16' #163581


Curious about Wooden Canoes
My Dad and I just picked this up from my Grandpa on trip to visit family out in PA. It's partially been refinished but due to health reasons my grandpa couldn't finish it so now my Dad is going to finish glassing it and get it ready to give to our daughter some day.

My Mom and Dad currently have a 16' Old Town (built in the 50's) and I have a 1957 Old Town, all of these were rescued from a college in PA by my Gpa in the 1970's. He stripped the canvas, glassed them and gave one to me and one to my parents. Amazing family heirlooms!!

Any info you can provide about the latest one would be much appreciated.

Thank you for all that you do to preserve these amazing works of art!

Hope it's not too late! Glassing is detrimental to the health and long life of your canoe. Once you glass it you are pretty much out of luck for most future repairs, especially rib or planking repairs.
Search previous threads on the disadvantage of fiberglassing your canoe.
Thanks guys. Unfortunately I the canoes were given to us after already having been fiberglassed. The one my Gpa gave me over 10 yrs ago was fiberglassed and clear coated and is in great shape. The one that he partially finished that me and Dad just picked up has already been fiberglassed as well. So unfortunately there's not much we can do accept enjoy them.
Just wanted to make sure that you guys knew I was curious about what info there was for the canoe mentioned in the title.

I've figured that based on the serial number compared to my other Old Towne that is a 1957, it was probably built in the 50's as well. but would love to know more!

Thanks for the help!

Just curious if anyone could help me with the info for the canoe I mentioned in the title post. Thanks!
Hello-- Old Town 163581 is a 16 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade Otca model canoe that was completed May-June 1955. It has a keel and was originally dark green. It was shipped to Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, on June 18, 1955. Image of the scan of this record is attached below-- click on it to get a larger image.

This scan and several hundred thousand others 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 http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to join.

Sounds like this is probably the correct record for your canoe. It's wonderful to have family canoes that are passed on from one generation to the next, and I think all here can certainly understand the added pleasure of paddling a canoe that was restored by your grandfather.

If the time comes to refurbish the canoes again, removal of fiberglass is by no means an impossibility and replacing it with canvas would insure that the canoes could continue bringing pleasure to family members for generations. Fiberglass seemed like a great option back when your grandfather refurbished the canoes, but since that time has shown to cause deterioration of the hull. With careful use, however, they have been known to last. If folks here seem to be pointing you toward restoration of canvas, it's because they've seen the damage fiberglass can do to a canoe. Such canoes were probably not treated with the care that would be given to a boat that is honored because it was worked on by one's grandfather.

Anyway, it's good to hear you are enjoying the canoes and that canoeing is part of what your family enjoys-- especially in rescued wooden canoes!



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