Minnesota Watercraft Documentation Project

Taking Lines off of old Boats

With support from Minnesota State Arts Board I started a project to collect and document boat deisgns built in Minnesota for use on Minnesota Waterways.  There are many historic boat designs documented from the east and west coasts of our country.  But in the era of wooden boats, many boats were built by Minnesota builders specifically designed various martime environments within our land of 10,000 Lakes.  This project is ongoing but I will share some of my preliminary work here.  Eventually I hope to make building plans available of several designs.  If you are intested in learning more about this please feel freen to contact me

Josh Tolkan is fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  This Activity is made possible through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage hund.


Lloyd Rehbien Canoe (dragged) 2

Lloyd Rehbien Canoe

Lloyd Rehbien was a wood canvas canoe builder from Duluth from the 1930s-1960s.  I studied a boat of his on display at the Chik-Wauk Gunflint Trail Museum.  This canoe is very shapely, wide and a choice design for hunting a fishing.  A real northern Minnesota sportsman canoe.  

Thompson Fishing Boat

Starting around 1907 Nate Thompson and his family owned and operated a small fishing resort on Clear Lake in Waseca, Minnesota.  For more than 50 years the family operated a boat livery and fishing guide service using wooden boats they built on site.  I documented a cedar strip utility runabout type boat owned by the Wasca Historical Society.