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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    "Ellery's Canoes" ultra light cedar strip canoe

    I'm trying to help someone find information on an old "Ellery's Canoes" ultra light cedar strip canoe. The question I'm asking is .. "Were some old cedar strip canoes built with strips that were only half the canoe in length and 'joined-in-the-middle'? I know it sounds unlikely but they two photos give that visual impression. The front and back 'halves' of the strips appear to have different tones, appear to 'join' in the middle, and there's even an 'overlapping' rib of sorts on the inside at the mid-point. Would they have actually built a canoe in this fashion? Or is it just an illusion?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    From what I have been able to find the center rib is typical of an Ellery. I think you are correct: the two halves were identical, built on the same mold then fastened with the center rib before the hull was glassed using polyester resin. Not a good build method IMHO. Perhaps Ron Ellery was working in a very small workshop . . .

    Your unit looks hogged which is not unexpected. The good news is, the glass should come off more easily than if it had been epoxied if you're planning a restoration.

    More information at Canadian Canoe Routes and there's a nice restored model at Chalmers Boat Repair - the image really highlights the separate halves of the hull.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016

    better late than never

    just saw this post from 2013. from 1973 to 1977 my route serving customers in Northeastern Ontario routinely took me through Trout Creek. As a rookie technician with young family to support, actually buying one of these canoes was just a dream but stopping to talk to Mr Ellery about his beautiful hand-crafted watercraft was always a pleasant experience. At that time, one needed to place an order a year in advance. The shop was not really that small to necessitate making the canoes one half at a time. Perhaps it was that the BC cedar he used was not easy to get in 16 foot lengths. No doubt production was slow as Mr. Ellery expressed frustration in hiring and retaining men with the necessary skills. Mr. Ellery claimed that the middle joint was not a point of weakness as the cedar planks had little to no strength at all. The hull strength came from the lightweight fiberglass cloth and resin. Planks were not tightly formed. There were lots of gaps between the planks which were filled with resin. if looking up at the bottom of a canoe being portaged, you could see lots of daylight between the planks. Mr. Ellery stated that most canoes returning to his shop for repair were damaged due to owners leaving them on a beach where moderate wind would blow them into a rock or tree. My recollection is that the 16 ft model weighed about 42 lbs. He also crafted a wide and stable but sleek tender/ row boat with oar locks. One of those beauties came along side us while fishing in Algonquin Park, father rowing, mother reading her book in the bow. Compared to our canoe those folks looked like they were relaxing in their living room. Great memories - thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    I think this is good.


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