Another serial #


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just purchased my 1st wood boat! I believe it's an old town octa 18, circa 1921 to 1923. Serial #53278. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Damien-- You may want to check the serial number at both stems and compare... sometimes taking a digital picture will bring the numbers out. If the serial number is difficult to read, posting here may permit many minds to converge on a consensus.

Old Town 53278 is a 17 foot canoe, not an 18 footer. See if these other details match: The canoe is a CS (common sense) grade Otca model with open spruce gunwales and 20" birch decks, birch thwarts, and birch seat frames. It has a keel, outside stems, a floor rack, and sponsons. It was painted Yale Blue and shipped to Baltimore, Maryland, on March 31, 1919.

If your canoe doesn't fit, we should keep trying. If you're unfamiliar with any of the terms used above, just ask and someone will explain so you can compare with your canoe.

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 will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.



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The history I have for this boat is as follows.

1. It was purchased from a defunct girl scout in 1946 in wisconsin

2. It has been stored since.

3. I may have transposed some numbers in the s/n, but the last 2 digits are definately 18.

4. The gunwales and deck plates are mahagony.

5. It was outfitted as a sailing canoe.

6. The canvas has been removed, and the hull seems to be just about perfect.

7. It was built with 1/2 ribs.

Thank you for your quick response, I will be picking the boat up tomorrow, and will double check the s/n.

Sounds like it's an AA grade (mahogany trimmed) canoe, with some bells and whistles... the other record doesn't match. Looking forward to another shot at the right record!
I looked up that s/n and it seems to match your canoe. Kathy will have to post the build record when she gets home because I don't know how to do that. This information came from the disks compiled by Benson Gray and Dan Miller. Kathy will provide more information on that too.
Here is the info on S/n 53272 18: May( I think) 1919, AA Otca, 20" Mahogany decks, painted white, full bang plate, painter ring, 1 brass flag pole and socket,monogram to sketch on R & L bow (not shown), 1/2 ribs, keel, and outside stems. Shipped to E.L. & A.M. Bunn, Rockford IL.

Thank you for the info, that sounds right. This is a great site, and I wil be joining the WCHA soon!
Here's the build record-- looks like a nice canoe! I won't repeat the scan info that's posted above.



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Thanks alot with all your help! Hopefully I'take my maiden voyage in it before the trout season closes this year!