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10/21/2018 12:44 am  #1

Old Canoe pamphlets and brochures

These are for Grumman, Great Canadian, and Lincoln canoes.  I've been going through a bunch of my dad's books and stuff recently, and tripped across these.  The Grumman one is dated 1979, and since all these were found in a together I suspect they are all from that year.  And by the way, the year he was investigating and buying canoes was not a coincidence.

I joined Boy Scouts in late 1978 or early 1979 when my dad told me "You're going to do something I never did - you become an Eagle Scout".   I groaned inside, but when I visited the troop at my school, it turned out I knew a lot of the guys and I really enjoyed it.  In retrospect, I suspect there was more at work in dad's conversation with me.  One of the boys in the troop was from a family we knew, and my dad and his dad were friends.  The other dad had a canvas chestnut canoe that, in the years that followed, I came to admire as much as the man.  As I understand it, he delivered mail to the rangers in Algonquin when he was a kid, and this particular scout troop took an annual trip to Algonquin.  So, I suspect it was the two dads talking that lead to me being told I was joining scouts, and coincidentally, my folks had just purchased l6a cottage on Chautauqua Lake south of Buffalo, so there was a place for me to horse around in the water with a canoe.  Dad was a business major, a sales guy, and had minored in psychology - very difficult for a kid to outsmart.  

I never considered until I started writing this that the two dads had spoken, but that makes a lot of sense, and I have no doubt that is exactly what happened.  Aside from "two dads talking", the Great Canadian pamphlet and the canvas canoe model my dad made notation on make me think....hmmmm.  There's no way he would have considered a canvas boat had he not spoken with the other dad.  He would have looked at fiberglass - he was a powerboat guy.  He ended up with an aluminum Grumman, no coincidence there either - the other dad owned the Chestnut canvas and one aluminum Grumman.   

In the end, the whole thing came off just as dad would have hoped.  I became more than a disinterested couch potato, dad did buy a canoe, I did become an eagle, loved scouting, started taking Algonquin trips during scouts, fell in love with canoeing and that marvelous park.  It might sound like a stretch that dad would have foreseen all that, and maybe it is, but I'm telling you, the guy thought things through to their very, very end point.  Extremely intuitive thinker and a tremendous reader of people.  His memory is not good these days, which is a terrible shame, he deserves a better fate, but still - thanks for that one dad, I owe you.

Enough, you came here for the pamphlets, and here they are.

On the left are two "fiberglass reinforced plastic" FRP boats.  In the center section, you'll see reference to a material so new to Grumman that they were designing and committed, but did not have boats available yet, instead promising them "this Fall".  Royalex ABS. 



Dad got a 17 foot Grumman "lightweight", which weighed 72 pounds.  I don't know whatever happened to the idea of the 60 pound boat he circled, but that would have been nice.  I draw your attention to the weight of the 20 footers. Yikes.



On the left, Great Canadian lists out the four materials they used: fiberglass, aluminum, wood and canvas, and Royalex ABS.  In that order.  Wood and canvas ahead of the brand new crazy Royalex material. 





Dad underlined the "no painting" line.  This is a guy who wrangled a leaky john boat on top of the car, drove it an hour to our home, then spent hours and hours with a hammer and a clenching tool, pounding the rivets and his ears to oblivion, to compress the rivets as much as he could to try to prevent leaking (which worked by the way).  This was the guy who was worried about painting.  He didn't like painting though so I guess I get that, but the john boat work was multiples more difficult than painting and he did that without a second thought.  Oh, I also would like to draw your attention to the description line about the keel.  It says that the canvas boats have no keel.  "The keel was invented by the white man."  I guess they figured keels would be a deal breaker for some buyers if they didn't address it....in a poorly-written way.


So much on this page.  Kayaks, foam block roof racks, life vests, and paddles.  The paddles are interesting - they have one they call their J-stroke paddle, which is asymmetrical - fat on one side.  You'd have to flip it each time  you change sides.  Still, interesting.


We did end up with Stearns life vests.  After all, "It is a wise law."  I was about that kids' age when this pamphlet came out.  Ugh.


Something else interesting.  While the bow of a canoe is seen on this back photo, neither the front cover nor the back cover of the brochure actually feature a canoe.  Just thought that was interesting.  They were selling the romance of the idea a little bit there.


Lincoln Canoe side 1.  Layups have aluminum trim with wood finish, but the hull material - you can have fiberglass or Kevlar.  I was really surprised to see Kevlar listed. 


Lincoln Canoe side 2.  They encourage you to stop in to see an example of "Optimum Flex" - which is what you get when you "run into something".  Hey!  I never run into anything.  I paddle into stuff all the time though....


The price sheet for the Lincoln canoes.


I would be interested to see a "Taska", because apparently dad was trying to work a deal on one, or at least serious enough about it to see what kind of discount he could get (I'm assuming if he paid cash).


Just so you know, the kevlar canoes were built without a keel.  I think it is fascinating that yellow cost an extra $20 and "marshgrass" cost an extra $25.  Also, according to dad, you don't want the polyester.  Unless I'm understanding incorrectly, I think he meant polyethylene. 

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. 


10/23/2018 8:46 am  #2

Re: Old Canoe pamphlets and brochures

This is fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

Impressive that you noticed there isn't a boat featured on the cover. That's classic marketing right there; they are selling the benefits of the product (escape to the wilderness, explore beautiful scenery) and not the features (17ft long, price, no keel!). 

And I love the story of how you got into wilderness adventuring. 


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