Difference between OT Guide and OTCA

revcp

Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
Hi,
My first post here. Wonderful site.
I have an opportunity to purchase an excellently refurbished 18' 1925 AA OTCA for $2,200. Have no idea whether that's a great price, but it's certainly a price I'm willing to pay. Our family presently has a Bell Northwind in the KevLight build up. I'm very pleased with it, but it's not an OT wood canvas. In the mid '80s I paddled an 18' OT Guide for two summers when I was a guide in Northern MN and Ontario. Loved it. Hated portaging the thing, but it was an absolute joy in the water. So, on to my question. Anyone know what the differences are between the two models? It looks like it's the same beam at waterline and gunwales, 1/2 less depth for the OTCA. Anything I'm missing? Rocker? Keel?
Thanks in advance!

Steve
 
Both are fine boats with a similar hull cross section. The primary difference might be the bow profile on the Otca sweeps higher and in the 1920's, the Otca came with 20" decks.

Can't go wrong!
 
MikeCav said:
Both are fine boats with a similar hull cross section. The primary difference might be the bow profile on the Otca sweeps higher and in the 1920's, the Otca came with 20" decks.

Can't go wrong!


Thanks, Mike. So is the stern a lower profile, or does it sweep up similarly to the bow?

Steve
 
Attached is a picture of the Otca from the 1925 catalog. The ends are symmetrical.

The choice between the Otca and guide may be primarily one of personal aesthetics: the Otca is a very pretty canoe-- to my eye, at least. The guide is great-- functions wonderfully-- but my heart goes pitty-pat for the lines of a canoe with higher ends, and the long decks of the older Otcas appeal to me.

There's a good discussion of "canoe value" under FAQ on the main page of these forums.

Post pictures-- we love seeing pretty boats!

Kathy
 

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Steve, Yes, both ends have the same sweep. The primary functional difference is the handling in wind - the higher sweep would be a wind catcher. But I'm with Kathy - the otca is a pretty boat.
 
This is a Guide (16'). Notice that it has lower end profiles than the Otca shown above in the drawing. Other than the profile cosmetics and a slight difference in the wind-catching abilities of the ends, I doubt you'll find much real difference in how the different models handle in the water.
 

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Kathryn Klos said:
Attached is a picture of the Otca from the 1925 catalog. The ends are symmetrical.

The choice between the Otca and guide may be primarily one of personal aesthetics: the Otca is a very pretty canoe-- to my eye, at least. The guide is great-- functions wonderfully-- but my heart goes pitty-pat for the lines of a canoe with higher ends, and the long decks of the older Otcas appeal to me.

There's a good discussion of "canoe value" under FAQ on the main page of these forums.

Post pictures-- we love seeing pretty boats!

Kathy

Thanks so much, Kathy. It's great to have a pic from the catalog of the canoe and very thoughtful you to send it along.
Like most of you (I assume), I'm form AND function when it comes to canoes. I'll be using it for such varied things--evening solo, family of four and dog for a day, week long BWCA trip, etc.--that I won't be bothered by a hitch or two in the get along with a canoe that is so aesthetically pleasing.
I will indeed take some photos and post them.
The canoe has a very interesting history. Original owner had it for 60 years. The person who bought it from her had it restored at a boatworks shop in Maine (I will post the name if it is with the paperwork I'm picking up with the canoe). When he sold it he agreed to sell to someone who was going to use it as a display in the rafters of his 3,500 sq ft "cabin" in the mountains. Before it went out he door, however, he received a call from a NASA engineer in DC who grew up in Wabasha, MN, paddling a wood canvas on the Mississippi. During their conversation the seller said he was going to break his original deal and sell to this person since he would prefer that the canoe be paddled instead of displayed. Fast forward a few years. I called the present owner. My first church (I'm a pastor) was on the Mississippi in western Wisconsin, 8 miles upriver from Wabasha, so I knew the area he paddled. I also mentioned my desire to have a canoe instead of furniture. Interestingly, he had drawn interest from hotel owners, etc. who wanted to purchase for display purposes, but he was holding out for a buyer who would paddle it. We agreed on a price (lower than the hotel owners would have paid) and then he cut it $50 to "cover the cost of gas" when I travel down to Wabasha from the Twin Cities to pick it up at his parents' home. Great stuff. None of this would have happened with a glass or kevlar canoe (and certainly not with a tin can).

Well, long enough post. We're heading up to the Boundary Waters with some Dallas friends on Sunday. I'll post pics after our return.

Thanks so much to all for your opinions. This is a wonderful site/community.

Peace,
Steve
 
Todd Bradshaw said:
This is a Guide (16'). Notice that it has lower end profiles than the Otca shown above in the drawing. Other than the profile cosmetics and a slight difference in the wind-catching abilities of the ends, I doubt you'll find much real difference in how the different models handle in the water.

Thanks, Todd. Beautiful canoe, and one of the few I've seen in yellow. Works well in the autumnal colors behind!
I will certainly be checking its wind worthiness. Our BWCA entry point next Monday is Saganaga Lake, one of the bigger ones, so our new canoe and our friends from Dallas (who will be paddling our Bell Northwind) will be tested right out of the gate.

Peace,
Steve
 
Hi Steve-- One thing I've found to be true in regard to "old canoe people" is that they understand something of the spirit of an old boat... that it's more than a thing to paddle in water, but it's something that contains precious memories of time spent with family, in beautiful places that bring peace to the mind and soul. It's a wonderful thing when someone would rather their old canoe carry on as a vessel that is used on the water than bring money to the pocket... great find, and a great story! I look forward to hearing more.

Kathy
 
Which to pick?

Hm, I have owned both. I would not pick either one as my first choice. I liked them both and paddled both quite a bit. The Guide is really a better all around. It carries quite a load, does not have the wind catching bow and stern and it handles quite well. The Otca is pretty to look at and can be used for all of the same things as the guide but as noted, the high ends are not too pleasant. I did cut an Otca down and turn it into a real sweet canoe (sacrilege). I got rid of my Kennebec because of the same "wing tip" affliction and now steer clear of these kinds of designs except for the classics, Morris, Rushton etc.

Take a good look at the picture next to this post. If you want a sweet canoe to paddle, look at the Whites and Travellers.
 
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