Help with indentification

K. Sudzinski

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just brought home an old canoe. It is of canvas & wood, but in rough shape. I am trying to determine if in deed it is an Old Town. I have looked at it several times and cannot find a name or numbers on it. The covering on the canvas is peeling off. I have been told it is an Old Town. I have checked the stems and cannot find any numbers. It appears to have been recoated with a varnish. I have tried wiping the dirt and using my fingers gently rubbing some of the varnish off, but to no avail. Is there a stripper I could use that will not harm the wood. Where the varnish, or paint type finnish is coming off, and believe me its pealing eveywhere, the wood is goergous. Under the peeling appears to be the original stain. It measures 18' long, and the color was a green. Any help would be appreciated. I plan on restoring it with a group of men who do this as a labor of love. I am looking forward to this project and hopefully many more to come. This canoe was found near the Ausable River in Roscommon Mich. Hopefully this grand old girl may grace the Holy Waters again.

K. Sudzinski
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Welcome to the WCHA forums.

It would help if you can post some pictures and measurements. The folks here can probably ID it in a heartbeat, especially if it an Old Town. If it is an OT, the serial number is stamped on the upper face of the stem near the end.

Pictures of: Overall Profile, Ribs, Deck Shape, Thwarts, Inside stems

Measurements of: Length, Width at widest part, Depth (Put straight board across gunwales - measure to bottom of canoe.

The best on line guide is Dan Millers Dragonfly Canoe site:

I'd be remiss if I didn't encourage you to officially join WCHA - great group of people.
Hello Mike,

thanks for the information. I did some research on the WCHA forum and someone had asked the same question. I checked both stems, rear mostly and could not even find a hint of a number. There appears to be alot of varnish or something on the stem, even drippings. I believe it just filled in the numbers. I will probably have to get some kind of stripper and gently remove the coatings. I was also thinking about some type of scanner that can read densities. If their is a number under that varnish, and was pounded in the wood, there has got to be a way to electronically read this. Anway, I will send pictures and measure according to your instructions.
I probably will join the WCHA. I am getting the bug, and so far so good!!

Best Regards,

Kevin Sudzinski
New at This


I hope you recieved my reply, I am new to this and not sure if it was sent to you or if I correctly did this.

Best Regards,

Kevin Sudzinski
Kevin, Yes I got the response.

It is pretty easy to post digital pictures and they will help a lot with ID'ing your boat. Did you poke around the Dragonfly site - they have lots of specs and some pictures of some of the key identifying features of the various makers. If you are in the northeastern US, there is a good chance your boat is an old Town, althought ther are still plenty of Morris's, Kennebecks, PennYans etc to make it interesting.

Good luck ad keep in touch on your quest - you came to the right place!