Hello Jeremy--

Old Town 74976 is an 18' CS (common sense, or middle) grade canoe that was originally an HW but that has been crossed out on the record and I believe "CR" for Charles River has replaced it. Maybe someone else has a different interpretation of those chicken scratches... but the second letter seems to be an "R", so Charles River is my interpretation. The Charles River and the HW both had the same style deck and both came in the 18' length.

The canoe has Western red cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, thwarts, and seat frames and was originally dark red. It was shipped with two back rests, slatted-style, in the special double width, and two single paddles, in spruce and maple, with 4" (I think) blades-- maybe a different width-- 7"? Do you still have them? 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 and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in 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 renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

It's very special to have a family canoe--- an honor to restore one that was paddled by generations of your family, knowing that your own kids may carry on the tradition.



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Thank you very much,

This information matches what I have nearly exactly, my Mother in fact remembers the back rest and chances are they are still at the farm. the estate was forced to sell the farm so I don't have access to go look for the paddles or backrests sadly. There are remnants of a dark red canvas on the bottom. This boat is very likely one owner, I just need to decide whether I have the time to rebuild it or the money to pay someone else to rebuild it. Either way, I want to paddle it.
You could do a little of both--- get some help rebuilding the tough parts, and do other work yourself. If you're near a local WCHA chapter or a member who has a shop, you should be able to get the help and advice you need. We like helping to get canoes back into the water!