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Old Town With Sponsons Serial Number 7180 18

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Shari Gnolek, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek New Member

    I am potentially interested purchasing an Old Town Canoe for restoration that I found on Craigslist. It's got a square back, with sponsons, and appears to be covered in blue canvas. As best I could read it, the serial number on the stem is 7180 18, or maybe 1180 18. Is there any information available about this serial number?

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the Old Town with serial number 7180 is a 17 foot long Charles River model from 1907 with two pointed ends. There is no existing Old Town build record for number 1180. The 18 foot long square-end paddling model from Old Town was introduced in the 1929 catalog so will probably have a six digit serial number. The information at should help you find any hidden digits. Several other builders made canoes like this so if there isn't a name plate on the bow deck then please post some pictures to see if it might be from another manufacturer. Good luck,

  3. OP
    Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek New Member

    01010_aQbUorkDrJD_1200x900.jpg 01616_3JJFb1dm9Eg_1200x900.jpg 00L0L_bjwYFPUfgcn_1200x900.jpg

    Thanks so much for the help!
    So I know it's an Old Town because it does have the name plate on the bow deck. I was trying to read the number from the inside front stem, but I see in the directions in the link that you provided that the serial number can also be found in the back. I will have to check there when I go back tomorrow and/or try a rubbing. Do these photos provide any clues?
  4. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    That bow deck decal has a lot of red in it, suggesting a build after 1956. Should have a 6-digit serial number.
  5. OP
    Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek New Member

    Ok, so I went back and looked the boat again. The best picture of the front stem that I could get is shown below . I also tried a crayon rubbing. The back stem was worn and did not have any numbers on it (or maybe it had been replaced?). I can't tell for sure
    if there are 6 numbers, but there are definitely at least 5, followed by a 18.

    I am pretty sure of the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th position numbers being 7, 1, 8 and 0 respectively.

    My best guesses would be:
    272180 18
    772180 18

    Also, does the style of the stem (thin at ends, then wide the length of the boat) suggest anything about the age of the boat or if had been repaired?

    Thanks for the help!

    20181106_192443.jpg 20181106_193510.jpg 20181106_193100.jpg
    20181106_193005 (1).jpg
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Well, it will probably take some varnish remover to get the correct serial number. This has the deck decal with a red bar which was introduced in the early 1950s along with spruce inside gunwales with mahogany outside gunwales that were introduced in 1957. This model was last listed in the 1971 catalog. The chart at indicates that a Old Town built between 1957 and 1971 should have a serial number in the 160,000 to 191,000 range. The third digit in your serial number seems the least clear so I checked all of the numbers in the 17x180, 16180x, 17180x, and 19180x ranges but didn't find any 18 foot long square end models. Let me know if you have any other ideas about what your numbers may be.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  7. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Maybe visible digits are 71180, so maybe 171180? And the last digit does look like a 0, but could it be a 6?
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Good thought but I didn't find anything in the 17118x range either. Any other ideas?

  9. OP
    Shari Gnolek

    Shari Gnolek New Member

    I don't think the current owner will be excited if I showed up with varnish remover, so the best way to solve this mystery may be to buy it. :) I've never attempted a project like this before, but I love to paddle and restore/create things, and I have to believe that other people have tackled projects like this for far crazier reasons. Besides, the people in this forum have been so helpful already I feel like there is no way this could be a bad idea! I will hopefully be back with more questions and a better varnish-free picture of the serial number...

    172186 18?
  10. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The build record for 172186 doesn't match either. I checked the whole 17x18x and 11180x ranges but only found two square end models which were 14 and 15 feet long. The current owner may be happy to have you show up with varnish remover since an Old Town with a matching build record is usually worth more than a UFO (unidentified floating object). However, this may not be in your best interest so have fun. Let us know if you find a different number,

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    A simple pencil rub should pull up the numbers for you. Place a thin piece of paper over the numbers and rub over the numbers until they show through. I like to use cash register receipt paper for this..
    Yup, buy it so that I don't need to keep looking at the add;)

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