3 Boats


Oh! Great gurus of the numbers:

Could you please provide the build records the following OT numbers

89835 17' Maybe a Trapper? with Outside stems - The outwales appear to be old, but are fingerjointed - was this common or do you guess it is a replacement?

131680 17' - looks like a HW, but it was upside down and hard to tell.

114376 17'

All three of these boats are in upstate NY - saw them in a garage sale.


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Mike...you hit an Old Town bonanza!

89835 shows as aa 16' HW in aa grade with mahogany for the rails, seats, thwarts and decks. It was shipped on 7/7/1926 to Newcomb, NY and had a floor rack, sponsons and medium gray was the original color. Double check the SN if you think this is any other canoe.

114376 is a 17' HW in cs grade and shipped on 4/12/1935 to Albany, NY. It was built with spruce gunwales and oak seats, thwarts and decks along with a keel. The original color was bright red.

131680 was shipped to Scranton, PA., on 5/1/1941 as a 17' HW in cs grade with spruce gunwales and ash seats, thwarts and decks. It also had a keel and sponsons and the original color was dark red. Also attached are some notes from the back side relative to returns, repairs and other owners.

Copies of the build records are attached...let us know which ones you buy?

Good luck!

Ric Altfather


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Thanks - got my eye on at least one of them, though I'll have to double check the build records - something doesn't seem to match... Be back to you later.

Thanks again

Maybe I messed up the SSN, but the 89835-17 has outside stems, but it is not shown on the build record. I don't think OS stems are added later too often. (Not really an aftermarket accessory!) - Also not sure it is a HW - hull seems flatter.

Can't get back to the boat for a couple of days - Any similar numbers with OS stems?
There are no 17 foot long canoes with outside stems in the 8983x or 898x5 groups. Something long with low ends like a Trapper would probably be a Guide's Special model but these were only available in a 17 foot length from 1906 to 1909. The fingerjointed outwale could be original. Let me know the length and which digit is least clear so I can search the records again.

OK - I got a good look in the daylight and the boat with the outside stems is a 17' 89335. The fingerjointed outwale has to go anyway! Thanks

It has a nice profile with high swept ends - HW or CR?
The Old Town canoe with serial number 89335 is a 17 foot long, CS grade, HW (Heavy Water) model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, birch trim, a keel, outside stems, and a floor rack. It was built between Januray and May, 1926. The original exterior paint color was dark red. It shipped on May 21st, 1926 to Long Island City, New York. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

This scan was 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 http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will 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.html to renew.

High swept ends could be either a Charles River or an HW. The flat or round bottom is the easiest way to distinguish between those two models as shown at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/hull-x-s.gif from an old catalog. It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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That fits this boat nicely - thanks. The owner thought it was a Charles River, I thought it was closer to a HW. Thanks for the rapid-fire response!

Do you think that the finger-jointed outwales were used on boats sent to what we would today call "big box" retailers like Macy's? Sort of a lower cost/grade line for retail? Just a thought.
Finger joint


FWIW: I have 1940 18 ft. Guide with finger jointed outwales that are original. The joints aren't all that pretty, but have held up pretty well.
Hey, Fitz!

FWIW these fingerjoints are where the failure is in the outwale (plus the whole thing is pretty soft) so if I get this boat - they gotta go!