didn't have a chance to go over them closely last night..
I agree with the various comments about why many old-time paddles are so long. Don’t forget also that with the long, narrow blade of this style paddle, some of that extra length is just the blade, not the shaft, meaning that the upper end of the blade may be no farther from your “pulling hand” than it would be with a modern paddle. Because of this, the extra length is not as extreme, handling-wise, as it might at first appear. Long narrow blades like that take a bit more of an outward recovery stroke, but they are VERY quiet when going in and out of the water, compared to a broad, short blade like most paddles you see now, which tend to be rather splashy in comparison.
Seems reasonable… It has not yet been mentioned, but length is not an issue if you are paddling a canoe using an in-water recovery (i.e. Indian stroke)- blade stays in the water and is rotated in hand. This style of paddling would also facilitate quiet paddling if any hunting is involved. Also, the extra shaft length might be beneficial when WW is encountered(better bracing?), or permit some degree of poling to scout along a river.