Breathing life into an old canoe: Restoring the Swampstakes Old Town wood canvas canoe

Jim Ruwaldt is well-seasoned in the art and craft of both wetland restoration and watercraft restoration. Retired after a long career in wetland restoration with the USFWS, Jim recently contributed his vision, time, and expertise to WWA to restore an old wood canvas canoe as the grand prize for our wetland Swampstakes. Hear from Jim about what he looked for in selecting an old canoe for restoration and how he went about breathing life back into the 1941 Old Town canoe he selected. Jim will talk about the steps in the restoration, how he sourced and used the original build sheets for this particular canoe to guide his restoration, and what special details he loves most about the final product. You will also learn about how YOU could be the lucky winner of this gorgeous restored canoe through WWA’s Swampstakes.
Jim Ruwaldt, WWA Vice Chair

Recorded July 22, 2022.

Jim Ruwaldt is the Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. He worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Wisconsin, Indiana, and South Dakota for 32 years. From 1996 until his retirement in 2009, he served as the USFWS Wisconsin Private Lands Coordinator, supervising habitat restoration activities on private lands statewide. He also restores classic wooden boats.

Watch behind-the-scenes of the restoration

Want to see what went into the restoration of this 1941 Old Town wood canvas canoe? Join Jim as he takes us behind-the-scenes at various key points in the restoration process—we promise you’ll be even more impressed with this canoe once you’ve seen the art and craft that went into its restoration.

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