Carleton 19397-18

My father has had this canoe in stored in a old barn in NE Maryland for 40 years. This year, I took it home. Had no idea what it was or what it was worth, but wow, the looks it got going down the interstate on top of a U-Haul trailer and the questions asked at gas stations.

After doing some research on the Internet, I'm pretty darn sure it's a Carelton. Only after starting to do some stripping am I finding the serial number on the stern. At some point in its life the canoe had a repair done that just about destroyed the serial number on the bow. The serial number found on the stern was 19397-18. It also was rigged with a sailing kit, but that does not look original, but the build record should tell for sure if that was case. It has three thwarts. But another surprise was carrying handles, one at the bow and one at the stern, which seemed to be unusal.

The canoe looks to be in good shape with few exceptions at the deck level of the bow and stern. The sponsons need a little tender loving care after getting them and rest of the canvas off.

When someone has a moment, could you post the build sheet for this canoe? And also, thanks for providing such a great service.


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The Carleton canoe with serial number 19397 is an 18 foot long, Indian Princess (a.k.a. AA) grade, Carleton model with western red cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, 16 inch mahogany decks, mahogany trim, a keel, outside stems, sponsons, and painter rings. It was built between December, 1925 and March, 1926. The original exterior paint design was number eight as shown at with a maroon body and alternating black and white diamonds. It shipped on March 19th, 1926 to Baltimore, Maryland. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link under the thumbnail image attached below.

These scans 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 join.

The carry handles were common on long canoes with sponsons, especially Carletons. The sailing rig was not mentioned on the build record so that was probably added later as you presumed. It is possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description don't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the restoration.



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Yeah, that's it. I'm surprised about the red cedar planks. Not so surprise with the sailing stuff. The mast mounts were place with glavized carriage bolts. The bolts used to mount the piece to the hull were just about rusted through. It was good thing the 'old man' save the canoe when he did.

Looks like you have a wonderful restoration project--- also very nice that it's a family heirloom. Feel free to post pictures as your restoration continues-- there's a big cheering squad here!