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Submitted: 02-02-2014 by Tom Johnston

I wrote a review of this canoe here many years ago [Jan. 11, 2000] and I wouldn't change a thing about it. However, I want to add something. If you are lucky enough to have a Canadienne canoe with wood trim, be sure to drill two or three holes near the tip of the brass bow and stern caps. Before I did that I found that water that ran down the side when the canoe was stored upside down outside passed through the outer gunnels, ran down the inner gunnels and collected in the bow and stern under the caps. That caused the inner ash gunnels to rot out. I had to replace them which wasn't a small job but it worked out fine.

Another important tip is to run a very small bead of clear silicone sealant at the joint where the outer side of the hull meets the ash outer gunnel. The bead should be very small and you will never even notice it when done right. There's no sense in make a larger bead. That will prevent water from making it into the canoe in the first place when the canoe is upside down outside. But still drill the holes in the brass end caps as insurance.

Sadly, Ralph Frese, the legendary canoeist and historian who designed the Old Town Canadienne died a while back [Dec. 2012]. I'm not sure if Chicagoland Canoe Base is still in business. Until near the end, you could talk Ralph into building a new Canadienne if you were nice.

If you have an Old Town Canadienne, hold onto it! You have one of the finest canoes ever made.

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