The Chestnut Chum canoe is one of the classic canoes when you ask about old canvas and wood canoes. Paddlers respected it for it’s ability to carry lots of gear and still remain stable. The Chum struck a chord with canoeists looking for day tripping boat as well as an extended trips.
Several years ago, I worked with a paddler who wanted to build the Omer Stringer version of the canoe. According to Wooden Canoe Issue 25, the differences were this:
Omer’s canoe is also unique. He began with a 15-foot Chestnut Chum, built in New Brunswick. When it was under construction, he asked that the cedar plank-and-rib shell be left without inwales, thereby allowing him to vary the sheer line after the shell was removed from the form. He then increased the depth of the canoe to 15 inches and reduced the bow height by 1-1/2 inches. With weights, he rounded out the ribs in the center of the canoe slightly. This rounding produced a canoe that was deeper and a bit more tender and maneuverable than the original Chum.
We worked for several weeks sending back and forth revisions until he was happy with the results. While I don’t think we ended up with as round as Omer’s canoe was, it looked like a great compromise between stability and maneuverability. We also added tumblehome to make it easier to paddle for a solo canoeist.
In the end, he never built it. A paddle-making company took up the build. They started the canoe, but when other opportunities arose they put the canoe build on the backburner.
It never got built.
Would anyone be interested in building this semi-tested design? If so, I can add it to the free and paid plan downloads? Thoughts?
Here’s a video of Omer Stringer paddling.