Help with 1913 Old Town Otca


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have been working on (3) pre-war 14'-54" ]TVT Thompson cedar boats for my grown children. It has been fun.

I am now ready to work on my 1913 Old Town OTCA. HELP........!!!!!!!

I need to replace 8 to 10 ribs on the front, and the cedar boards that clap the sides. This boat had canvas. There are other problems, but I can work them out.

What I need: Where to purchase the ribs, tips on the canvas, painting tips, and color ideas with trim pictures. This boat also had a flag. Where can they be purchased.

All emails and tips will be answered. Please direct me to any web sites or other threads on this site.

Gary Hartleben
Waupaca, Wisconsin.

You found the place with the answers... I may have a few minor ones for you. Here's a link to Old Town's canoe designs:

Do you have a copy of your canoe's build record?

Look for a copy of "The Wood and Canvas Canoe" by Stelmok and Thurlow... in the WCHA Store or your library or eBay or any bookstore... it's "the bible of wood/canvas canoe repair/building".

Others here will give you information on your other questions. There are a couple of local chapters of WCHA in Wisconsin, and you may live near someone who can give you advice in person or on the phone or at a group meeting. The WCHA has its roots in Wisconsin.

Use the "search" function above to find old discussions of things that cross your mind.

If you have high-speed internet, there are YouTube videos that show just about everything... from learning to play the spoons to canvassing a canoe. (I'm learning the spoons and leaving the canvas to Denis).

Waupaca said:
Where to purchase the ribs[/FONT]
Last I knew you could buy ribs right from OLD Town. Or, you can buy all of your supplies from the list of builders listed here in this site.

Since you've been working on other wooden boats, you've probably gotten pretty excited about this kind of work. If so, you'd be extremely pleased to make parts yourself, or at least assist in making them rather than buying them. For example, you can purchase pre-milled rib stock, but cedar is an easy wood to mill and an easy wood to bend (just ask the natives... they did it without our modern tools). Given your location, you can probably locate good stock easily and find someone with some tools to help you mill. Heck, for what you need, you could spend a little time and do the "milling" completely using hand tools. Steam-bending can be great fun and very rewarding (again, bending thin cedar is pretty easy). Any of this can sem daunting if you haven't done it before, but the sense of pride in your accomplishment is that much greater once it's done... and guaranteed, you'll look back and say "That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be!".

As for the flag, on these old canoes they were more personal rather than something like the standard standard "Chris-Craft" or similar flying on an old runabout. There wasn't, to my knowledge, an "Old Town" banner ready to fly. I have an original from one of my canoes, and it is clearly custom-made for this canoe- it's own name, and done with a great deal of thought and care. I'm assuming that you have a diamond-shaped socket for a flagstaff in one or both decks of the canoe. Do you have a flag staff that you believe came with the canoe? If so, it would be great to see a photo of it.

There are eBay vendors who make flags and pennants for watercraft as a cottage industry. You can come up with your own design and colors and someone clever who can sew will make it up for you... unless someone you know has that sort of talent!
Thanks to all...

Thanks to all that replied to my posting.

I have found what I am looking for. Most of all, thanks for the help with the bow flag information for this 1913 boat. This boat came from a fleet at a local resort on the Waupaca Chain-O-Lakes (Waupaca). The resort still stands, but has been renamed over the years.

Please continue to help others with there questions. This is a great resource.

I still have questions about the type and how to apply the canvas. Also what color and design would be painted on this 1913 boat.

Thanks again,

Gary Hartleben
Waupaca, Wisconsin

Do you know the original color and design that was on your canoe? Not that you'd have to go with that... it's your boat... but if you haven't already requested the build record you would find interesting information there. Simply post the serial number (found on the stem) on "serial number search".