Factory Step or?

Dan Lindberg

Ex Wood Hoarder
Got the latest project home and started to get a good look at it. Seems to be better then the previous one.

This one has a mast step that is bolted/screwed through the keel from the outside.

Is this original or not? any thoughts?
The keel also has a few other countersunk thru holes that bolts/fasteners were used, possible to attach the keel, as nothing appears to have made any marks on the inside of the ribs.


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Hi Dan,

Yes, the one referred to in the build record section.

It's a 1938 18' OT Guide CS grade. I actually won an ebay canoe. :)
We picked it up Sat.

It has this mast step and the Oval outer rails that are screwed on from inside.
The build record doesn't indicate anything about sailing components, and the seats are missing.

I'd say your mast step is a later addition - it doesn't look like the typical Old Town mast step, and the build record does not mention a sail rig being installed.
Could be, I was only undecided because the installation looks "good", ie, nicely machined countersinks on the keel and in 2 places, there is another set of 3 holes near the rear seat. I don't plan on reusing it, or the keel. This is going to be our at home canoe, which mainly sees time on rivers.

It appears that this canoe only had the canvas replaced once and that they also added a "painter" loop to the front. It is brass and was screwed and riveted on through the stem.

My 16' OCTA has a step and mast partner seat

Neither are mentioned on the build sheet but I am the second owner and the original buyer insists the boat came with the step and partner seat from Old Town in 1955. Maybe added just before shipping?
I agree with Dan that yours is probably not a factory installation. I have an Old Town with a factory sail rig from 1936 with a very different step design. My guess is that Von Lengerke & Antoine and other big dealers had their own contractors add sail rigs (and steps) when customers requested them.

Thanks Guys,

I removed it last night and don't think even more it's not factory.

While it is nicely shaped hardwood, it was attached after the keel was installed, ie, a couple keel screws were "hidden" under the step, meaning that the keel couldn't be removed until the step was removed. The keel wouldn't come off even after I drilled out the step screws, so I cut the screws with a hack saw under the keel. The odd part is that there is a second set of thru holes near the rear seat, no idea what they were for, nothing is/was there making marks on the ribs.

Anyway, it's off now and not going back on.