Benson may have to jump in on this one...

If the Serial Number is accurate, it is a pre-1905 Old Town and before our scanned records begin. Please check both stems for accuracy of the number or the existance of another number or two in the series.
I looked at the number on both stems and it is the same. I couldn't swear that it's an Old Town, but believe it is, based on info from a friend who is a bit more knowledgable on canoes than I. It's a decked canoe, mahogany.
inquiring minds want to know!

Could you post some pictures and provide specifications.

Pictures of...

Specs of ...
Length (probably 16')

Are gunwales open or closed?
Shape and length of the deck?
Are the ribs the same width or do they taper?
I will, Mike, but it will be a couple of days. It's in the garage at my folks house and I'll have to have someone help me lower it from the rafters and take it outside to photograph.

It's a truly beautiful canoe and holds many memories.
There are no Old Town or Carleton records for this serial number so some picutures and dimensions would be very helpful as Mike mentioned. Good luck getting it out of the rafters and let us know what you find.

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Here are a few pics I shot this afternoon. Didn't have time to take measurements of the boat. Looked under the decks and most of the crossmembers I can see have the same serial number, written in pencil, on them, so I believe it's all original.

Thanks for your help.



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To my un-educated eye it looks like one of the Charles River builders - Un-tapered ribs, wide thwarts, fancy deck all scream Charles River. Out of my depth here.Michael Grace or Pat Chapman have been chatting about CR boats on a recent post - jump in boys!
Okay, here's my two cent's worth. Charles River builder almost certainly. Given your original description, I thought it would turn out to be. The style of decking is unusual, even for Charles River builders. The peaked kingplank that covers the decking ridge and the peaked coaming (as opposed to a smoothly rounded coaming)- you don't see these very much. I have one that is similar, as does Bill Conrad (not our President, but Bill Conrad in the Boston area). The coaming on the canoe shown here has curved coaming boards that meet in a peak. Both my canoe and Bill's have flat coaming boards that make a straight line to the center. Ken Kelly has a canoe more like yours with the curved coaming boards.

I know of two more in the northeast and I believe one other in North Carolina that is like this one. So they're out there, but uncommon. As for the specific builder... as with all of these long-decked Charles River canoes, there is no definitive answer. See Dick Persson's post in "Wooden Canoe Identification - Companies" for a list of Charles River-area builders, but it is a rare long-decked canoe indeed that was tagged by the maker.

Michael & others --- A thought -could the deck be an "aftermarket" custom job, albiet very well done?

The builders around the Charles River made canoes in many different forms. I have seen almost every reasonable deck configuration imaginable, including several of this type. Decks came in a variety of lengths and had different treatments at the coamings. It is completely unclear whether styles such as this one were custom order. But in any case, decks like these must have been available because a number of them exist (every one I have seen was equally professional looking), and on this canoe the decks match the hull in terms of their preservation.

I'll post some photos of similar styles as soon as I can dig them out. I don't want to post someone else's photos, but John Hockersmith sent me some pics of one of these that he restored for someone else. If he's watching, maybe he can post; if not, I'll email him and ask permission.

To the best of my knowledge, everything is original. I've "known" the canoe since I was a very young lad. (Boy, that's a long time...)
Alan's thwarts look very much like one of the styles discussed in:


I am attaching a photo here for comparison. This thwart is from the canoe with peaked decks and kingplanks (just like this canoe). But compare serial numbers from Alan's canoe and mine- they look pretty different to me. Maybe one builder with two die sets? Different builders both building peaked-deck canoes?


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