So yesterday I went up to his place and picked up the canoe and three paddles. I wasn't quite sure what I'd find: he said it was "a good canoe", but didn't recall any particulars about it. I figured it would be worth a drive to find out.
Turns out the canoe is a Mad River Sundance. According to the old Mad River catalogue, it's 17' 6" long and 34.5" wide at the beam. That's a whole lotta canoe.
When I saw the canoe, I told my friend that it's too nice a canoe to give away: he should sell it. He said, "I can't sell it, because I'm giving it away". That's very generous.
The canoe's in great shape, but a little dusty.
I cleaned it up a little this afternoon to get rid of the dust and touch up the dings in the wood. A little polish and it's in fine shape.
I did rub some Danish oil into the gunwhales: that might be a stupid thing to do, but they felt a little dry. I think it'll be fine. It definitely added some shine to the wood, which is nice cosmetically. Danish oil should handle the water just fine.
The hull only needed some soap and water, then we put a shine on it with a vaguely Armor-All(R) -like substance.
This is a little longer, but narrower than my current canoe, a We-no-nah Prospector. And the Sundance has a keel, while the Prospector is flat-bottomed.
Of course the Prospector is a gorgeous canoe
|From Mohun Lake|
but I've found it's pretty squirrely. It's flat-bottomed and doesn't track very well, and the high stems catch the wind like sails: it's a challenging canoe for the solo paddler or the novice. On the other hand, it turns on a dime and can handle a lot of abuse. I love my Prospector.
But I'm really excited about the new canoe. It's probably about 20 years old, but it's been well looked-after. And there's something really classy to those lines.
I'm planning on trying it out later this week, so I'll try and post an update then.
I'm really grateful for my friend' generosity. He insists he wasn't using it, but the fact is that he could've sold it: giving it away really was kind. It's a nice canoe, and it's in good shape, he didn't have to give it to me.