M Grallert

Trout Whisperer
I am now the proud owner of a Old Town Ideal AA with birds eye maple trim. I would love to see what the boat looked like or could look like. when I get to the point of finish I feel boat should look as close to original as possible.


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Here is a photo of my 1914 Ideal, 16 foot. It has standard short decks and mahogany trim. It is a fine paddling canoe, and quite fast.

Good luck on the restoration. If you measurements for reproduction etc. just holler.



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I'll post the description of the OT Ideal from the 1917 catalog, courtesy "The Complete Old Town Canoe Company Catalog Collection, 1901- 1993", available on CD from and on the web.

Someone else here may have a picture of a canoe with bird's eye maple trim... maybe a courting canoe or some other with long decks. Your best bet for understanding how your canoe could look is to view pictures of some of the beautifully-restored canoes that show up at our yearly assemblies. Check out posts under the "Annual Assembly" heading.

Here is a great video that was done by a Vermont TV station:

And here is an amateur project:

You might try using the "search" function above and searching "courting canoes", because you're likely to find long-decked canoes that have been beautifully restored-- which would provide the inspiration I think you're looking for.

Please feel free to ask a lot of questions and post pictures as you work on the canoe--- there are many years of expertise in the group here, and everyone is very helpful.



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I've looked around the archives here and can't find what I'm looking for... your canoe will have a beautiful color-contrast between the mahogany gunwales and maple decks... I'm hoping someone will have a picture showing that. Also, as I said earlier, the old bird's eye is very lovely... so, anything you find on line showing new bird's eye maple won't have the same color... you may get an idea of what I'm talking about because I can see it in the picture of the thwart (second from right)-- the little eyes appear to be outlined in black, and there are little cracks that are dark too. This looks simply gorgeous when refinished like fine furniture.
This is all really exciting. I love all the information available of these boats. I would love to see what the Auto Gray with the gold and purple color scheme looks like.
I'll be taking pictures of the restoration as it proceeds and spend more time looking through this sight.
Thanks for all the encouragement, I've found a great resource!
The deck and coaming on this canoe is very unusual for an Old Town. Normally the decking is very thin and it has heavy framing under it and the deck also sits on top of the inside rail. From the pictures it looks like the deck may be fairly thick and sits flush with the inside rails. The coaming is much narrower at the ends compared to the std Old Town coamings. Also the screws on the kingplank and coaming look like they are round headed screws that sit on top of the wood instead of the normal flat head countersunk screws.
It looks to me to be a fairly rare construction for an Old Town.

These observations are interesting. You are right the decks are quite thick and flush with the rails. After I cook supper for the family I will go and measure the thickness of the decks. and may be post some more pictures.
Ideal AA thick decks

The decks are 5/8 thick and supported from below by a heavy member and two small blocks of ash? I have pictures.
The screws are pan heads, I'll show you.


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Old Town Ideal AA

Here are some updates on the Old Town Project. I spliced in new stem pieces and have splice some parts on to other needy pieces. The splices are not going to be hidden. I don't mind seeing them. I am really going to be as gentle as I can with this boat.


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stem and inwale work update

These are some pictures of the work I've been up to. The inwale replacements are made from the rotten gunwales. I figured I would use as much of the old boat as I could.


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It must be a wonderful feeling, to add to the work someone did so long ago, and to make the canoe whole again. Thanks for the pictures--- great work!