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Canadienne 17'

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Gregory Lindsay, May 23, 2020.

  1. Gregory Lindsay

    Gregory Lindsay New Member

    Was gifted a 17ft OT Canadienne Canoe from a family member. It looks to have a kevlar layer due to the tone on the inside but I can't be sure. The.. what I assume is royalex seems to be a little faded and brittle but otherwise in good shape. Just did a 3 day trip with a few rapids and put it to the test and was surprised how it handles on the water. Getting it back, I wanted to put a little TLC into it to patch up some of the chips and scrapes (most preexisting) but am struggling to find out what year it was and some specific details on what year this was made and what materials to patch things up with.
    The confusion is the gunwales are plastic, and all of the models I have seen online are wood or aluminum. Did someone add these after the fact or were there late models before they were discontinued made with plastic?

    I can woodwork a bit and make gunwales for it, and repair minor dents and scrapes in the hull, but is it worth the effort for what I have? Or is there a source to order pre-manufactured parts. I.e Ed's canoe for thwarts, seats, and yokes.

    S/n XTC35068M81A

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. OP
    Gregory Lindsay

    Gregory Lindsay New Member

  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    The info at makes me think it was built in Aug 1981, but that's my non-expert (learning curve) assessment. Hopefully someone will be along to confirm or deny what I said, and I'd go with their statement, any day!
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 235068 and hull identification number XTC35068M81A is a 17 foot long fiberglass Canadienne model with vinyl rails that weighed 75 pounds. It was built in August, 1980. The original exterior gelcoat color was green. It shipped on September 10th, 1980 to Riverside, Connecticut. A scan showing this build record can be found below.

    This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you will donate, join, or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. You appear to have the fiberglass version since the Kevlar one weighed about 59 pounds. The standard rails on this model and year were wood as shown in the catalog pages below. This one was different. More information like this is available from in the scanned catalogs from the 1980s. It is also odd that the hull identification number identifies it as a canoe from 1981 while the build record indicates that it shipped in 1980. Pre-manufactured parts are available from a number of sources including but you may want to just make your own. Only you can decide if this is "worth the effort." Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the repairs,



  5. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Okay, this must be anther one of those quirks in canoe history... the HIN ends with "81A":
    which, acording to the web site its a 1981 shipping date... but the build record clearly shows 1980. What am I missing?

    trying to retain some fragment of my sanity... is it pointless? upload_2020-5-23_20-51-56.png
  6. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Built in '80, shipped in '81.
  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Probably, maybe they switched to a fiscal year at that time which started in September like the car companies do. This confused me too.

  8. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    But... could they predict the shipping date, based on the date of (completed) manufacture? Not out of the realm of possibility, by any means... just seems to be a bit of a disconnect, somehow...
  9. OP
    Gregory Lindsay

    Gregory Lindsay New Member

    Thank you so much for the quick reply!
    Special thanks to Benson for the amazing info.

    I had my hopes that the weave was Kevlar on the inside, but I can assure you I would have noticed if it was only 59lbs after hauling it over quite a few beaver dams. Sounds like you all hit the nail on the head.

    Restoration is always "worth it" in my book, the question was how extensive, I.e Gunwale swap to wood and contour yoke. Based on your info, I have a plan.

    What a great group you have here. I will be joining soon as I look toward my own strip build in the next coming years.
  10. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I spoke to my brother today who was working at the factory in the early 1980s. He solved the mystery by confirming that the standard practice at that time was to advance the year on the HIN starting in September as was done on this canoe.

  11. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Nice clarification, Benson... thank you!

    Just like auto manufacturers, as you said.

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