By Doug McQuilken, Blue Ridge Chapter

I was not looking for another boat but serendipity struck! I’m browsing through Craigslist and spot a recent posting for this boat. Looked interesting but when I found that it had been donated to a local non-profit that provides wooden boat building programs to children https://lowcountrymaritimesociety.org/ , I was sold.

Although weathered, this would be classified as a Barn Find. I’m no expert but it appears to be mostly original – except for propulsion, but more on that later. Looks like they pulled it out of the water all ready to go then….who knows. The fire extinguisher is still charged but expired in 2006. So, looks like it’s been on the hard for 15-20 years.

This is a 1948 21’ Norse Boat, named Arrow, that was constructed in Penetanguishene, Ontario. Thankfully, the builder’s plate was still there – otherwise I would not have had a clue as to what I purchased. Although the folks north of the border have been helpful there isn’t any information about this boat and virtually nothing about the company. Somebody in my Blue Ridge Chapter might recognize her as rumor has it that it was last seen operating on a NC lake near Asheville before heading south to SC. For any follow-up communications, please contact me at Doug.McQuilken@gmail.com

The good news is that the construction is typical for that era: red cedar hull, steamed white oak framing, teak decking & mahogany topsides.

I am now just putting together the project list of tasks and materials. But here is what we are looking at in terms of major topics.

Hull repair. I’m new to lapstrake but I like to think I did a respectable job for carvel planking on a previous restoration and expect I can figure it out

From what I have been able to tell, the original propulsion was likely a Gray Marine but has been repowered with a Mercruiser. I don’t think this audience is all that interested in the steps to get it out of “moth ball” status but here is a photo anyway.

Topsides finish work – mostly strip & varnish. The full canvas is in remarkably good condition. It only needs some re-stitching.

Upholstery – you would not believe how many cushions there are for this boat! I believe I have all of them in various states of need. But, probably have to use these as templates for replacements. This will probably cost more than I paid for the boat & trailer.

We all are wishing Doug the best on the restoration…and can’t wait to see the photos when he is finished!

8 Comments

  1. Looks a lot like the “White” we owned. except ours was a twin outboard rather than a MerCruiser IO.
    Great handling boat and very stable in the water. Surprised to see Portside driving. Lots of varnish.
    have fun.
    Art C. SML ACBS

  2. At first glance, I thought it might be a Lyman. But a Norse! – very interesting. Should be a nice riding boat. Good luck with your project. Love to see it when it’s done.

  3. Research the Grew Boat company history as they were in Penetanguishene Ontario until 2011 and started in the 40’s I believe. They were part of a conglomeration of builders over the years. I have vacationed up there for 50 years but never heard of this Make. Good Luck with that nice piece of someone’s history!

    • Bob,
      turns out that I have a custom search engine for boat parts and have a Grew boat owner seeking parts!
      BTW – If you are interested in Norse history, there was a great article in Wooden Boat #281.
      Regards,
      Doug

  4. Hi Doug,my wife just showed me your article on the Norse “Arrow “. That boat was one of many built in the 30s thru about 1967 by my father Eric Ulrichsen. He and his brother Jan owned and operated the Norse Boat and Ski company until retiring ing the late 60s. Glad to see his boats are still treasured.
    Tom Ulrichsen

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