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Hull number 80978 16’

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Miquel, May 10, 2020.

  1. Miquel

    Miquel Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Serial number info request. Thanks
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town canoe with serial number 80978 is a 16 foot long, AA (or top) grade, Otca model with open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany thwarts, and mahogany seats. It was built between October, 1923 and June, 1925. The original exterior paint color design was similar to the one shown at which was know as the design number two. It shipped on June 15th, 1925 to Long Island City, New York. The note on the back side of the card indicates that it may have moved to East Calais, Vermont by May, 1987 when there was a previous request for a copy of this build record. Scans showing both sides of this build record can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below.

    80978.jpg 80978-b.jpg

    These scans and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 renew.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Please provide a picture if the original design is still showing. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Thanks,

  3. OP

    Miquel Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you-
    This boat is currently for sale on Craigslist in the Seattle area. Seems to be in pretty good shape. The mahogany seats are plain to see in the photos.
  4. Bo Saxbe

    Bo Saxbe Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the information Benson! Sorry Miquel - I'm the lucky buyer. I drove a few hours down from Seattle to pick up the canoe yesterday.

    Needs a little work to be paddle-worthy but I can probably do a few small repairs now and paddle around this summer before a bigger overhaul over the winter. Interior varnish is weathered but wood is exceptionally straight. Previous owner's father did a rebuild with Jerry Stelmok in the nineties so there are a pair of replaced ribs and three short sections of replaced planking I could see. Since then the owners clearly spent a lot of time in the boat, all of it in salt water.

    Currently needs a light sand and varnish inside, a light sand and coat of paint outside, new stem bands bow and stern, and a maybe a bit of ambroid in the holes from the missing stem band screws (do they still make Ambroid?) before putting it in any water.

    I'm looking forward to the work. Will do a full recanvas over the winter. I've spent thousands of hours in classic wood canvas canoes with some osmotic repair/maintainance skills soaked up from Schuyler Thompson during his in-camp lessons (Thanks Keewaydin Camps!) but this is my first personal canoe. I have a few rebuild questions but I'll post them in the appropriate forums.

    I'll put up a few pictures too - the ones in the original Craigslist ad weren't very clear
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  5. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

  6. OP

    Miquel Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Bo congrats on the boat- it looked like a nice one. AA grade would be a nice thing to have- love that woven-in-place caning on the old ones too. I had a moment where I was thinking about it but decided one cedar and canvas canoe is the right amount for me for the moment. Glad to see it went to someone who appreciates it and isn’t going make it into bookshelf shelf for their bar.
    Side note if you’re tapped into the canoe/boat/woodworking scene in the Seattle area I’d love to talk to you about that- I’m pretty new to the area and would love some tips on what’s what.

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