Hello from So Cal.


New Member
We just moved to a lake and got our two boys in cubscouts. We thought that a conoe would be a good Christmas present. My wife found a couple old canoes on Craigslist, so we took a chance. Picked them up on the way home from work, in the dark and with about zero knowledge of canoes. The plastic one seems like it would be gtg. The OldTown one seems pretty old and in need of some repair. I guess this is the start of my new hobbie.


Unrepentant Canoeist

Greg Nolan

Welcome to the WCHA.

If you give us the serial number of your Old Town canoe, we can provide you with a copy of its build record which will give details and dates of its construction. The serial number is stamped at both ends of the canoe, on the ends of the stems where they end at the floor of the canoe.

When considering any work on a wood/canvas canoe -- maintenance, repair, restoration, and whether you plan to do it yourself or to hire a professional, there are three good sources of information that you would do well to get, or at least look at, before making any decision about how to proceed:

The Wood and Canvas Canoe: A Complete Guide to its History, Construction, Restoration, and Maintenance by Rollin Thurlow and Jerry Stelmok

Building the Maine Guide Canoe by Jerry Stelmok

This Old Canoe: How To Restore Your Wood-Canvas Canoe, by Mike Elliott

The first is often called the "bible" of canoe repair, restoration, and maintenance; the second is an excellent study of the wooden/canvas canoe and its construction. The third was just recently published and has gotten some good reviews.

Of course, you can always ask questions here on the forums -- don't be shy, even if your question seems simple. We have all faced situations where we weren't sure what to do, but others have faced the same situations and figured out how to proceed.

You might also want to look at The Old Town Canoe Company by Susan Audette and David Baker, a great history of the Old Town company and its canoes.

These books are all available from the WCHA store, and are often on eBay, or available from Amazon.

Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. And while we here all focus primarily on wooden canoes, many of us also have canoes built of other materials -- fiberglass, aluminum, and various plastics, and may be able to help out if you have any maintenance/repair issues with your plastic boat.

And again, welcome.

WCHA President