I have a bit of a dilemma. I was given a hand made strip-wood canoe as a wedding gift 23 years ago. It was made by my step-mom’s husband. The problem I have is that I’ve been thinking of selling it due to the fact that it does not get used for it’s intended purpose very much. It just hangs from the ceiling and birds nest in it. I hate to see someone’s hard work and art just sit there. I’m worried about offending the folks on one hand, but I think it should get used. What say you?

ask your step-mom’s husband
If he wants it back, or if he would mind you selling it/giving it away. Tell him what you just posted. It’s a beautiful piece of work, and you don’t like seeing it being wasted hanging in the garage, and you would rather share his art with someone that would enjoy using it. When he asks why you don’t use it, you’re on your own.

If you do sell it, take them to dinner with the procedes.

talk to them…

– Last Updated: Jun-15-11 10:24 AM EST –

some families can discuss this kind of thing w/o going crazy, others can't (are they Italian?). Seems to me you are coming from a very respectful place regarding the builder and the canoe -- you don't want the craft(smanship) to go to waste -- he may already be wishing you would get rid of it rather than using it only for the birds. If you can frame your discussion in this very respectful way, it may turn out great. Who knows, it might even be a good thing in general -- opening lines of respectful communication. (Okay, so I'm PollyAnna-ish.) Rather than selling it, is there anyone else in the family who might use it? If you discuss it, someone might come up with a great idea.

(edit: looks like me and leob1 posted almost simultaneously)

Finnish and…
Mom is Finnish hubby is polish. He’s very laid back and I always learn something from him when we’re together.

Sell It
After 23 years of holding onto it, it’s okay, really.


Lend it to me

I second this
Jack L

Useful simile?
Good wood objects need to be used and maintained, and of course maintenance is less likely to happen if they are not used. Glue dries out, wood tries to amend its shape in response to heat and humidity changes, that kind of thing.

I play violin, or at least try to, and I have a standard recommendation when a player I know passes away. The groups I play in have many of that age, and what happens is that a family member who doesn’t play has their sometimes rather nice instrument and older bows (which are usually more valuable than the violin due to the scarcity of good dense pernambuco for the last 60 years).

My advice? Sell the instrument and bows to a good violin shop, or give them to another player, pronto. BEFORE they sit around waiting for the decision and the glue comes undone so the violin top or back warps beyond repair, or the bows sit with their hair too tight and a $2000 old pernambuco bow from 100 plus years ago bow twists so it is only good for firewood.

Talk to your family - I think the answer for the boat is the same as for a violin. There must be some kind of wooden boat paddler group that can give it a good home.

forget the canoe
I’d figure out how birds are getting in the house!

Seriously though I like leob’s suggestion.

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association

just thought but …
… it might be worth your while to take it out and paddle around for some fun … you may find you enjoy it more this time and decide to give it a go ??

In any case if it’s still in sound condition it should be being enjoyed by someone out on the water where it belongs , I’m pretty certain it’s maker would wish it that way even if it’s not you paddling it .

Put skid plates on those bows
so they don’t twist! We have a full size and a 3/4 violin sitting around, the 3/4 being the better by far. And we have a clavichord and harpsichord, neither of “general” interest, but since I built them, and folks who know have said they are quite good, I need to start shopping for a recipient who appreciates them and will take proper care. Not as easy as the violins and bows, which can go to a shop.

This also applies to my boats. Some are just old hulks, but what about my slalom boat, first out of the mold and a joy to paddle? I’ll look for someone who will also appreciate its unique qualities.

My suggestion for OP is to find an “agent” who understands strippers, knows what the one hanging in the ceiling would be good for, and knows how to spot the person who will be happy with the boat and can take care of it. This may take a while, but it will contribute to the boat’s survival.

Now I like this suggestion the best. Good idea.