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Thread: A freighter canoe of unknown manufacturer "Mystery Tank"

  1. #1
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default A freighter canoe of unknown manufacturer "Mystery Tank"

    So this thing is truly a tank. It's right in between the size of an Albany, and a Hudson Bay. and the stern is 3.5ft. wide! So it essentially looks like a mini James Bay Freighter with such a wide stern. It's made of fiberglass and here's the dimensions of this beast:

    18ft. 2in. length
    4.5ft. wide beam
    19 in. depth at stern
    21 in. depth at center
    25 in. depth at bow
    2.5 in. of rocker from fulcrum to bow.
    estimated total boat weight of 200 lbs
    one shallow hardwood keel with a steel plate that goes up the bow.

    Fiberglass in perfect condition and very very dense. I can't get it to cave with pressure like a scott canoe.

    Here is the history of the boat: it sat for 10 years at Redshirt lake prior to being hauled out on a freight sled.
    for 10 years prior to that, it sat on some guy's property prior to it actually being used as a "trolling" rig".
    No Hull ID number
    green in color.

    It really needs a minimum of a 15 horse, and would be best suited with an 18 hp. surface drive due to such a wide stern and insanely wide beam. Can you say big water, and snappy tight water maneuvering in one boat?! Definitely wouldn't respond well to a paddle.....that's for dmn sure.

    Pictures to follow....................

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Sounds like a real old Herters. Does it have a place for a sail mast to be set?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    this is the only one that came close to having dimensions that were similar:
    http://www.nor-west.ca/html/canoe/ca...baskasp_en.htm

    The big difference was the nor-west is a wooden boat, this one I'm referring to is a stout fiberglass. I'm almost certain that it isn't a Herter's canoe because I have an old Herter's catalog and there is no canoe anywhere near the size of this in the old Herter's line-up.

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    Like my wife said tonight; if you don't buy it, we will.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see the pictures.

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    A variety of freighter canoes were made across Canada over the years, including several sources in the Yukon Terrirtory.

    A former friend in northern manitoba has a boat that sounds bnearly identical to yours. He bought it near The Pas, Manitoba form some folks who had it in their garage. The motor that came with it blew the crank bearings on our first trip on Quartz lake, neaqr the Big Eddy Cree reservation near The pas.

    The Village of Teslin (about 100 miles south of Whitehorse) also made freighter canoes years ago; initially out of white bending oak, marine canvas, etc. They may have later gone over to fiberglass hulls as well.

    Likewise, several friends of mine in the Yukon Territory have made their own white bending oak and marine canvas freighters with forms that were passed around back then, in the 1970s. We still troll in a couple of them, mostly for lakers, when I'm over that way. Less and less as time goes by, and the moss continues to grow.

    Lots of good words to be said over a nice, stout freighter canoe.

    In the later '70s we even had a nice 'war canoe'; a double ender, big enough for at least 20 persons, if my memory serves me well, and, in my mind's eye, it was glass as well.

    Lotsa' luck with yer' new joy.

    .

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Good story there Ruffle. The only boats that do look similar are the wood and canvas ones, so it could be the case that a mold was made of an older Cree/Maliseet/Micmac (Mi'kmaq) style freighter canoe. I have no idea yet, but my guess is that it'll probably remain a mystery because I've seen no pictures that show that boat. The only place that I've seen one that was similar was in Eagle,AK at the public boat launch. It had the wide stern design like this one, and was about equal in length, with a Honda 20 horse hanging off the stern. The guy had it tied off and it had a full length canvas skirt over it too.

