Hi guys and gals, I have recently purchased an Iroquois fiberglass canoe made by Fiberglass Creations in Tampa, Florida. I don’t think this company still exist. Canoe has high re-curved stems, like you might see on a birchbark type canoe, fiberglass molded seats, a keel and two round struts (where the yoke goes on other canoes). This canoe originally had an Indian head of both sides of the canoe with the word “Iroquois” and possibly other words as well. Anyone ever heard or maybe have one of these canoes?
You might ask on the Advice board
But, if its a local builder, of which Florida has a couple, not many will have experience with it. The one problem with the Indian style canoes is the high bow/stern does catch a lot of wind. Just be aware and go have fun.
Iroquois Fiberglass canoe!
I grew up on the Dundee River (S. Tampa), paddling that canoe all over Tampa Bay. Too funnny to hear you mention it, Charlindabob, as I never expected that boat to be discussed on this forum, or anywhere else for that matter! I learned “the hard way” in that boat to scoot up and paddle kneeling in the middle when the winds picked up, as well as many of the popular canoe strokes. There’s nothing like solo paddling a 17’ by 3’ canoe, with a high (circular) bow and stern in the middle of the bay when an afternoon thunderstorm sneaks up on you! Simply a matter of either learning what works, or otherwise “sink AND swim”!
Seriously - some of my fonder childhood memories were paddling that boat all around the bay – fishing, exploring, quietly paddling up on wildlife. Truly a great way to grow up!
The first one of those boats I owned was in the early 70s. It was a beautiful dark blue that faded to black on the raised bow and stern, with that indian head decal contrasting the black… perhaps not a technically perfect canoe design (the two halves are joined along a central ridge that serves as a keel), but it a sight to behold for me, and I couldn’t have been more proud of it! It was sadly stolen in the mid or late 70s, and we immediately replaced it with another (the same model), but could only get it in a solid red color (not nearly as pretty).
I can’t get over you mentioning it, as I was was just today speaking with my mother about paddling that boat with my buddy between the spans of the Gandy Bridge almost to St Pete before we had to race back home across the open bay to beat an approaching storm (which for a number of years used to be a near-daily, late-afternoon occurrence in the summer).
I own that red boat to this day, although it hasn’t been paddled in about 12 years, and it has been purposefully sunk in the pool a number of times over the years during brushes with hurricanes (for better or worse). It’s actually white now - it was cracked up pretty good and barely salvable when I attempted to resurface it about 10 years ago. I never got around to putting that final blue and black coat on it after I noticed one of the benches was delaminating from the side.
I’ve bought and sold a number of boats over the years, but I’ve simply got too many good memories from that boat (and it’s stolen sibling) to part with (dispose of) my old friend!
Thanks for bringing it up, Charlindabob! You made my day.
I’m sure there are other paddlers on this forum that have similar memories growing up with their boats, and they didn’t need to be the most technically sophisticaed craft to have fun with.
If there’s a fiberglass guy/girl out there that wants to bring the old girl back to her formal glory (blue fading to black on the stern and bow), they would be welcome to take her, as she’s just sheltering the wasps right now.
I was out paddling today with my mother in a Mohawk 16 and then an OT Pack solo this evening, and I hadn’t been paddling in weeks. All the more funny to read your post today. Thanks for posting a topic that brings up so many fond memories, Charlindabob.
I’m amazed your boat still has the indian stickers on it! Have fun with her, and by all means if you have a youngster, teach them everything you know and have good trips to the many wonderful paddle locations we have in the area, and make sure he/she gets some good solo time on it (albeit with your imparted lessons and a good pfd). I hope for your kids sake that you won’t have the “spies” my folks had living on the end of the “fingers” (homes on pumped up land) that we would paddle by on the way out to the bay, who would rat us out to our parents if we weren’t wearing our stiflingly hot, thick, orange life preserver pfds!
I better stop droning on before I bore you all to tears!
Have fun with it Charlindabob!
Iroquois Fiberglass canoe
Thanks for the post Larry (Snookfly). I appreciate you taking the time to post some of your memories with the Iroquois. I had mine out yesterday with my 8 year old son on the Withlacoochee for a couple of hours. I purchased this boat because of its aestatic lines and altho a little “sailie” in the wind, it is a pretty good canoe. There are some “crazing” to a few places in the fiberglass and the gunwales have four small cracks (no doubt where it was overly tied down). Also, since it is 100% fiberglass the gunwales have no trim and the fiberglass is sharp on the legs while paddling, but an easy fix. The canoe is seaworthy though as we had no water seepage. The small imperfections I intend to fix very soon and although this is a white canoe (heck, might be the one stolen from you years ago, wouldn’t that be the kicker!)I intend to make her a light brown canoe after I’ve done a little 'glassing. Would love to see a picture of yours. …Bob
Charlindabob – as I said in my email,
it’s all yours for the taking, and you don’t really need to do the blue and black restoration if you prefer to do otherwise. Howwever, that was a very cool combo! Stay in touch, and I’ll let you know when I pick it up from the ex’s. In the meanwhlie, please take your son fishing in that canoe for me. Jim Swann, an outfitter in Dade City will tell you how the fish are biting on the Swannee, and will guide the trip for very reasonable rate. I’ve been meaning to do that…
Larry,…I thank you once again for the Iroquois canoe. We enjoyed our visit and my son cherishes his petrified wood, thanks again! I am slowly getting to work on it. I have my other Iroquois about ready for a coat of wax and off to the river. Your Iroquois is slowly turning red once again. I am stripping the white off slowly and in a few weeks, I’ll know what kind of 'glass work she may or may not need. I do know the keel and the one stem needs just a little glass and I think I may 'glass in a piece of PVC in each end to run rope thru as a grab handle. My little man was with me last night with a sanding block just going to town on the bottom! Larry if you ever run across a picture of the first canoe, the two-toned one, we’d love to see it. Ok, enuff jabbering for now…Bob
Yes, we had one!!!
My goodness, my ex-husband had one. We lived at the mouth of the James river, right were it comes into the Chesapeake bay, the Willougby bay was behind our house, we use to take it out on the bay and had a ball with it. Ours was green, with the Indian head emblems on the front. That was over thirty years ago, money got tight and we sold it for 75.00!!! It was in perfect condition. Great craft.
we also have a 16 ft. canoe from fiberglass creations its pretty oid but still works i was actually able to redo most of both stickers on the front my canoe has one difference from most.I have a bad back so i have installed a trolling motor on it. It runs so silent and going 20 miles up and down the river instead of 5 or 6 is fun. any questions please ask i will do the same
Have one in excellent condition for sale used once and been garage kept if interested call Robby 252- 661-0303
Iroquois canoe Tampa
I still have my Iroquois canoe which I bought back in 1972 from Fiberglass Creations on S. Howard Avenue. Still in great and I’m actually heading out on Tuesday for a little paddling on the Hillsborough River. Getting ready to repaint it and was wondering if the decals of the indian head are available anywhere. I was surprised to see this message…thought I had the only one left in Tampa. Regards, Carl