Canoe identification help please


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hi, I am new to all this so bear with. I have found an old wooden canoe with a fiberglass skin. Looks to me like an Old town that has been repaired years ago in a not so beautiful way but still has the right look. Has all the right things but the aluminium stem band throws me. I have rehabed it to look like the classic green canoe but it still intruiges me. I have looked at the numbers on the stem reads as best I can tell is 8 3626 17 . Does this make sense to any one? I would like to find out who this canoe is. Please help.Andy
Hi Andy-- You need to post pictures of the canoe for us to have any idea what it is. The serial number format is not consistent with Old Town. There are existing records for only a very few of the old canoe companies, so exact dates of manufacture are impossible in most cases... but many here may be able to figure out what you have from a picture.

Because there are so many Old Town canoes, it's commonly believed that any wood/canvas canoe is an Old Town... but there were hundreds of builders in Maine alone.

A nice picture of the deck is a good place to start... and a profile of the bow... and seats and ribs (are the ribs tapered?) and picture of the stem.

An Old Town serial number would appear on both stems, and would be 5-6 numbers followed by a space and the canoe's length. With a six digit s/n, the initial number would be a "1".

Have you begun removing the fiberglass? Lots of tips here for all aspects of canoe restoration, by using the "search" function above. Also some YouTube videos:

Thanks for getting back to me. I will not be removeing the fibrglass from this canoe. The decks look like oldtown to me I am no expert but do have a 42, 43 old town to compare. The ends of the canoe have been glassed over as I suspect rot on the decks and thus repair by an amature. The glass job is rough but fairly light. All the ribs are tapered. It has the brass dimond headed bolts for three thwarts and the seats. he seats are a sligthly diffrerent stain color to the inside of the boat. It also has a sail rig. Aluminum mast with wooden... ? bits for the the sail. No rudder or leeboards.
Your canoe may be an Old Town, but if you'd like a copy of the original build record you'll need to compare the serial number at both ends of the canoe and/or photograph them and post here so many eyes can decipher the number.

There are several other canoe companies that used a deck similar to Old Town's, and while Old Town did use diamond head bolts after about 1920, they have been used on other canoes as part of a repair (including on our Gerrish).

When there is a possibility of obtaining original build information for a canoe, it's very nice to have, as this information isn't available for most canoes.

Use the "search" function above and plug in "fiberglass"--- I don't want to twist your arm over this, but fiberglass can spell the death knell to a canoe originally built to be canvas covered. At least, read enough to understand the extra care that you may need to take.

Pictures will help a lot! We love pictures. There's information on how to post them in the FAQs section.

pictures this time

Thanks Kathryn, I had another look at the numbers (on both end) and it is most definantly 8 3 6 26 17 , like that. I got this canoe on craig's list for a song and they said they got it with from a woman who said it was a kit canoe from the fifties. They really knew nothing about it as they were happy to give me the beautiful wood padles with it but not he crappy aluminum ones. I have to be honest here, I don't plan on keeping the canoe and only want to make money on it (not because it is or is not OT). Please don't judge me harshly as I am keeping the "Real" project ( my 42-43 yankee model) for a serious project. I do love to canoe! And have never paddled a wooden canoe . The Canoe was purchased in Hiawatha Iowa. The thing seems to well constructed despite the fiberglass not to be a production boat. Here are a few pictures. Thanks Andy

Alright I was just reading some other threads and forgot to mention that the canoe that I have was originaly aqua color with white gunwales. Outwale was rotted badly so I have replaced it. I am also wondering if there is a 1 in front of my numbers ( 183626 17). Andy

Oy! I am starting to feel stupid.


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These pictures certainly look like an Old Town canoe but the record for 83626 was not scanned in the usual sequence. This means that it was either inadvertantly skipped during the scanning process, mis-filed at some point, or simply lost. I have manually checked the entire 83000 box as well as portions of the 82000 and 84000 but did not find this one. The serial number 183626 went on a fiberglass Wahoo model so that is not your canoe. You can contact the factory and they may be willing to go check the original paper records to see if it is there. Sorry,