Info Requested s/n 41801

Hi Jarrod,

I can give you the build record information for Old Town 41801, but many canoe builders used a five-digit serial number system and you may need to verify if what you have is in fact an Old Town canoe.

The Old Town with serial number 41801 is a 16 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade Otca model canoe that was completed February to May of 1916. The pre-1957 Otca model is distinctive because of its 20 inch deck with coaming... you can use the search function (above) and type in "Otca" to find pictures, or go to and scroll to Old Town on the left to find pictures of the different Old Town decks and compare to your canoe.

CS grade Old Towns are trimmed in any hardwood except mahogany... and in the case of 41801, the decks, thwarts, and seat frames are ash. Planking is red Western cedar and the gunwales are open spruce. The canoe has a keel and was originally painted white. It was shipped to Shoverling, Daly, and Gales in NYC on June 13, 1916.

Old Town canoes prior to about 1920 did not have Old Town's distinctive diamond-head bolts securing the seats and thwarts. The serial number would be located on both stems-- impressed into the wood and not on a metal plate. The length of the canoe should follow (or sometimes proceed) the serial number... so this canoe would read 41801 16 on both stems if it is Old Town. The scan of this record is attached below-- click on it to get a larger image.

This scan and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.

If this description doesn't match the canoe you're considering, post pictures and we may be able to identify it.



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