Another new man in the forum.


Michael Sturdevant
Searching for maker of 17 foot canoe serial number 11275 17. Have checked with Old Town and it's not.


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The Carleton and Kennebec records for this number show 16 foot long canoes. The Old Town record for this number shows a 17 foot long XX model with 20 inch decks. Your pictures indicate that some significant repairs have been made over the years. Why are you so sure that it isn't an Old Town?

The pic of the XX didn't look at all like the canoe I have. I'll look again and try to envision it without the sponsons. The only pic they had was one of a 1906 power canoe, and said that was a match for it. Thanks for responding

The XX is one of the Old Town models that never made it into the catalogs... except for that 1906 power canoe picture, which is discussed in this older post:

It would be nice to verify if your canoe is indeed an XX, to get a better grasp on the details of this special model and put pictures in the picture-section of these forums to aid identification.

I'll post the build record so you can check details with your canoe, although how much of what was original to the canoe may be difficult to determine. These old build records are interesting, and whether or not it's the correct record for your canoe, others here may learn a bit from seeing it.

Old Town 11275 is a 17 foot CS (common sense, or mid-grade) XX model canoe. Planking is red Western cedar. Gunwales are closed and made of spruce. Decks are 20" and ash, and the thwarts and seat frames are spruce--- this is not commonly seen--- most of the time, we see the thwarts and seats made of hardwood that is the same wood species as the decks. Perhaps this was a weight-saving measure, or something unique to the XX(?) I know next to nothing about the XX, which is one reason I wanted to walk through this build record.

The canoe was originally dark green with what appears to be "Orin G" on the right and left sides of the bow, in yellow.

The canoe was shipped to Troy, New York, on July 21, 1909.

Perhaps a little archeology will determine whether this is the correct record. It can be helpful to add more pictures, as multiple eyes and opinions can work to sort things out... and we all learn in the process.

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 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 to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.



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Rest assured I will continue to persue the origin of this canoe,and I DID just join the WCHA. I am new to this so bear with me and thank you for responding. I appreciate the communication. Im attaching some more picturesso you can can a clearer idea of why I'm unsure about it being an Old Town.


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Looks like the ribs don't taper toward the top (gunnel) end. That is a characteristic of canoes made by Charles River builders. length listed before the serial number is another clue. Both of these features are inconsistent with Old Town canoes. Good luck.
Hi Ken,

Quite a few OT canoes were built in the early days that did not have tapered ribs...
i have a 1908 xx. it also has spruce thwarts and the one remaining seat is also spruce. the ribs are not tapered also. when you put it next to my 1939 otca its hard to tell the difference. the otca is alittle deeper and fuller in the ends.
Would love to see some pictures of the '08 XX. This canoe also resembles the '27 OTCA I have, but a little straighter sides, and a little fuller sweep. The latter is hard to tell, though, as it has been worked on before. Don't know how to tell if the seats are spruce, but they are squared boards, not rounded or tapered in any way. Thanks for the interest. Michael.
serial# 9019-16. if you search that # you will find pictures of this canoe which were posted by previous owner. it is a recent addition to my canoes, right now its in my shop ready to be stripped of old varnish. then it will be my winter project.
When I try to look up Charles river canoes I am diverted to Old town. Do they have their own serial numbers?
When I try to look up Charles river canoes I am diverted to Old town. Do they have their own serial numbers?

Many of the Charles River area builders used the same sort of serial numbering techniques as Old Town, Carleton, Kennebec, and other builders did so it can get confusing. Most of these other serial number records are not available. There are many cases of canoes that are incorrectly identified as Old Town canoes simply because they have a serial number that looks similar. Your mileage may vary...

Thank you. I'm having doubts again as to whether it's an Old Town. As was pointed out in another response, the ends of the ribs are the same thickness all the way to the top, and the build slip says closed gunwales. Also, do you agree that some OT's had the length before the number? I haven't seen that in any I've looked at. Although I haven't seen many. Thanks again.

Early Old Town canoes had untapered ribs like yours. The messages and pictures at show other Old Town canoes from 1909 and 1907 with straight ribs. Your gunwales are open now but that may simply be from the removal of the rail caps in a previous repair. Look for nail holes in the tops of the current ribs and gunwales (although these may have been replaced as well). The pictures at show how the original closed gunwales and rail caps might have looked.

Old Town serial numbers usually had the length nearest the middle of the canoe but this did vary occasionally since they were done by hand. (Tom Seavey currently has one with different serial numbers in each end.) The length is before the serial numbers in my 1907 as shown below. It is certainly possible that yours is an Old Town but you may never know for sure. Bring it to the WCHA Assembly or a local chapter meeting and you will get lots of opinions.



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Thank you again. I noticed the placement and style of the numbers on your canoe are similar to mine. One more question. I know this is not a typical canoe, but is the coaming likely the same material as the gunwale or the deck?