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1950 old town 16 foot row boat rebuild

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Michael Murphy, Aug 1, 2021.

  1. Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I recently purchased this boat,fond memories of fishing with my grandfather that had one almost identical to this one.I have been taking apart for restoration.Bad news and right about now regreting I bought it.At least needs new keel and transom.Originally I believe they were mohogany.Any input would be appriciated.Thanks
     
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Pictures would help...
     
  3. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Here is a few pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Michael,

    It's hard to tell from that photo, but the transom looks like mahogany. White oak would be likely (and good) for the keel/keelson. Be careful now that you've taken out a lot of components - if the boat relaxes and changes shape on you, it could be very difficult to get it back into its original shape. But push on. The boat looks in good condition overall, and anything can be replaced or repaired with forethought and care. Your original transom can be re-built, it seems, by splicing in a bit and re-glueing the original components. Hang in there. This is a great place to ask questions, to get feedback from those who have been there before, and to receive emotional support when needed in your restoration journey. Particularly with your grandfather's memory as a driving force, the journey can be fun and the rewards great.

    Good luck and enjoy,
    Michael
     
  5. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Michael,thanks for the input and support.Transom is to far gone,was splined together and very rotted at the joints.Now shopping for new lumber.Like the white oak keel/keelson idea.
     
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Nice looking boat! It will be a real head turner when you have completed it!
    Here is what you can aspire to……
     

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  7. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Wow what a beauty,did you restore her yourself?How long did it take you?Was probably in a lot better shape than mine.Do you know what species the transom and keel are made from?Nice touch the band around the transom.
     
  8. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I’m a professional canoe and small boat restorer. It took quite a while. It was as bad as yours or worse.
    The transom is mahogany. The keel is white oak. Almost always is. Sometimes maybe ash.
    The upper part of the transom was beat up with motor rash, so I cut the top 4” off and used it as a template for a new piece of mahogany.
    Old Town transoms are also common with white oak.
    The keelson and floor racks were rotten and broken. They were originally spruce but I dressed it up a bit with mahogany.
    I also added a mahogany chevron shaped plate to attach to the transom to keep the motor from gouging it. New mahogany outwales and oar blocks.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What is the best way to remove 70 years of varnish.Been trying different finish removers,nothing seems to be working very well.Taking forever,any body ever try soda blasting?
     
  10. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    The best way is to take it to a pro and pony up the bucks. Store bought varnish removers are lots of work. Follow the instructions. Soda blasting doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Cedar is soft. Varnish stripping
     
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Anybody know where I can purchase a old town boat decal?[​IMG]
     
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    This is a picture of the one that was on the boat under a big bow light.Was preserved well under there and in good condition.I made a new bow deck piece,the old one full of holes.I inlaid the decal into the new plate and looked good.But I accidently hit with a sander and ruined it.Would really like find another one like it. 20211003_115717 (2).jpg
     
  14. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Sorry, I assumed it was prior to 1954.
    Either way it’s available at the WCHA homepage under “shop”.
     
  15. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The boat was built in 1950,maybe this was not the original?I only saw decals that say old town canoe not old town boat at WCHA 221385429_1003337673813521_2770109758553285322_n (2).jpg 221385429_1003337673813521_2770109758553285322_n (2).jpg
     
  16. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This boat shipped in 1951 and probably had a decal with a black bar as shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/41383/ for example. However, it appears to have seen some hard use and returned to the factory in 1954 and 1961 for extensive repairs as shown on the rest of the build record below. It is likely that the red bar decal was applied at that time. A good graphics shop can probably reproduce either decal. Good luck,

    Benson



    154919-b.gif



    154919-c.gif
     
  17. OP
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    Michael Murphy

    Michael Murphy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson,I guess that would explain it.I ordered the black bar decal.Thanks for your research.Mike
     
    Dave Osborn likes this.

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