    What is confusing about this boat is the "like new" condition of the fiberglass lay-up. I tested the lay-up and determined it to be three layers of heavy grade marine S-glass (structural fiberglass), and epoxy resin. It can't be anymore older than about 23 years due to the materials it's made of. If it was a home built freighter, somebody new what they were doing, and I'm going to make some more phone calls tonight to try and locate the folks who used to own it. Probably the only thing I could do is post a picture.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Here's is a few pictures of this boat. It was a little frosty and dark out, but it's still noticeable how large this boat is, and that it's in flawless condition. The gunwales need to be refinished and I'm not too crazy about the aluminum bars that were pre-bent to provide support to heavy freight. The seats are hung with brackets that need paint too. The aluminum freight bars may look better after some black paint, who knows. I really hope that someone can help me identify this boat, it appears to be faded red or orange paint underneath the dark green paint. I like the impressive amount of rocker in the bow, It may be quite responsive to a set of oars, and possibly be used as a drift boat. There's a few sections of river I run where this boat would be "pushing it" but overall, due to the minimal length, it may work.



    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Nice

    Buy it.

    Since the stern isn't swept at all, it will hold a heckuva lot more than mine. while I like my transom design better, that one would do you fine.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    You are a lucky man Mike. I could have gotten a pretty good deal on that canoe you know! I hope you find it to be safe and usable for your ventures!
    Mike
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Buy it.

    Since the stern isn't swept at all, it will hold a heckuva lot more than mine. while I like my transom design better, that one would do you fine.

    Yes, I like the stern design of your canoe much better, Scott makes a stern built to provide the Albany with exceptional performance with a set of oars. You could easily drift down river with your canoe, and have no disruption of the current. Your stern also allows more water to reach an outboard lifted high with less cavitation. Next time AK Chuck tosses his drift boat in the Kenai, We should do the same with your boat and a good set of oars.

  13. #13

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    I looked at that boat on craigslist. Probably would have bought it if you had waited a couple days.
    Wasilla Real Estate News
    www.valleymarket.com

  14. #14
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I didn't buy it, couldn't afford it because of this holiday season and a $24,000 a year tuition bill. But.......I guess Santa works in mysterious ways thanks to a lovely gal who wants to run some rivers too, and eventually move out into the Bush someday soon. Should make a good freight boat for the bigger waters, but I certainly won't ever give up the sporty feel of a 17 foot with good rocker and made of a whitewater canoe material.

  15. #15
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Here's some more pictures that were finally taken in the light. I emailed a gentleman from Yukon Territory with extensive knowledge of freighter canoes and I'm hoping he might have an idea of what it is......it's still a mystery as to who made this boat:



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    Did it sell?

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    Lets get some spray rails and lift transom on both of them for caribou, and lash then together for dipnetting. Want to?
    Bring it up and lets do D rings too. indoors where its warm.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    My best guess: This canoe must be a fiberglass copy of a Teslin Freighter, but the shape of the bow is more like a nor-west canoe.

    Any other guesses?

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    Default Welcome, phil!

    Great info Phil, I'm willing to bet that mainer will have more questions for you; he has a bit of background and a fair amount of knowledge on boat building, especially canoes.

    Great first post, and welcome!

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    Mainer, got your message to check out this thread.

    The canoe is definitely not a Teslin. They never made any fibreglass canoes at all. Was just visiting with Doug Smarch a few days ago. I remember when he and his Uncle Ted Geddes started Teslin Canoe and Snowshoe Factory way back in 1971. All their canoes were yellow cedar and canvas with oak inwales, gunwales, and rub strips. Their was a few years when they were covered with a vinyl skinned fabric product, however it proved to be unsatisfactory, and they went back to canvas.

    I have seen one other canoe like the one pictured. It was here in the Yukon, on Tarfu Lake. Unfortunately, I have no idea where it came from. You might try contacting Jamie at Far North Fiberglass. http://www.farnorthfiberglass.com/index.html He may know, as they made a lot of canoes from scratch, and still have molds for several freighters up to 20 ft. None of them use the aluminum structural reinforcements, however, and all have transoms not nearly as wide.

    Sorry, I don't have more info for you, but will ask around and see if any of the guys here know about it.

    Ted

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