Wood/Canvas Prospectors

-- Last Updated: Jan-25-07 10:47 AM EST --

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Realistically, since ah'm not likely ta come across a genuine Chestnut Prospector in me lifetime, ah'm seriously considering' buying a modern wood/canvas build of this canoo. Ah've only inquired about Evergreen's model thru Blue Mountain Outfitters so far (nice folks, very helpful) an' checked the WCHA site. Any of ye W/C folks out thaar have any experience with and/or recommend a decent builder. Thanky kindly.

(Midlife crises is settin' in an' ah' never did take a hankerin' ta motor-sikels)

Fat Elmo

i had a canoe biult by douglas ingram of Red River Canoes. his work is excellent and he’s easy to work with. i even sent him a few pieces of wood from trees that only grow in this area which he used for the decking etc. the canoe is beautiful. his prices have gone up but i wouldn’t hesitate buying from him again. he makes several models and can build any model if he has the plans. i would check his web site and talk to him. www.redrivercanoe.ca/

Talk to HVO
Mr. Elmo,

Try posting over at the MCC Paddle Prattle. My paddling buddy Hendrik recently ordered a w-c prospector from a builder in Minnesota or one of those upper midwestern states. He is a regular on Paddle Prattle and will probably be happy to share with you what he learned as he proceeded towards placing his order.

I forget how long, but I was impressed with how far out the delivery date is. Apparently the builder has plenty of orders backlogged.

Good luck with your search.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

Stewart River


My 17 ft w/c Prospector is my favorite tripping boat. It’s a joy to paddle. What length are we talking? I know of an 18 footer - that “just needs new canvas”, but you know how that works out - they usually need more work.

Also, don’t be afraid to post over at the WCHA. Them thar fellas would post a few ideas too. I bet you can’t go wrong with the suggestions above either.

Look North
Try this site:


I’ve seen his work and it is real nice. For new w/c boats, looks like the smallest size he makes is a 17.5 foot Guide.

It also appears that he has a used 16’ wood/canvas Prospector for sale, believed to be a Rheaume, sold by American Traders.


Hey Fat Elmo

– Last Updated: Jan-26-07 10:02 AM EST –

Your writing style gives me a serious headache. Every time I try to read one of your posts, my eyes cross before I get half-way through.

Message-Board Grammar
I’ve occasionally checked out a few other message boards to get questions answered about various things, and in each case, I found that most of the posters there had almost no clue how to write, and at least half of them wrote so badly that I couldn’t understand more than bits and pieces of their posts. It really IS true that most Americans would be unable to pass a high-school English class of the sort that was taught 40 or 50 years ago. We here on P-net are lucky that most of us seem to write at least reasonably well. Knowing of the almost total lack of writing ability that exists on so many other message boards, I have no trouble putting up with the writing style of someone who’s smart enough to assume a character role yet still be absolutely clear in what he says as well as being easily understood.

Hey, Canoeswithduckheads’ writing actually IS hard to decipher, but the high-level humor and obscure references to cultural tidbits hidden therein makes it worth the effort. Oh, and remember Walt? Remember how he’d often “talk like a pirate”? I figure Elmo is just a bit like Walt, even if Walt didn’t talk like a pirate all the time.

In short, I have no trouble reading Elmo’s posts, and how he writes sure doesn’t bother me a bit.

whoa dude no prob
wot u got 2 say be wazzup rite or god bless the queen’s english, it’s history.

w/c builder
Don’t know if he can make you a prospector, but Tom McKenzie (Loon Works) is a top notch builder/historian/canoe lover. Construction is traditional and totally custom…easy to work with and he does a great job using aircraft dacron instead of canvas (if you want) that will reduce weight significantly. The woodwork is flawless. Contact him at loonworks@sprynet.com

Yeah, he’s a friend so I may be biased a bit, but every word is true. He makes hulls designed by noted canoe designer David Yost so you get traditional looks with modern performance.

surprizingly enough
I saw that American traders make W/C canoes. I think Old town will also

As for me I love the look of natural Kevlar

I see lots more in FE’s
posts.In fact I think “he knows which way the stick floats”

I would say Fat Elmo cross the line into Canada and get you a Canadian built boat.Lots of Mid -Ontario builders if your near there.

or check out West Coast Canoes on this coast he has a webpage


hey Fat Elmo
i love your writing style, far as i know, that’s the way you talk and write, so whatever eh?

if you want an actual Chestnut, they are not all that hard to find most places in Canada, but the quality, originally and now that they are all old, aint’ the best. we had one at a shop in Victoria, in decent shape for a grand in Canucklehead play money…

if you want a good new
one and don’t mind the price:

Fletcher canoes in Atikokan/Ontario.

she’s still around eh?
Fletcher Canoes, built by the old guys daughter i think she is… or neice. nice lady, serious craft person. i wish i had the chance to paddle one when i was there.

those Stewart River canoes look amazing. why buy in Canada, pay the taxes, when you can probably get something excellent at home?

These sure are pretty

– Last Updated: Jan-26-07 7:02 AM EST –

Not canvas, but they look might nice to me.


last thing I know
was: she’s still building a few canoes each year.

Taxes: if you buy a new canoe at home, you don’t have to pay those? If that’s the case: you won’t have to pay them if you buy one in Canada.

Actually: you’d have to pay them if you pick the canoe up-but you’ll get them easily refunded with export…

Yup, gots de same problem

– Last Updated: Jan-26-07 3:45 PM EST –

but me eyes git crossed "before" ah's starts a'writin'. So if ye crosses yer eyes first before yer read me'stuff, me'scriblin' might be easier ta decipher. Come on, it be all in fun... life's too short ta be serious all de time.

Fat Elmo

A’mighty lota thanks

– Last Updated: Jan-26-07 4:03 PM EST –

ta all ye folks dat gave tis boy yer thoughts an' suggestions. Greatly appreciated, it be. Ah's be a'mostly lookin' fer a 16' "Fort" Prospector or replica. Don't mind restorin' an old one or even buildin' one me'self if ah' could get a'hold of a form or plans fer a form.

Some folks ask - why a wood/canvas canoo? Old school they say! Ah's says "Old school be cool". Surely, ("and don't call me Shirley" - a quote from the movie 'Airplane', but dat belongs on dat other thread, never mind) plastic an' composite be more maintenance-free an' most kin handle abuse a bit better, lighter weight if it be composite an' certainly much less wampum ta buy. But pilgrims, a wood/canvas canoo is somethin' special.

To ye folk who have ever paddled one, ah' dun't have ta explain - yer already know why.

Ta dem dat ain't - well... maybe once yer paddle one an' expeerience de almost magical feel an' spirit of wat wuz once alive an' now be transformed in a second life to somethin' of beauty an' function dat be a canoo, yer may agree wit ol' Fat Elmo.

Sermon over, Pilgrims

Fat Elmo

(P.S. Dem Mingo squaws like nuttin' better than ta see a nice "woodie"...

canoo, dat is... ;>)

Ah, be careful there Elmo!!! You are letting the secrets out. If you keep runnin’ on like that everyone will want wood and canvas!

Best of luck with your mid-life crisis.