Another interesting ebay Old Town


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Current ebay Item number: 320280462995 is a nice green project canoe with sponsons, oar locks (added?) and remnants of the 1940-50 decal. Could we look up the build record for serial no. 145238 please?

Thanks very much,
Serial No.

The owner reports the serial number to be "45238", (delete the "1"). The canoe does appear to be an older OT.

(The canoe will weigh a ton, but looks good):)

I like the high ends. :D
I contacted the seller yesterday and got the serial number and this is what I told him about the canoe. I'll add the build record scans too... wanted to post this here too, because it has interesting build record info (the seller wasn't sure he had an Old Town):

Serial number 45238 appears to match your canoe-- congratulations, you have an "older" Old Town. Because it went back to the Old Town factory several times over the years, there's a nicely-documented history for this canoe. Unfortunately, the original ship-date wasn't put on the record, but we know it was built between September of 1916 and July of 1917, and was probably shipped at about that time to D.W. Eaton of "City"-- which I assume is Old Town, Maine.

The canoe is an Otca model, which surprised me as the Otcas from this time period usually had long decks... but yours has the standard deck seen on Old Town canoes to this day. The build record describes the deck as "birch reg deck", which probably means "regular" OT deck as opposed to the 20 inch decks with coaming seen on the Otca model until the late 1950s.

Your canoe is CS grade-- which stands for "common sense", or "not the fancy mahogany". Seat frames, thwarts and decks are birch. It has open spruce gunwales. Planking is red Western cedar (ribs are white cedar on Old Town canoes).

It was fitted with a keel and sponsons. Sponsons are attached to each side of the canoe, providing stability-- or perhaps "reassurance" for those who cannot swim!

The canoe was originally painted "auto gray" with the name "Clarence" on the bow.

In 1920 the canoe was returned to the factory for some work and was painted bright red and a shoe keel was added. But in 1924 it went back for more work, and was recanvassed and repainted auto gray with the name "Clarence" in red... returning to its original look.

In 1958, the canoe went back to the factory for a fair amount of work. Owner at that time was William Barker of Stillwater, Maine... and the canoe ended up dark green. The keel was replaced at that time and so may not be a shoe keel, but one like its original keel (I'm just trying to match up your boat with what the build record says, and your boat appears to match).

Amazing how far $121 went in 1958!

Very interesting build and restoration record... the additional stuff is usually on the back of the original record, but in the case of your canoe they had to add another page-- so, you'll be getting three scans. Let me know if you have problems receiving them and I can reduce the size or send one at a time. Scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details.

That's what I said to the seller... interesting about the Otca decks, too... how common was that, for the long deck to be replaced by the standard short one?



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