Photo by Bob Wallace
My brother is the proud owner of the classic Peterborough canoe pictured above. He bought it recently in northern Ontario and plans to restore it to its former glory sometime in the future. Knowing Bob, the job will be done with extreme care and attention to detail. As-is, it is a collectors item, but when my brother is finished with it, it could become someone's highly-prized and valuable pride and joy. The canoe seems to be an authentic Peterborough Floatwell 16' Canvas Sponson model, probably built between 1927 and 1938. The sponsons, just below the rails on each side, make the canoe wider and heavier, and supposedly more stable and buoyant in heavy weather and currents. The Floatwells were probably thought of as a workhorses by many of those who paddled them 75 and 80 years ago. I can hardly wait to see the transformation in the next year or so. I may even get to paddle it. Ah, but that is a somewhat sad story. My seventy-year-old knees are not user-friendly anymore when it comes to canoes. Nevertheless, I'd love to give it a spin. Bob the Restorer has warned me, however, that he is not getting any younger and this old canoe needs a heck of a lot of work. He says this old Floatwell could end up as a terrific working restoration or as two sawn-off, half-canoe curio/bookshelves!!! He wouldn't dare.
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